Biomedical Engineering

    • The Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, located within the Center for Advanced Engineering, includes a KINARM robotic device with a virtual reality system used to understand how the brain controls movements. The lab also includes a CODAMOTION 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 at Gannon University.
    •  Faculty experts have experience collaborating in studies of the mechanics of movement adaptation in non-inertial environments as part of a NASA extramural funding program. They have 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. The role of biomedical engineers includes multiple levels of involvement, 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 of and quality of life for people with physical disabilities. 

    You Will Experience

    Regionally, there is an initiative to establish a biotech corridor between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Northwest 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 healthcare facilities to create opportunities for internships, research projects and senior design projects for biomedical engineering students at locations such as BioEnterprise and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse.

    You Will Achieve

    Biomedical engineers work with healthcare 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. An undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering provides the foundation to attend 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, resulting 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 or impaired individual

    You will Study

    Students in Gannon’s biomedical engineering program will learn to collaborate with healthcare 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 410: Biomaterials

    This course is an introduction to the behavior and application of biomaterials. 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.

    BME 420: Biomechanics

    In this course, students learn the mechanical properties of biomaterials, bone, ligaments and muscle, as well as multi-axial loads applied to orthopedic biomechanics.Rigid body planar kinematics and dynamics, with application to the biomechanics of walking, running, cycling and other athletic activities, and functions of orthotics and prostheses, including design considerations, are also studied.

    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 data acquisition used to model movement in an open-source, multi-body simulation software, which allows students to calculate joint angles and muscle force during movements.

    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 field 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 (bls.gov) and/or PayScale (payscale.com).