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UW Approves New Biomedical Engineering Minor for Fall 2022

March 16, 2022

The University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science will launch a new biomedical engineering (BME) minor program for its undergraduate students starting in the fall semester.

The new minor, which recently received approval from the Office of the Registrar, will be coordinated within the Department of Chemical Engineering. The department has long offered a concentration in biomedical engineering, and several faculty members have research programs in this area. A minor program is expected to significantly boost enrollment.

“Biomedical engineering is an interdisciplinary field that combines principles of biology and medicine with engineering design to produce health care innovations,” says Patrick Johnson, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. “Biomedical engineers contribute to medical technologies in a variety of areas, including diagnostics, therapeutics, imaging, bioinformatics and rehabilitation.”

According to Johnson, the biomedical engineering minor is intended to formalize existing coursework tracks within chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering, and molecular biology into a cross-disciplinary program. For example, the bioengineering option in electrical engineering is one of the oldest biomedical-related programs in the country, established in the 1960s in response to NASA’s Mercury space program.

A minor would require 18 credits of electives. The course of study can be self-directed or tailored to a student’s major degree program. For students pursuing specific engineering majors, example coursework tracks can be found in the college’s Susan McCormack Center for Student Success Academic Advising Office.

Students may begin enrolling in the minor, with the first graduates anticipated in two years. Interest already is high among chemical engineering students, with 57 percent of undergraduate students recently polled showing interest in a BME minor.

“This new minor, brought to reality by the hard work of people like John Oakey (a professor of chemical engineering) and Patrick Johnson, opens up new and exciting opportunities for our students,” says Cameron Wright, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. “I’m very happy to see this new BME minor get started.”

Information, including news on the enrollment process for interested students, will be available soon at the department’s website and through the college’s advising office.

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