Innovative Degree Expands Student Opportunity

Valpo’s College of Engineering launches a new bachelor of science degree in the rapidly expanding field of bioengineering, with student enrollment to begin fall 2017. The College has seen incredible growth across its existing programs over the past several years, and new, strategic programming will ensure continued expansion throughout the College.

20150618-jlh-coe-human-movement-lab-013-1“Bioengineering is an initiative our faculty have been developing for a long time and one our students are eager to pursue,” says Craig Goehler, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “Relying heavily on what we do well here, the program builds upon Valpo’s standard engineering curriculum and incorporates courses in biological science.”

For nearly a decade, engineering students at Valpo have worked alongside internationally recognized faculty mentors in the field of biomechanics on a number of research projects, including  various gait studiesgate study, prosthetic design and control, and human movement categorization. Strong student interest combined with an increase in demand for bioengineers resulted in the creation of a biomedical engineering minor that started during the fall 2015 semester. Building upon the strength of the minor, the College developed the bioengineering major. The minor will continue to exist as a complement to majors such as mechanical and electrical engineering, enabling students to fully customize their academic journey.

Valpo is the only master’s-level comprehensive university in the Midwest to offer a bioengineering program. The highly competitive program has three separate concentrations — bioelectrical, biomechanical, and biomedical. In this program, students will be provided with a strong foundation in engineering and design principles, which they will rely on to solve a diverse range of problems in biology and medicine. They will study a variety of topics, from interpreting the electrical signals generated by the nervous system to analyzing materials used for orthopedic implants.

Upon graduation, students will be prepared to pursue graduate school, medical school, or industrial jobs in one of the many bioengineering disciplines, such as sports biomechanics, development of medical instrumentation, or design and control of prosthetic devices.

“Valpo attracts the highest caliber of students, and I have had the opportunity to get to know my students on a personal level, to guide and mentor them — to see the impact of the Valpo experience,” Professor Goehler says. “And, I anticipate the bioengineering program will provide new means to positively impact the lives of generations of engineering students.”