About the department
Although the Bioengineering Department was just formed in 2010, it has roots going back over 100 years to Bradford Durfee and New Bedford Institutes of Technology that were founded to support the textiles industry. Manufacturing industry is still important in this area, but is typified more and more by specialty products like Velcro for bioengineering applications and vascular grafts made by Boston Scientific for heart disease patients. Just as the industry as evolved the department has progressed from a focus on textiles technology, to materials science, and now to bioengineering. Our degree programs have likewise changed to reflect the shift from large-scale manufacturing to the research, development and high-tech engineering that is the basis of much of the new bioengineering business of New England.
When you choose an undergraduate major, one thing you can be sure of is that the world you will work in will be greatly changed from how it is now. There are two major and obvious trends. One is that biology and engineering will continue to merge. Machines will become "softer", technology will become "smarter" and will work with us in a less intrusive fashion, and medicine will become more of a branch of engineering. A second trend is that things will be made more and more by automated equipment and people will spend more and more of their time devising, designing and developing new things. This is not to say we will all be engineers. Managing, designing, networking and understanding change will be just as important as ever.
Our new undergraduate program reflects this vision of the future by applying to bioengineering our understanding of soft, flexible and fibrous materials in general, and specifically, biological materials, biomedical materials and engineered composites.
Our graduate programs continue to emphasize fundamental research on medical, technical, military fibers and materials at the Master's level. We also offer a PhD through the Biomedical Engineering Biotechnology program.
The bioengineering department has five departmental faculty, ten adjunct and affiliate faculty and a research associate. The departmental faculty cover specialties in biomedical materials, bionics, developmental biology, experimental design and rapid prototyping. The adjunct faculty provide expertise in medical electronics, biotechnology, biomechanics, biomimetics, biophysics, tissue engineering, ethics and bioprocessing. Several of the adjunct faculty work in the local biomedical industry.
We invite you to explore this web site to learn more about our exciting new programs!