Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering Education

Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering Education

Ziad O. Abu-Faraj (American University of Science and Technology, Lebanon)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0122-2.ch001
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Abstract

Bioengineering/biomedical engineering education is a social process integrating accrued knowledge, expertise, and values pertaining to a fusion of engineering sciences and biomedical sciences that have been disseminated across generations. It has evolved since 1959, and is currently undergoing a healthy global growth. This chapter provides a methodical and comprehensive study on bioengineering/biomedical engineering education. It is addressed to the international bioengineering/biomedical engineering researchers, faculty, and university/college students, as well as, practitioners in bioengineering/biomedical engineering, along with other closely-related governmental, non-governmental, and industrial entities.
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1.1. Chapter Objectives

  • To provide a formal definition of bioengineering/biomedical engineering and elucidate the role of higher education in this field.

  • To provide an in-depth overview on the evolution of bioengineering/biomedical engineering education supported by a thorough literature review.

  • To provide a detailed presentation of state-of-the-art curriculum philosophies in bioengineering/biomedical engineering.

  • To provide an insight into existing academic curricula in bioengineering/biomedical engineering, supported by a prototype of a modern well-developed undergraduate curriculum in the field.

  • To provide educated recommendations about career development in bioengineering/biomedical engineering.

  • To provide an analytical comprehensive study on the world promulgation of bioengineering/biomedical engineering education.

  • To provide a forecast of the future of bioengineering/biomedical engineering education.

  • To provide a listing of the professional societies and organizations in bioengineering/biomedical engineering.

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1.2. Introduction

Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering is acclaimed as one of the most advanced fields in science and technology worldwide, and has spurred the advancements in medicine and biology. Recently, healthcare practices have been steered towards new emerging frontiers, including, among others, functional medical imaging, regenerative medicine, nanobiomedicine, enzyme engineering, and artificial sensory substitution. Concurrently, bioengineering/biomedical engineering education has been evolving and proliferating since the late 1950s (Harris et al., 2002; Harris, 2003; Linsenmeier et al., 2002). Today, bioengineering/biomedical engineering education is globally undergoing a healthy growth with 704 programs offered in 6.73% of the world universities (Abu-Faraj, 2010). The first program to be officially launched in biomedical engineering was at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, in 1959 at the master's level. This program was soon followed by Ph.D. programs at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA, and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA (Pilkington et al., 1989). At present, a surge in the development of new curricula in bioengineering/biomedical engineering around the world is witnessed, especially in developing and transitional countries. These programs are to some extent diverse and vary in their academic content, as well as within the different tracks constituting the various areas of bioengineering/biomedical engineering, which are highlighted in Section 1.3 - Comprehensive Definition of Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering Education.

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