West Virginia University’s undergraduate biomedical engineering program is one of the top in the nation after graduating just two generations of students.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which has set the educational standard against which professional engineers in the United States are held for licensure, recently made the designation. The accreditation is proof that a collegiate program has met the standards essential to produce graduates ready to enter the critical fields of STEM education.
Established in 2014, the biomedical engineering degree in Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is the first program in the state to receive this prestigious accreditation.
“This national and international peer’s recognition of our program quality in terms of its learning outcomes and their implementation is not only a validation of our team efforts but a testimony of the quality of graduates and quality education they receive,” said Cerasela Zoica Dinu, professor and director of the biomedical engineering program. “By promoting excellence in education we not only serve our profession, but ensure the educational growth and lifelong learning experiences for our students to make them active contributors to the society they integrate with.”
According to ABET, as of 2018, there were approximately 200 schools in the United States to offer the bioengineering and biomedical engineering undergraduate and graduate programs, of those schools only 120 are accredited. The program will now join the likes of the top biomedical engineering programs in the nation.
“I am delighted with the news about the ABET accreditation outcome. It has been a long-term effort and commitment from many over the years,” said Dean Emeritus Gene Cilento. “I was recruited to WVU and was among the few faculty to initiate efforts to develop educational and research programs in this area. The future is bright for this important degree area at WVU.”
The bachelor’s program focuses on developing the engineering skills of its students and applying them to materials, processes and procedures used in the fields of medicine and biology with the overall goal of improving health care.
Cilento explained that the interdisciplinary nature of the program has largely contributed to its success. Expertise from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Lane Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has been imperative to providing modern and cutting edge educational degree programs and to attracting external research funding.
“The biomedical engineering program provides students with both education and research opportunities in the application of engineering principles to the growing field of healthcare,” said Richard Turton, chair and Russell and Ruth Bolton Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. “The recent ABET accreditation of our program attests to the dedication and success of our faculty and students, the continuing success of our graduates, the continuing growth of the health care industry in the state and the future well-being of our citizens.”