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Engineering Design Challenge


Design Showcase of Innovative Medical Technologies

The Department of Bioengineering at Rice University is known worldwide for its success in providing students with significant early exposure to cutting-edge research, for its real-world engineering design experiences, and for its seamless translation of engineering and research discoveries to patient and public benefit. This focus has contributed our No. 4 best undergraduate biomedical engineering/bioengineering ranking by U.S. News & World Report this year.  

On Sunday, April 17, the department will host a Design Showcase of Innovative Medical Technologies at the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club, Palo Alto, CA from 5:30-8:30 pm for students to present their devices and deliver a 90-second elevator pitch to a panel of industry experts. Eight teams, totaling 27 students, will attend. The event will also include a poster exhibition and dinner. Student awards will be announced around 7:30 pm. Rice bioengineering alumni in the San Francisco, CA area are being recruited to serve as judges and provide feedback to students on their projects with regards to clinical and market potential.

We have a long tradition of biological engineering accomplishments in medical science. As early as 1963, we studied the biophysical dynamics of blood flow, shear stress and strain, and how these factors play a role in cardiovascular disease. Our collaborations with Dr. Michael E. DeBakey at the Baylor College of Medicine contributed to the development of the first artificial heart and were the genesis of the bioengineering research group at Rice.

More and more real-world engineering is being provided to our students, and exposure to engineering design at Rice begins as early as the freshman year. Deeper design experiences continue as students matriculate through their senior year through the year-long senior bioengineering design course or through the Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health. To further prepare engineers for careers in medical device development, the department launched this fall a unique Masters of Bioengineering (M.B.E.) track in Global Medical Innovation. The distinguishing feature of the program is its intense focus on emerging markets.

Under these programs, students learn engineering design process and use them to solve problems drawn from hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, local industry and community partners, Rice researchers and international partners. In these courses, students work in multidisciplinary teams in the engineering design-studio environment of Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK). By interacting with their client throughout the semester, they are challenged and empowered to invent practical devices that serve individual’s or a community’s needs. Many student devices are patented, and have been recognized at national or international design competitions.

Learn more about our engineering design programs at the Rice Bioengineering Channel on YouTube