Biomedical engineering program offers new degree

Gannon University is now the first university in Northwest Pennsylvania to offer a degree in biomedical engineering, with the official opening of its new program this 2011 spring semester.

Biomedical engineering was first introduced to students in March of 2010, and it is now an official major in the Gannon undergraduate programs.

But what exactly is biomedical engineering? According to Cate Felderman, a junior biomedical engineering major at Gannon, biomedical engineering involves the creation and improvement of medical technology. This includes artificial limbs, artificial hearts and diagnostic equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

“They keep up and modify equipment,” Felderman said.

Dr. Michael J. Panza, adviser and director of the new program, said that it is the interaction between synthetic materials and the human body.

Felderman was the first to enroll in the biomedical engineering program. Originally, she was an environmental engineering major, but the combination of biology and engineering interested her. She also said she was interested in the many career opportunities a biomedical engineering major provides.

Those who graduate with the degree can become researchers or even find jobs directly in hospitals.

Students who partake in the biomedical engineering program will take courses in biology as well as courses in engineering. According to Panza, the program will have a strong emphasis in mathematics, physical principles and computer analysis.

“It’s really cool to be getting all this knowledge,” Felderman said.

Gannon will accept its first freshmen into the program this fall.

REBEKA SORGE

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