Biomedical Engineering

  • Business, Computer Science, and Engineering among Highest-Paid Majors

    The survey is based on data collected by the National Association of Colleges and Employers from 400,000 employers, gathered from government and private sources. Read more about the highest-paid degrees on The Wall Street Journal.

    • Rapid growth in the field and technological advancements created the need for a dedicated facility that will occupy 4,480 sq. ft., and will include a KINARM robotic device with a virtual reality system that can be used for understanding how the brain controls movements, and a research-grade motion capture system that records detailed movements used in a range of physical activities, such as running, walking or athletic applications.
    • The biomedical engineering program is the second-fastest growing engineering program in the University.
    • New program director, Davide Piovesan, D.Eng., has collaborated in studies of the mechanics of movement adaptation in non-inertial environments as part of a NASA extramural funding program. He has also conducted research into the role of biomechanics in the neural control of movements, with application to human rehabilitation through robotics and engineering.

    You Will Learn

    Biomedical engineering expands traditional engineering expertise to analyze and solve problems in biology and medicine, providing an overall enhancement of health care. Biomedical engineers work with health care professionals to design medical devices and equipment that enhance the quality of life for their patients by applying engineering products and process design strategies to medical problems. The role of biomedical engineers includes multiple levels of involvement ranging from choosing an appropriate off-the-shelf system, to modification of commercial approaches, to the design and development of custom systems. The biomedical engineering program is directed toward the application of engineering and technology to increase the functional capabilities and the quality of life of people with physical disabilities.

    You Will Experience

    Regionally, there is an initiative to establish a biotech corridor between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Northwest PA Industrial Resource Center is working to include Erie in this effort. The corridor would help to establish connections between manufacturers of biomedical devices, researchers at universities and health care facilities, creating opportunities for internships, research projects and senior design projects for students in the biomedical program at locations such as:

    • BioEnterprise
    • The Life Sciences Greenhouse

    You Will Achieve

    Biomedical engineers design prosthetic limbs and artificial organs or regenerate tissue. They also create drug formulations, develop pharmaceuticals or collect and analyze biological data, among other work. This field lies at the intersection of biology and engineering skills that help solve tough problems in medicine and health. An undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering provides the foundation to access medical school, graduate school or professional degree programs in fields such as law, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Computer systems to monitor patients during surgery or in intensive care, or to monitor healthy persons in unusual environments, such as astronauts in space or underwater divers at great depth.
    • Human-machine interfaces that allow individuals with paralysis that results in the partial or total loss of use of all limbs and torso to drive a wheelchair or use a computer.
    • Medical devices such as artificial joints, arms and legs, as well as cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, artificial kidneys and hearts.
    • Prostheses and orthotic devices for amputees of impaired individuals.

    You will Study

    Students enrolled in Gannon's biomedical engineering program will learn to collaborate with health care professionals to design medical devices and equipment that enhance the quality of life for their patients by applying engineering product and process design strategies to medical problems. Some courses students may take include:

    BME 440: Bioengineering Laboratory

    This course includes laboratory experience calculating measurements for biomaterials and devices, including the application of statistical techniques. The course includes motion capture and modeling of hygienic movements, and data acquisition used to model movement in an open- source, multi-body simulation software, which allows students to calculate joint angles and muscles' forces during movements.

    BME 420: Biomechanics

    In this course, students study the mechanics of deformable bodies. Students learn the mechanical properties of biomaterials, bone, ligaments and muscle, uniaxial tension, compression, bending, and torsion applied to orthopedic biomechanics. Rigid body planar kinematics and dynamics, with application to the biomechanics of walking, running, cycling, and other athletic activities, functions of orthotics and prostheses, including design considerations, are also studied.

    BME 410: Biomaterials

    This course is an introduction to the behavior and application of biomaterials used in medical applications. Biocompatibility, biomaterial/tissue interactions, and other factors involved in the design of implants, biosensors
    and neuroprostheses are covered. Students will review properties of cells, nucleic acids, proteins and immunology in relation to biomaterials.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the industry vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $59,000
    • Mid-career salary: $91,700

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (