What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical Engineering (BME) is a multidisciplinary field that incorporates concepts in engineering and science to solve a vast array of problems in human health and medicine. Due to its public health importance and multidisciplinary nature, there is a high demand for expertise in the rapidly growing field of BME. Further there is broad employability for our students upon graduation, with a vast and diverse range of careers in the medicine, health, and engineering sectors.

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Dr. Lara Thompson , Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Director of Biomedical Engineering Program and Laboratory

Our overarching goal is to produce a well-equipped, diverse population of biomedical engineers aimed at solving problems involving human health and well-being. Our mission is to serve the technological needs of society, especially within District of Columbia and Washington Metropolitan Region. We strive to create new opportunities for the community, as well as public and private industries, within the District and beyond. We aim to create a nurturing academic environment for our students, extending even beyond the classroom, that supports individual and group success and confidence. We value critical thinking, innovation, ethical and professional responsibility, teamwork, and leadership.

About the Program

Of approximately 100 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) nationwide, UDC is only one of three HBCUs to offer a distinctive Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biomedical Engineering (BME) degree.

The BME program is housed within Department of Mechanical Engineering which has recently added new courses, such as Bioinstrumentation, Biomedical Engineering Seminar, Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering: Biomedical Imaging, and Biomedical-related Senior Capstone Design.

3-D Printed Prosthetic Hand developed by UDC Mechanical Engineering Students (left) and Open Bionics robotic hand (right)

Co-curricular activities, such as the BME Journal Club and BME Guest Lecture series, contribute to an enhanced research-education infrastructure for our students, as well as faculty. Aside from the development of new courses and activities in BME, there has been significant efforts put forth towards establishing new BME research at UDC. Specifically, a newly renovated Biomedical Engineering research laboratory, Center for Biomechanical & Rehabilitation Engineering (CBRE) was opened in Summer 2015.

US FDA Guest Speaker Event in UDC CBRE Lab

The state-of-the-art lab offers students the opportunity to gain meaningful research experience in parallel with their coursework.  The focus of the CBRE research lab is studying human postural control/mobility and assistive devices to aid individuals that are un-impaired (e.g., athletes and non-athletes) and balance-impaired (e.g., fall-prone elderly, stroke survivors, vestibular loss sufferers, and amputees).

UDC Mechanical Engineering student using Vicon Motion Capture system to capture her body kinematics

Mind-control: using a Mindwave EEG kit to play a computer game, solely with one’s thoughts

UDC is located in a “hotbed” for Biomedical Engineering research in that, world-renowned institutions (e.g., the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), then National Institutes of Health (NIH), Walter Reed Medical Center, and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)) are all within close proximity to UDC. Further, UDC’s lower tuition fees, compared to other DC region universities offering degrees in BME, hold tremendous attraction to persons seeking a quality but economical education without sacrificing learning and research experiences. Lastly, students benefit from small class size and a personal teaching environment, as well as individual attention from faculty.