Stories about...Bioengineering & Biomedical Engineering

Joshua Whitely makes an adjustment to the 3D Bioprinter during the demo.
BIOE435 Capstone Projects—BIOE Seniors Use Knowledge/Skills to Problem Solve

May 12, 2021

There comes a point in a Bioengineering (BIOE) student’s career at Illinois when they get to demonstrate all the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired, in combination with their creativity and acuity in problem-solving, to come up with a viable solution to a real-world problem. Assistant Professor Holly Golecki’s BIOE 435 Senior Capstone Projects course is one such pivotal point for BIOE seniors—it’s a final chance to prove themselves prior to entering the real world as engineers. Thus, for the students, as well as their professor, the most exciting event of the Spring 21 semester was finally getting to present their completed projects at the May 4th BIOE Senior Design Virtual Symposium—something they’d worked toward for not just a semester—but their entire four years at Illinois, actually.


i-MADE Allows Engineering Underclassmen to Do Healthcare Design, Plus Help Others

March 18, 2020

The new i-MADE RSO (Illinois Medical Advancements through Design and Engineering) is giving its members the best of both worlds. For instance, they’re gaining experience designing medical-field-related projects that will help them get jobs down the road. However, these projects don’t just look good on their resumes; i-MADE members are also getting the chance to make some people's lives better.


Bioengineering Design-a-thon Gives Students a Head Start in Designing Medical Products

November 25, 2019

Bioengineering students who dream of designing medical products in the future got a taste of what it’s like during Bioengineering’s recent Design-a-thon on Friday–Saturday, November 8th–9th. Winners received prizes that anyone would love with the holidays looming: Amazon gift cards. However, while winning a prize was obviously an incentive, many students actually got involved for the design thinking training and to gain expertise in 3D CAD (computer-aided design), specifically Autodesk Fusion 360. Of course, for some, the main incentive was the thrill of competition.


Bioengineering’s Golecki Uses Soft Robotics to Hook Students on Biomedical Engineering…STEM

November 13, 2019

Working with students—opening their eyes to the possibilities—empowering students to believe that they deserve a seat at the table is really important to me.” – Holly Golecki

Holly Golecki, a new Bioengineering (BioE) Assistant Professor, is passionate about biomedical engineering, soft robotics, and using the two to pique young people’s interest in STEM. She’s particularly interested in steering girls onto the engineering pipeline.“I want to empower women and young girls to feel like they deserve a seat at the table in any engineering discipline,” she explains.


Bioengineering freshman, Saaniya Kapur.Bioengineering’s Saaniya Kapur Passionate About Biotech, STEM Outreach

Feburary 8, 2019

Bioengineering freshman Saaniya Kapur’s parents never told her, “Oh, you're too young to do this!” Instead, Mom, who is preschool teacher, and Dad, who is a computer engineer, told her to go for it. So her early love of and exposure to science have shaped her dreams of a career in biotechnology. They have also fueled her passion for STEM outreach. Her goal? To give youngsters, as well as her peers, similar opportunities to fall in love with science the way she has.


A high schooler shows off the device he and hs teammate created.BMES Provides Biomedical Engineering Resources to Students of All Ages

November 14, 2018

One of the main goals of Illinois’ Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) is to shape well-rounded Bioengineering (BioE) students by providing a variety of resources and opportunities for its members. However, almost as important to BMES members is their desire to maintain the BioE pipeline by interesting high school students (and even younger ones) in going into the field—possibly at Illinois. This was the goal of one of their major outreach events of the year—Bioengineer Your Impact—which recently took place on Saturday, November 10th. The 13 high schoolers who showed up on campus for the event discovered what Bioengineering is about through a variety of different activities and interactions.


A BioE GAMES camper practices life-saving techniques on a dummy at the JUMP Simulation Education Center in Peoria. Bioengineering GAMES Camp Uses Cyborg Theme to Introduce High School Girls to the Discipline

June 28, 2018

Cyborgs! Most of the 24 high school girls who participated in the Bioengineering GAMES (Girls’ Adventures in Math, Engineering, and Science) camp from June 17–23, 2018, had no doubt seen movies about them: human beings, like Wolfman of the X-Men, whose physical abilities have been extended beyond normal human limitations via mechanical elements built into their bodies. But the girls’ adventure during the week-long, BioE GAMES camp wasn’t just the stuff of sci-fi movies. They were introduced to some of the real science behind the notion. But participants were not only exposed to a variety of opportunities available to bioengineers. As they rubbed shoulders with role models who look like them—both female and an African-American— they were also exposed to the idea that they, too, could be Bioengineers Plus, they discovered what it might be like to be BioE student or even a medical student at Illinois.


