About the BME Undergraduate Design Curriculum

Better health by design

Support BME Design

Support BME toward our goal of "Engineering biology to impact you: bringing the Wisconsin Idea to life though innovation."

Donate now to the
BME Design Course Fund #12347616

Support BME Design Online

Support student projects geared toward rehabilitation, the community, and world health in prototype fabrication

Assist promising design projects to continue development through follow-on funding beyond the design courses

Promote innovative BME undergraduate design solutions

Thank you for your support!

Stay connected

facebook

Major sponsors

Peter Tong and the Tong Family Foundation
Tong Design Awards

GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare

Design throughout the curriculum

The undergraduate program was founded with design at the heart of the curriculum. We developed a rigorous six-semester, team-based design sequence for our undergraduates to solve real-world, client-based design problems. This design sequence breaks down class boundaries, forms mentored relationships, actively involves each student in the evolution of the design course and department, and engages the students in active learning.

Course sequence

Students work in teams of four to six to solve biomedical engineering design problems. In each of client-based design courses, the students choose a real-world project from a client list composed of faculty throughout the university (particularly engineering, medical and life sciences), clinicians, people with specific biomedical challenges, and engineers in industry. Teams are advised closing by the "Design Faculty" a group of Biomedical Engineering faculty and instructors who oversee and meet weekly with two-four projects each.

BME Design Curriculum Flow Chart

Design curriculum phases

Phase 1: Peer Mentoring - first-semester sophomores (BME 200) are teamed-up with, mentored and in part advised by first-semester juniors (BME 300) on solving a real-world client-based design project achievable in one semester. This model of sophomore/junior teams promotes peer-to-peer learning and enhances leadership qualities.

Phase 2: Guided Design Fundamentals - second-semester sophomores (BME 201) work in teams to solve a guided project using multidisciplinary hands-on technical (including electronic circuits, programming, 3D modeling in SolidWorks, machining and fabrication, and laboratory techniques) and professions design-based skills taught during the lecture and laboratory sessions.

Phase 3: Independent Learning - second-semester juniors (BME 301) start a more difficult real-world client-based design project that could lead toward their senior capstone design course. The intent is to instill in them the confidence to complete the design process on their own.

Phase 4: Senior Capstone Design - seniors (BME 400/402) complete and implement a more complicated real-world client-based design. They perform extensive research to fully develop and test their design. They begin to work toward filing a patent and preparing a publication. All students complete an outreach requirement, such as by giving a talk or organizing a hands-on activity in a K-12 classroom.

Key features

  1. Prototype driven - all semester results in the design, fabrication, and testing of real engineering innovations
  2. Close advising - teams are mentored closely by BME faculty with at most a 16:1 student to teacher ratio
  3. Networking - students work closely with clinicians, faculty, and other UW resources
  4. Building strong communication skills - professional, technical, written and oral
  5. Student involvement in the department and curriculum - one representatives from each team forms our Biomedical Student Advisory Committee (BSAC) who meet bi-weekly and monthly with faculty

Team roles

  1. Team leader Responsible for weekly progress reports and organization of team meetings and team responsibilities
  2. Communicator Primarily responsible for communications with client and other professional contacts
  3. BSAC (Biomedical Student Advisory Committee) provides feedback to faculty about design courses and curriculum
  4. BWIG (Biomedical Web Implementation Group) is responsible for the team's website
  5. BPAG (Biomedical Purchasing and Accounting Group) is responsible for the budget and ensuring all necessary materials are acquired

About this Site

This site was designed by Matthew Bollom, BS UW-BME 2013, for the University of Wisconsin Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Version 3.3, January 2014
© 2010 – 2014

Scroll