Welcome to the Department of Biomedical Engineering!
Whether you are a student, an engineer, a biomedical researcher, a clinician, an entrepreneur, or someone who is involved with any aspect of biomedical innovation, I encourage you to engage our department as we strive to find engineering solutions to medical problems. We are both patient-centered as well as student-focused. We seek to find solutions to pressing needs of the medical community, and we expect our students to be at the forefront of medical innovation. Within our department, we focus on three specialization of biomedical engineering: Biomechanics, Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering, and Instrumentation, Signals & Imaging.
Through these areas of specialization we strive to (i) better understand mechanisms of disease, (ii) develop improved technologies for diagnosing or treating disease, and (iii) educate the next generation of biomedical engineers. Progress in each of these areas fuels the rapid expansion of our region’s biomedical sector.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering began as a research institute at The University of Akron in 1980. In 1984 it became an academic department offering graduate degrees. In 1998, we expanded our student focus by offering an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. Graduating from the University of Akron provides our students with all the tools necessary to make new discoveries, advance scientific knowledge, and create technologies to revolutionize the healthcare system. Our outstanding faculty, comprehensive curriculum, and a variety of co-op opportunities result in our students being highly recruited by both the academic and industrial sectors.
Healthcare has been, and continues to be, the fastest-growing job sector in Akron and Northeast Ohio. Due in no small part to our region’s research and clinical strengths, and a broad existing biomedical industry, Northeast Ohio has become a major center of healthcare innovation and commercialization. An important advance in this regard was the University of Akron partnering with other leading institutions in the region to create the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron in 2009. Through this collective effort we are committed to building on our rich history of medical innovation, examples of which include:
- In 1974, Drs. Howard Igel and Aaron Freeman successfully grew human skin in a lab to treat burn victims, making Akron Children's Hospital the first hospital in the world to achieve such a feat. This was a forerunner to major advances in the field of tissue engineering!
- In 2004, the FDA approved a drug-eluting stent with a coating that had been invented by University of Akron researchers. This breakthrough became a key treatment option for patients with blocked coronary arteries.
Numerous technologies for treating spine disorders have been developed by University of Akron engineers through collaborations with our medical partners. These innovations have led to highly successful spin-off orthopedic companies – a trend that continues to this day!
If you have questions, begin by exploring our website. There are numerous links to our curriculum, our faculty’s interests and announcements pertaining to our department’s achievements. Next, contact us – our email addresses are listed on these pages and we look forward to answering your questions. Thanks again for your interest!
Dr. Brian L. Davis
Professor and Department Chair