Bioengineering, acoustics, and magnetic resonance engineering

The analytical tools of the electrical engineer are applicable in exciting interdisciplinary careers in areas as diverse as bioengineering, medicine, ultrasonics, acoustics, audio engineering, electronic music, and human computer interaction. For example, the electrical engineer's competence in information processing and complex systems analysis has proven to be exceptionally valuable in quantitative studies of the relationships between biomedical systems and their environments. Ultrasonic engineers apply high-frequency acoustic energy to many biomedical and industrial problems, ranging from welding to blood flow measurement to deep heating tissue. Audio-frequency acoustic sensors are used to record the patient's health and environment, and for portable human-computer interaction. Likewise, biosensors are valuable tools in the areas of pharmaceutical research, patient diagnostic tests for disease, environmental monitoring, and manufacturing quality control. New optical imaging methods are being developed that enable high resolution monitoring of retinal blood vessels, coronary arteries, tissues, and tumors that do not use ionizing radiation and are minimally invasive to the patient. The principles of micro and nanofabrication that have been developed for the microelectronics industry are now being applied toward devices that can perform rapid DNA sequencing and perform high sensitivity measurements upon individual cells.

Bioegineering Minor

The Bioengineering Minor offers the student the flexibility to choose among the following areas of specialization: biomedical engineering, biomolecular engineering, bioprocessing engineering, cell and tissue engineering, and rehabilitation engineering. Depending on the area of specialization, 19 to 23 hours are required to complete the minor. However, many of the required courses are allowed as electives so that the minor can usually be completed without taking hours beyond the 128 required for graduation.

As an example, the biomedical engineering specialization within the minor requires:

  • BIOE 120Introduction to Bioengineering;
  • ECE/BIOE 414Biomedical Instrumentation;
  • CHEM 232Elementary Organic Chemistry;
  • MCB 401Cell and Membrane Physiology;
  • either MCB 103Introduction to Human Physiology or MCB 402System and Integrative Physiology;
  • MCB 403 and 404 (laboratories for 401 and 402);
  • and a three hour bioengineering elective course, chosen from a list of approved bioengineering electives. The possible electives include many of the courses listed below (for those interested in Biomedical Imaging, Biomedical Sensors and Instrumentation, Microelectromechanical Systems, Biological Neural Networks and Biological Modeling, and Ultrasonics and Biophysical Acoustics).

You must go to the College of Engineering Dean's Office, 206 Engineering Hall, to register for one of the areas of specialization within the minor. Students intending to attend medical school should immediately contact advisers at Health Careers House, 1202 W. Green St. (333-7079), for further suggestions regarding courses. The Bioengineering Office,3120 Digital Computer Lab, 333-1867, has more information on the Bioengineering Minor, the most recent list of approved Bioengineering elective courses for the minor and information on Bioengineering research and student activities across campus.

Students are advised to consult the information available from the Bioengineering Home Page.

Areas of Interest

The courses below are suggestions for several interest areas related to Bioengineering and Acoustics. Students should consult their adviser to tailor their program to their specific interests.

Biological Neural Networks and Biological Modeling:
Other suggested courses: CS 440, CS 446, ECE 461ECE 414ECE 459ECE 486.

Biomedical Imaging:
ECE 380: Biomedical Imaging
ECE 472: Biomedical Ultrasound Imaging
ECE 480: Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
ECE 467: Biophotonics
Other suggested courses: ECE 461ECE 310ECE 459, NPRE 435.

Biomedical Sensors and Instrumentation:
ECE 414ECE 415: Biomedical Instrumentation
ECE 467: Biophotonics
ECE 416: Biosensors
ECE 437: Sensors and Instrumentation
Other suggested courses: ECE 461ECE 453ECE 459ECE 464ECE 469ECE 475, and strong computer applications experience.

Electronic Music and Audio Engineering:
ECE 402: Electronic Music Synthesis
ECE 403: Topics in Audio Engineering
ECE 473: Fundamentals of Engineering Acoustics
Other suggested courses: ECE 310, ECE 311, ECE 342ECE 461ECE 391ECE 412,and ECE 459MUS 101MUS 402MUS 407MUS 499, and PHYS 406.

Microelectromechanical Systems:
ECE 340: Semiconductor Devices
ECE 444: Theory and Fabrication of Integrated Circuit Devices.
ECE 485: Introduction to MEMS
Other suggested courses: ECE 485ME 300 or MSE 401ME 340ME 310 or TAM 335.

Speech Processing:
ECE 473: Fundamental of Engineering Acoustics
Other suggested courses: ECE 310ECE 313

Ultrasonics and Biophysical Acoustics:
ECE 472: Biomedical Ultrasound Imaging
ECE 473: Fundamental of Engineering Acoustics
Other suggested courses: ECE 310

Core Faculty In This Area

Assistant Professor
Teaching Associate Professor
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Teaching Professor Emeritus
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor, Bioengineering
Professor, Physics
Assistant Professor
Founder Professor, starting July 2024