The (Future) Doctor is in the House: Meet an Illinoisan in the Inaugural Carle Illinois medical program

May 30, 2018

What do being a librarian and a doctor have in common? Elizabeth Woodburn has considered both as potential careers. But it is the latter that she will be pursuing as a member of the first ever Carle Illinois College of Medicine class. She is one of two of her 32 peers to hail from the state of Illinois. Coming from Winnetka, IL, Woodburn graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Bioengineering this May. Although her parents encouraged her to look outside the state, she followed in their footsteps and became an Illini. At first, joining a large institution like Illinois seemed daunting, but Woodburn found what she calls “wonderful, small pockets of people within the big school.”


Joy Chen at work in Professor Erik Nelson's lab (photo courtesy of Ashley Lawrence). ResearcHStart Promotes the Next Generation of Scientists by Exposing Local High School Students to Cancer Research

May 9, 2018

When the American Cancer Society discontinued its program exposing high school students to cancer research in laboratories, philanthropists Deborah and Ira Cohen, he's an Illinois CS alumni and she's a huge advocate for cancer research, said to each other: “I wonder if we could do something about that?” So they did. In 2015, they began researcHStart, a program which allows Illinois high school students to discover what a career in cancer research might be like via authentic research experiences in cutting-edge laboratories at Illinois and other campuses in the state.


A group of Local High Schoolers Learn About Bioengineering During BMES' Bioengineer Your Impact Outreach

November 30, 2017

Excited about discovering what studying Bioengineering at Illinois might be like, as well as exploring career options in the field, 20 high school students visited campus on Saturday, November 11 to participate in the second annual Bioengineer Your Impact outreach, hosted by BMES, Illinois’ chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society. During the event, the high schoolers participated in several activities designed to show them how fun and exciting the field can be, including a panel of current Illinois Bioengineering students, talks by representatives from several local startup companies, and a challenging hands-on activity about the heart.


BioE’s Carlos Renteria: Passionate About Education, Curing Alzheimer’s, and Outreach— Particularly Exposing Hispanics to STEM

October 27, 2017

The more you learn, the more you can do. – Carlos Renteria

This was the attitude Carlos Renteria’s dad instilled into him growing up. And it appears to have worked. Currently a PhD student in Bioengineering (BioE) and conducting research in Professor Stephen Boppart’s Biophotonics Imaging Lab, Renteria dreams of becoming a university professor to both teach and do research. And while he’s worked hard to get to where he is today—studying for a Ph.D. at a top engineering school— Renteria says he owes a lot of it to his dad.


BioE GAMES Campers Are Exposed to Bioengineering, Engineering's Grand Challenges, & Encouraged to Stay in STEM

September 6, 2017

Besides being exposed to “cool science and engineering stuff,” such as cutting-edge research like quantum dots, according to director Jenny Amos, the 32 high school girls who attended the 2017 Bioengineering (BioE) GAMES camp this past summer were also introduced to some of engineering's Grand Challenges. However, the main intent of the camp, according to Amos, was to encourage the girls to stay in STEM and, hopefully, recruit some of them into Bioengineering


BMES Outreach Exposes High School Students to Career Possibilities in Bioengineering

October 25, 2016

What is a bioengineer? What do bioengineers do? This is what 20 high school students from around the state hoped to find out at “Bioengineer Your Impact" on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Hosted by BMES, the (Biomedical Engineering Society), a student organization for Bioengineering (BIOE) undergrads, it was the organization’s first large outreach for high school students and was designed to pique the young visitors' interest in Bioengineering.

Undergrads in Bioimaging REU Experience What Research, Graduate School Is Like

July 29, 2016

Ten undergraduate students from around the country participated in the NSF-funded Bioimaging Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Working alongside researchers in Illinois labs, they discovered the exciting world of bioimaging research, got a taste of what graduate school is like, and some might have discovered what they want to do for the rest of their lives.


