The Department of Biomedical Engineering at UAB was founded in 1979 and was a graduate-only program until 2001. The Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering was established and approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees in 2001. Presently, the BME department offers degree programs leading to the Bachelor’s, Master’s (thesis based) and Doctoral degrees.
The Biomedical Engineering Bachelor’s degree program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. The Biomedical Engineering Degree Program at UAB is the only accredited BME program in the State of Alabama.
Our first bachelor’s students graduated in 2002. Currently, the Department of Biomedical Engineering consists of 13 full-time faculty, 44 graduate students and 156 undergraduate students. To date we have graduated 138 bachelor’s, 278 master’s and 86 doctoral students.
The vision of the BME Department is “to be an internationally recognized, research oriented department of biomedical engineering; a top choice for undergraduate and graduate education.”
The mission of the BME Department is to “improve health care by making scientific discoveries, solving problems and advancing technology using quantitative methods; to prepare graduates to succeed in the evolving fields of biomedical engineering and biotechnology.”
DID YOU KNOW?
In October 2012, CNNMoney listed biomedical engineering atop its list of the "best jobs in America."
In May 2012, Forbes listed biomedical engineering as the top major most worth your tuition, time and effort. Analysts at PayScale, a compensation research firm, compared its database with 120 college majors and job growth projections through 2020 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the 15 most valuable majors in the current marketplace. Ranked by median starting pay, median mid-career pay (at least 10 years in), growth in salary and wealth of job opportunities, biomedical engineering came in at No. 1 on the list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 61.7 percent growth of job opportunities in the field, the most of any other major on the list.
QUALITY FACILITIES, STRONG RESEARCH, ACTIVE FACULTY
The BME faculty has developed an outstanding interdisciplinary curriculum to train students to solve health-care related problems using advanced quantitative and analytical techniques. All of our courses are taught by full-time BME faculty members, who also maintain an active research program. A strength of the BME faculty is their research productivity; faculty members in BME bring expertise from their discipline into the classroom.
We have high-quality facilities for laboratory experiments, computer simulations and lab-based projects that provide opportunities for students to gain experience with instrumentation, computer simulations and lab techniques common to our discipline. Many of the BME courses include a laboratory component where students receive hands-on training in the instruments, technologies, principles, or techniques taught in the course.
Many BME Bachelor’s students are part of the university wide honors programs such as the Science and Technology Honors Program, the University Honors Program, the Early Medical School Acceptance Program the Global and Community Leadership Program. More than 45% of BME undergraduates participate in research under the guidance of a BME primary or secondary faculty member. Typically, undergraduate research students are part of the UAB Science and Technology Honors Program, the University Honors Program, or the BME Honors Program and upon completion of their senior thesis will graduate with honors. Many honors students participate in our Fifth Year Master’s (thesis based) degree program
Students can further their professional development through participation in biomedical engineering student organizations (such as the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Society for Biomaterials, Engineers Without Borders) an internship or co-op in industry or the UAB School of Medicine. Many engineering students also complete a minor in business. These additional experiences provide opportunities to apply principles mastered in your courses to ‘real world’ problems in biomedical engineering.
PREPARED FOR WORKFORCE
Graduates from the Department of Biomedical Engineering are well-prepared to enter the workforce, pursue advanced education in graduate school, or attend medical, dental or another professional school. BME graduates find employment in industry with medical products companies such as BioHorizons Implant Systems, Biological Innovations, GE Medical, Guidant Corporation, Novartis, Phillips Medical Systems, Proctor & Gamble, St. Jude Medical, Smith & Nephew, SurModics Pharmaceuticals, TransGenRx, or Wright Medical Technology, medical centers and hospitals, regulatory agencies like the FDA, health care groups, consulting companies, or computer application groups. BME graduates also pursue advanced education (Master’s, PhD, medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, MD/PhD, DMD/PhD) at institutions such as Duke, Georgia Tech, Rice University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas, UAB, Vanderbilt. The BS in BME degree is also excellent preparation for further professional training such as medical or dental schools. The State of Alabama, including Birmingham, has a rapidly growing Biotechnology sector, as shown in this CNBC story.
In the 2011-12 academic year, we graduated 19 bachelor’s, eight master’s and four Ph.D. students. For the bachelor’s graduates as of June 2012, 14 of 19 who applied for grad school, professional school or a position in industry were placed – one in industry, five in graduate school and eight in professional school (Medical, Dental, Law, Pharmacy, Nursing). M.S. graduates saw seven out of eight placed - three in industry, three in the BME Ph.D. program and one in UAB's Medical School. Ph.D. graduates were at 100% placement - one with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, one with UAB's CI Therapy Research Group, one Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and one Prosthodontic Resident at the University of Illinois-Chicago.