Innovations in bioengineering education for the 21 st century

J. H. Linehan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The National Academy of Engineering published a report titled The Engineer of 2020 [1]. That report suggests that, to meet the future head-on, we not only train our students to possess strong analytical skills but also to have practical ingenuity, be creative, have excellent communication skills, understand leadership, have high ethical standards, and be lifelong learners. Cognitive scientists have been suggesting that we change the educational process for the past 25 years. They opine that effective learning methods have shifted from concentrating on only developing skills and expertise to focus on students’ understanding of application and knowledge [2]. Bioengineering curricula are being created world-wide as new departments and programs are formed3. There are around 50 new undergraduate programs in the US alone. New curricula are largely being developed independently. As expected, bioengineering curricula have been focused on developing deep skills through a biology-infused engineering curriculum. In 2005, The Whitaker Foundation convened an international summit meeting to explicate ideas on the new discipline, bioengineering [3]. Diversity is good for the educational “ecosystem”. We can learn what works and what doesn’t by sharing information amongst programs. In the US, an informal organization has emerged, ( [4]), to promote teaching design, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the bioengineering curriculum. Design and problem-based learning are two examples of experiential learning processes meant to train students to be innovative in their approach to problem solving; that is, to become “adaptive experts”[1]. Biomedical engineering applications are particularly engaging to the students because they are “problems that matter”. My talk will focus on two examples of learning methods that help students develop adaptive expertise are problem-based learning [5] and medical device design [6].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalIFMBE Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Event11th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, MEDICON 2007 - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: Jun 26 2007Jun 30 2007


  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Teaching design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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