Professor Youseph Yazdi, Executive Director of the Centre for Bioengineering Innovation and Design at Johns Hopkins University describes biomedical engineers as bilingual with an ability to speak both the language of medicine and the language of engineering, a hybrid in the engineering world.
Recognition of this bilingual nature comes through the Department of Bioengineering at Johns Hopkins University being both in the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering. For Professor Yazdi biomedical engineering is the application of engineering tools and mindset to biological problems. He really believes, and I would agree, that bioengineers think differently. Johns Hopkins is reported as the top biomedical engineering/ bioengineering department in the USA. Given its strength in basic science and roots in engineering and medicine it is not surprising, but what really interests me about bioengineering at Johns Hopkins now and in the future is the Centre for Bioengineering Innovation and Design which is adding a new dimension of translation and innovation to the discipline.
I was also pleased to meet with the Centre for Educational Outreach while at Johns Hopkins. They are another recipient of NSF funding under the broader impacts programme and I will be excited to see the evaluation from their STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) programme. In particular I was rather taken with the Engineering Adventures programme they mentioned for 8-10 year olds. I love the idea of local Baltimore city school children being tasked with identifying an issue in their community and then coming up with engineering solutions to it. It encourages invention, creativity, problem solving and uses science and maths in real-world scenarios. In a brochure they ask the question ‘how do engineers make the world a better place?’ I would answer this by saying they create a world that has never been. Engineering is the creative, innovative, inventive cousin of science and a field that is both exciting and fulfilling. A message I think the Johns Hopkins team are doing a great job of communicating to their local Baltimore community.
‘Til next post
One comment for “We are bilingual”
The Engineering Adventures scheme looks interesting. I particularly like their Engineering Earthquake Resistant Buildings pack, there is a reference to the earthquake in Haiti within the pack guide and the destructive effect it had on peoples lives. This demonstrates a great link between the science or mechanics of structures and the consideration for the human impact of design, it is an appreciation of that link which runs throughout Bioengineering.