Tech didn't have a medical school facilityexcept for its
veterinary programand Wake Forest University lacked an engineering
school. And both schools saw the future of medical and engineering technology
in biomedical engineeringa discipline that seeks to improve human
health through the cross-disciplinary integration of engineering, biology
and biomedical sciences.
was solved this past October by an agreement between the two schools
that paves the way for the creation of a jointly-run Virginia Tech-Wake
Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. The
new school, which Wake Forest associate professor of medical engineering
Peter Santago says he hopes will have a national impact,
plans to focus first on the areas of biomechanics, tissue and cell engineering,
and bioimaging and signal processing. Later the school intends to expand
its research into the areas of nanobioengineering, microelectrical machines,
enrolled in the program can study at either campus, depending on their
adviser's location, and will have access to biomedical engineering
courses at both universities via distance learning. The new school will
be run jointly by Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, its Virginia
Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Wake Forest University
School of Medicine. Faculty members from each university will be granted
adjunct appointments on the other campus.
School plans to offer M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering
and aims to become the focus of collaborative research. The school hopes
to jointly admit the first students in the fall of 2002 and expects
between 80 to 100 students within five years.
middle school students are tomorrow's engineers. At least that's
the idea behind the National Engineers Week Future City Competition,
which drew around 30,000 seventh and eighth graders from across the
country during preliminary contests this fall.
work in teams of three under the guidance of a teacher and an engineer
to create their vision of the city of tomorrow, first on the computer
and then as a 3D scale model. Ideas from the past have ranged from solar
powered monorails to communication chip implants under every citizen's
fingernails at birth.
specific task is for teams to utilize an energy source that is cheap,
efficient, and environmentally safe.
spent the fall semester planning, designing, and building their models.
Twenty-seven teams were selected in the January regional competitions
to travel to Washington, D.C., February 19 for the national finals.
The winning team receives a trip to space camp, while runners-up are
awarded cash grants to improve their schools' technology programs.
Rieg, national director for the competition, said that it provides students
from different backgrounds the opportunity to learn about the practical
applications of their math, science, and technological skills. Students
learn long after the competition is over, she said.
tenth year, the contest strives to introduce a new generation of young
people to engineering, which might lead them down a career path they
otherwise might not consider.
of Wisconsin-Madison is working to create a living laboratory
for gender equity in the areas of engineering and science. They aren't
going to be growing women in petri dishesbut thanks to a new $3.75
million National Science Foundation grant, the College of Engineering
will be able to create a Women in Science and Engineering Leadership
will be developed to coordinate activities and research on getting
more women recruited, retained, and advanced in academic science and
engineering, said Molly Carnes, professor of medicine at UW and
director of the UW Center for Women's Health.
Among the planned programs and services are leadership development for
women faculty and staff, endowed professorships for women in science,
and grants to help women manage junctures where careers and family conflict.
builds on an already innovative WISE program at UW. Their Women in Science
and Engineering Residential Program, in its fifth year, provides housing
as well as social and academic support for women studying science and
engineering. Over 100 women currently participate in this program, which
the university claims has led to a lower drop-out rate from science
and engineering majors as well as higher average grade-point averages
John Wiley expressed his pleasure at the opportunity before UW. WISELI
represents a major step toward improving the campus climate, Chancellor
Wiley said. With their grant, NSF is turning to us for leadership
on the issue of women in science.
cosmic hitchhiking. When the shuttle Endeavor took off on December 5,
three Penn State experiments hitched a ride.
at Penn State took advantage of NASA's Get Away special program,
which allows groups to send canisters up with shuttle launches for a
fee. Lockheed-Martin donated the space for three experiments to the
school's College of Engineering for the December launch. This is
Penn State's third foray with the programthe school sent
up experiments on the 1986 Columbia shuttle and on board the 1996 launch
around, their capsule traveled aboard the Endeavor on its 10-day mission
to the international space station. During that time, the projects that
the students designed were executed and the results were recorded by
a computer program designed by electrical engineering junior Mike Wyland.
experiments, one measuring orbital debris, a germination experiment,
and another using a magnetometer, are the end result of over five
years of work. They were designed and implemented by more than 75 students
across the College of Engineering and other academic disciplines.
not every day you work at something that will leave the planet. It's
been an incredible experience, said Wyland. Additionally, these
projects may have far-reaching effects. NASA has expressed interest
in the results of the orbital debris experiment, which used an accelerometer
to register and measure the amount of microfragments hitting the ship's
hull. Since this cosmic debris degrades the surface of the spacecraft,
understanding the mass and amount of microfragments a space ship encounters
may be the first step in creating a new, stronger material to combat
Horrigan is an editoral intern at Prism magazine.
She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
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