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College of Engineering, Medical College of Wisconsin to implement new biomedical engineering program

The+College+of+Engineering.+Photo+by+Matthew+Serafin%2Fmatthew.serafin%40marquette.edu
The College of Engineering. Photo by Matthew Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

The College of Engineering. Photo by Matthew Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

The College of Engineering. Photo by Matthew Serafin/matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

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The Department of Biomedical Engineering will partner with the Medical College of Wisconsin in July to create a joint biomedical engineering department that will offer new degrees, faculty members and classes, according to a university announcement Monday.

The new offerings, for undergraduate and graduate students, will include labs at both campuses and hands-on practice in the region’s hospitals and clinics. Graduate students will be the only ones to receive degrees from both Marquette and MCW upon completion of the new program.

“Marquette and MCW have a shared vision for the new biomedical engineering department to become the center for innovation, and an international destination for industry research and development partners to find new and better medical treatments and devices that improve patient care and quality of life,” University President Michael Lovell said in the announcement.

Kristina Ropella, dean of the College of Engineering, said work toward this expansion started around two years ago.

“In order to be competitive and attract the best students and faculty and continue to be a leading edge of research in the area, we really needed to grow and develop activity in new ways,” Ropella said.

The College of Engineering is looking to increase its amount of graduate students with this program, which will be co-located at both schools. Ropella said the goal is to create a new undergraduate biomedical engineering track and grow the college’s master’s and Ph.D. programs with new faculty members and research opportunities.

“Students in the Bachelor of Science degree programs are based at Marquette with experiences at MCW, while those in (graduate) degrees will divide their time between Marquette and MCW, as well as MCW clinical and research partner locations such as Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center,” the university said in its announcement.

Ropella said students currently in biomedical engineering fields may experience a slight shift in the credits they need to graduate after this partnership begins.

The program’s new faculty members will be recruited over the next five to six years, and there will be 10 total Ropella said. They will be from a mix of different specialties, some Marquette represented already and others it hasn’t.

The universities will also recruit a chairperson to head the new department. Ropella said the search will begin in April with a search firm that has yet to be picked.

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