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NDSU, UND to offer joint graduate programs in biomedical engineering

Posted on 11/1/2016

NDSU's College of Engineering and the University of North Dakota's College of Engineering and Mines and School of Medicine and Health Sciences have received approval to offer joint graduate programs in biomedical engineering. The programs, which were approved by the State Board of Higher Education at its Oct. 27 meeting, will begin being delivered on-campus and via distance delivery in fall 2017.

The interdisciplinary collaborative has been formed to create programs that attract high-quality graduate students who will be able to solve contemporary challenges in the design of medical devices and systems.

"The biomedical field is one of the fastest growing sectors of engineering," said Gary Smith, dean of the NDSU College of Engineering. "This innovative partnership between NDSU and UND will produce a highly educated workforce in our state and region. It also will spur collaborative research in emerging biomedical technologies that may lead to new entrepreneurial opportunities."

"This joint program is the perfect model of how our diverse faculty expertise from UND and NDSU can work together to advance biomedical engineering education, research, and innovation. I'm so grateful to Dean Gary Smith (NDSU-Engineering) and Dean Joshua Wynne (UND-SMHS) for the spirit of collaboration they both exhibited throughout the process. Our success will pave the way for further collaboration in other areas," Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the UND College of Engineering and Mines.

"UND and NDSU already collaborate through their coordinated master of public health (MPH) programs. This biomedical engineering initiative is another way that the two research universities are working together to meet the healthcare needs of the region and simultaneously providing outstanding professional development opportunities for our students," said Joshua Wynne, UND vice president for health sciences.

A two-year Master of Science in biomedical engineering and a four-year Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical engineering will be established.

The programs will add significant diversity and capability in the biomedical field and will facilitate significant interaction between NDSU and UND. The programs will be administered via NDSU's Departments of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering; and UND's Departments of Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The jointly-sponsored, interdisciplinary graduate program goals are to:

Meet the needs of regional students interested in biomedical engineering
Attract women and under-represented minorities into a developing field
Educate and train students through courses and research focused on biomedical research and device development
Advance the biomedical knowledge base through collaborate research directed by faculty at NDSU and UND
Through biomedical research and device development, develop intellectual property to generate company spin-offs, attract new companies and subsequent economic development.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the job market for biomedical engineers will increase by 72 percent, faster than the average of all occupations, through 2018. Therefore, the need to train biomedical engineers of tomorrow and extend the research in this area, especially in a graduate program.

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