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Materials and Textiles Department

Panoramic view of campus from the library-gym walkway, with students on the path and the campanile on the left.

This Department has roots going back over 100 years to Bradford Durfee and New Bedford Institutes of Technology. 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. Our courses are changing to reflect this 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.

Come to visit this web site again to see new exciting details about our program!