Wendy Reyes Learns Life Skills in Bioimaging REU

July 29, 2016

When rising junior Wendy Reyes spent the summer doing research in Professor Michael Insana’s Ultrasonic Imaging Lab as part of the 2016 Bioimaging REU, she learned a lot.She learned some research skills: how to train software to recognize cancer in the images of breast tissue.


Bioimaging REU's Matt Kavanaugh Experiences Cancer Research at Illinois

July 29, 2016

Matt Kavanaugh had originally applied to Illinois as an undergraduate, but finances prevented him from coming here. So he matriculated to the University of Kansas, where the rising junior is majoring in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical. However, when searching for something productive to do over the summer, he came across the NSF-funded Bioimaging Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Illinois.


G.A.M.E.S. Campers Learn about Bioengineering While Breaking Down Stereotypes

July 20, 2016

For one week this summer, 32 high school girls were exposed to the world of bioengineering (BioE) at the Bioengineering G.A.M.E.S. camp (July 10th–15th). They learned about many aspects of bioengineering research, such as cell culture, health disparity, biometrics and 3D printing, MRIs, ethnography, synthetic biology, and much more.

Bioengineering Undergrads Build Biobots in New BIOE 306 Course

December 16, 2015

Biobots. The word smacks of scientific breakthroughs in the distant future, or the subject matter of some futuristic, sci-fi movie. But Illinois researchers are currently building and studying biobots as part of their research in this emerging field. However, they're not the only ones. This past semester, Illinois' Bioengineering department piloted a brand new course, BIOE 306, BioFabrication Lab, that teaches undergraduate students how to build them too. Developed as part of the NSF-funded EBICS (Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems) Science and Technology Center, the course distilled down cutting-edge EBICS research and initiated eight Bioengineering juniors and seniors into the mysteries of building with biology. In addition, the idea for this class was developed in part due to the Illinois Innovation Prize, which emphasized the need to teach the next generation of engineers and scientists how to "build with biology."

Bioengineering GAMES camper doing hands-on projectG.A.M.E.S. Campers Experience Bioengineering—and Have Fun

September 24, 2013

The 30 high school girls who attended the 2013 version of the Bioengineering G.A.M.E.S. camp this past summer (July 15–19) were exposed to some cutting-edge research, such as how bioengineering is addressing the delivery of drugs in cancer patients, or microfluidics—how fluids can be constrained to nano-scale devices to study them. However, the main intent of camp co-directors Jenny Amos and Olivia Cangellaris wasn't to recruit the girls into their field. They simply wanted to expose campers to some fun engineering.

Sua Myong works with Allegra Amos during lesson on plasmids.Myong, BioE Undergrads Expose Middle Schoolers to DNA/Cell Measurement

October 31, 2012

On Wednesday afternoons, a number of Illinois bioengineering undergrads can be found at Jefferson Middle School teaching seventh and eighth graders about science. The brain child of Bioengineering professor Sua Myong, this year-long, after-school outreach program funded by the Center for the Physics of Living Cells meets once a week to expose students to techniques used to measure things in cell biology.

Taiwanese trainees work in Illinois lab.B3 Summer Institute Provides Interdisciplinary Training

August 28, 2012

"So it's a good two-week, very intense, but very "get-your-feet-wet" sort of experience. The speaker list is phenomenal... You name the campus, and you've got all the big leagues from anywhere, from this campus and other campuses all over." Irfan Ahmad
Nicknamed B3SI by the planners, the two-week-long BioSensing BioActuation BioNanotechnology Summer Institute 2012, held at the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory (MNTL) from July 30–August 10, 2012, was intended to train participants at the intersection of biology and engineering and to foster networking with other researchers...

textBioE Students Shine in Senior Design

June 4, 2012

After several years of learning principles and how to apply what they had learned to come up with practical solutions for real-life problems, Bioengineering students were given the opportunity to do just that.

Sponsored by industry, university faculty, area medical clinics, and/or the community, Bioengineering seniors participating in this capstone design course over the past academic year completed projects that ranged from diagnosing cancer to designing a prothsesis that will enable below-elbow amputees to swim.