Stepping Up

Oakland University’s engineering and science join efforts to create the new Bioengineering department

Three women in a lab.

The Department of Bioengineering offers training that prepares students for a wide variety of jobs in clinical, industrial, government and academic sectors. (Photo Credit: Robert Hall)

icon of a calendarMay 7, 2020

icon of a pencilBy Arina Bokas

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At the end of the second decade of the 21st century, there is a surge in the development of new biology-based industries. Oakland University’s engineering and science step up to meet the demands of our times by creating the new Bioengineering department. The department is a product of collaboration between the School of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Bioengineering has already been our joint program for a number of years. Completion of the bioengineering program led to a Bachelor of Science degree and gave our students foundations in the life sciences and engineering,” says Louay M. Chamra, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. “However, the projected increase in bioengineering positions is considerably higher than most occupations. The Department of Bioengineering will offer training that will prepare our students for a wider variety of jobs in clinical, industrial, government and academic sectors.”

While some traditional engineering majors can obtain a background in the biological sciences, there is an emerging need for professionals with the thinking capacity that integrates biology and engineering. Bioengineers solve problems in unique ways.

“Bioengineering is grounded on increasing symbiosis between engineering principles and biological sciences. The dynamic field of bioengineering is adept to a broad range of applications to improve human health and develop new technologies designed to advance understanding of biological phenomena,” explains Shailesh Lal, Ph.D., chair of the bioengineering department.

In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an impressive 23 percent increase in
bioengineering positions through 2024. The multi-track OU bioengineering curriculum is designed to offer fundamental training in the fields of molecular engineering, tissue engineering, biomedical imaging and signal processing, and bioinformatics and genome engineering.

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