North Carolina A&T Bioengineering Programs Produce First Graduates In 2012-13

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

The NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials (ERC-RMB), headquartered at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, made history by graduating its first two Master of Science students in Fall 2012. Additional students have completed their Masters degree requirements and are graduating along with the program’s first Bachelor of Science students in 2013.

Impact/benefits: 

These bioengineering education programs are the nation’s first bioengineering degree programs offered on a stand-alone basis at a historically black university. The University of North Carolina (UNC) General Administration approved these degree programs in June 2010, and the first graduate students entered the program that year. The undergraduate program started in Spring 2011. Both programs are attracting an interdisciplinary student body from all over the nation with impressive demographic characteristics: graduate students are 70% female, 90% African-American, 90% US nationals; and, undergraduate students are 60% female, 80% African-American, 20% white, 100% US nationals.

Explanation/Background: 

ERC-RMB faculty spearheaded these degree programs, providing students with learning and research experiences in bioengineering. The center’s university partners (Pittsburgh and Cincinnati) and industrial partners are offering internships to the students, and global research and education experiences are available through the ERC’s global research partner Hannover Medical School (MHH) in Germany and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) in India.

These activities provide students with professional development opportunities and serving as a human resource pipeline to industry, medical school, and graduate research programs nationwide. North Carolina A&T’s bioengineering students in 2012 chartered the first-ever HBCU student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), a fact recognized in the society’s president at its 2012 Annual Meeting.