Biomedical engineers are professionals trained as engineers who specialize in the medical and biological sciences. We use our multidisciplinary expertise to design new medical instruments, devices, and techniques to provide innovative solutions to detect, diagnose, treat and prevent disease.
With more than $12.8 million in annual research expenditures, nearly 100 patents, and 13 startups, our faculty and students are at the forefront of scientific discovery and clinical translation.
To improve human health by integrating education, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering motivates and prepares students to engage in life-long learning. Through the creation, integration, application, and transfer of engineering knowledge to medicine and biology, we have a significant and far-reaching impact on human health. We cultivate an environment that nurtures and promotes the development of our faculty, staff, trainees, and students as professionals and leaders.
Biomedical engineers are essential for pushing forward the frontiers of science and technology, and for developing new tools and techniques to solve some of our most fundamental medical problems. Our work is highly interdisciplinary, involving interactions with physicians, biologists, and engineers from other disciplines. To prepare students for these careers, our undergraduate and graduate curriculum offer diverse learning opportunities with hands-on engagement in design and research.
UW-Madison offers unique opportunities for students to become involved in the practice of biomedical engineering from the minute they set foot on campus. A core element of our undergraduate curriculum is our design series, which engages students in real-life engineering challenges throughout their time at UW-Madison.
BME graduate students engage in collaborative and interdisciplinary research with labs from the Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Colleges of Engineering, Agricultural and Life Sciences, and Letters and Sciences. Many of our students are supported through competitive national fellowships or training grants, and benefit from unique professional development resources such as the Delta Program.
Completed in 2002, our building – the Engineering Centers Building (ECB) – offers state-of-the-art facilities in which students and faculty study, invent, and discover. We are located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus in close proximity to the UW Hospital and Clinics and UW-Madison’s world-class bioscience and biotechnology facilities.
In addition to our location in ECB, many BME faculty members have labs in the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR), which is located on the School of Medicine and Public Health campus. WIMR is designed to encourage unique gatherings of scientists from different disciplines to address urgent health problems of common concern. Additionally, BME faculty are key members of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery/Morgridge Institute for Research (WID/MIR), which is a hub for interdisciplinary research that will lead to the development of new biomedical treatments and technological applications aimed at improving human health and welfare.
Combined, these facilities offer our students and faculty an environment that is unparalleled for research, learning, and innovation, making the University of Wisconsin-Madison an exceptional place to study biomedical engineering.
A critical component of the field of biomedical engineering is the ability to translate basic research advances into effective therapies, techniques, or devices that impact patient care. Through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), faculty and students have the opportunity to patent and license their technologies. To date, 99 patents have been granted, resulting in 18 licenses. These efforts are further supported by the D2P Initiative, which accelerates the commercialization process by providing mentorship, development funding, and business expertise. BME faculty are responsible for numerous startup companies in the Madison area.
Program Educational Objectives (PEOs):
We recognize that our graduates will choose to use the knowledge and skills that they have acquired during their undergraduate years to pursue a wide variety of career and life goals, and we encourage this diversity of paths. Whatever path graduates choose, be it a job, postgraduate education, or volunteer service, be it in engineering or another field, we have for our graduates the following objectives; that they will:
- exhibit strong skills in problem solving, leadership, teamwork, and communication;
- use these skills to contribute to their communities;
- make thoughtful, well-informed career choices; and
- demonstrate a continuing commitment to and interest in their own and others’ education.
The undergraduate program undergraduate educational objectives are reviewed by the Biomedical Engineering faculty at least once annually, and approved by the Faculty Committee.
ABET Student Outcomes (SOs) a-k and BME Specific Outcomes:
Upon graduation we expect that each Biomedical Engineering student will demonstrate:
- an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics (including differential equations and statistics), science, and engineering to solve problems at the interface of engineering and biology
- an ability to design and conduct experiments (including making measurements) on, as well as to analyze and interpret data from living systems; addressing the problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems
- an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
- an ability to function on multidisciplinary and diverse teams and provide leadership
- an ability to identify, formulate, and solve biomedical engineering problems
- an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
- an ability to communicate effectively: by oral, written and graphic modes
- the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
- a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
- a knowledge of contemporary issues
- an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
- and an understanding of biology, human physiology, and chemistry as related to biomedical engineering needs
Our department’s biomedical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org/. The last visit occurred in 2012 and takes place every six years.
You can verify our ABET accreditation by visiting:
- Institution: Select “Wisconsin-Madison, University of.”
- Program Area: Select “Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering.”
- Click the “Search” button.
Enrollment, Spring 2015
Undergraduates in BME: 300
Master of Science in BME: 31
PhD students in BME: 66
Degrees conferred, 2014-2015
Bachelor of Science in BME: 77
Master of Science in BME: 41
PhD in BME: 14
Placement rate for BS graduates
Greater than 95% for the past 10 years
Campus facts and statistics