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On the Cutting Edge

The W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation is one of the UTEP labs conducting biomedical engineering research.
Photo courtesy of UTEP
The W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation
is one of the UTEP labs conducting biomedical
engineering research.
It’s no mistake that UTEP was asked to host the 24th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference.

“There’s already a lot of biomedical research and education going on in many of our programs,” said Richard Schoephoerster, dean of the College of Engineering, “and we are working on adding more.”

Biomedical engineering – the use of engineering technologies to solve complex medical and biological problems – is relatively new and UTEP is aggressively developing its program and capabilities in the discipline.

According to Schoephoerster, the university is in the planning stages for master’s and Ph.D. programs in biomedical engineering and hopes to hire additional faculty to help with those plans in the coming months.

On-campus labs like the W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation, which is working in the area of tissue regeneration, and the Laboratory for Industrial Metrology and Automation, which is studying the creation of devices and techniques to improve the rehabilitation of stroke victims, are part of the foundation upon which the newer programs will grow.

Schoephoerster’s resume is another piece of that foundation. Before coming to UTEP, he led efforts to establish programs in biomedical engineering at Florida International University. He was recently named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering as one of the most distinguished bioengineers in the field.

The dean says he sees a wide array of future opportunities for UTEP in the high-tech discipline including collaborations with the Texas Tech Medical School, William Beaumont Army Medical Center and with the many manufacturers in the border region.

“It is very important for UTEP to build our capabilities in this area,” he said. “Biomedical engineering is one of the main areas we will be focusing on because so many opportunities exist and we have a very solid base to build on.”

Miner e-Notes. Citing Internet Resources. [Online], April 23, 2008.