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Designing a Future in Biomedical Engineering

A boom in medical device manufacturers throughout Orange County and Southern California has created a need for unique workforce preparation — one that Cal State Fullerton’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is addressing through an undergraduate biomedical engineering program with a medical device emphasis.

This will be the first undergraduate program of its kind in Southern California, differentiated by its multidisciplinary emphasis on the design and manufacturing dimensions of medical devices and complementary assistive and rehabilitative technologies.

The curriculum will immerse students in design projects, rapid prototyping and research experiences, supporting crossdisciplinary project activity inclusive of engineering, business, rehabilitation and allied health disciplines. These high-impact practices with industry partners will ensure that students get the necessary experience to be work ready upon graduation in such a fast-growing industry.

“Cal State Fullerton is seeking to produce biomedical engineers who can address medical and health care issues from an engineering-centric point of view,” explained Sang June Oh, the college’s interim associate dean, who is directing the program. “The dependency of California on the biomedical sector is ever growing — and more biomedical engineers must be produced to fulfill this industry demand.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, biomedical engineers, including medical device engineers, will see one of the fastest rates of growth in all engineering occupations, with a 23 percent increase in jobs expected by 2024.

“The region lacks a broadly accessible and accredited undergraduate program with a medical device emphasis. Our plans address this deficiency,” stated Raman Unnikrishnan, the college’s former dean and professor of electrical and computer engineering.

A $300,000 grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support purchasing specialized lab equipment and developing curriculum to prepare students for careers as practicing engineers in the fields of biomedical engineering and assistive and rehabilitation technology.

To learn more about investment opportunities in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, contact Michael Karg, interim senior director of development, at 657-278-3348 or mkarg@fullerton.edu.