Keith Hautala


College: Engineering

Department of Biomedical Engineering Established

Published: Jul 31, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 31, 2013) — The longstanding biomedical engineering program at the University of Kentucky is now a department within the College of Engineering.


The former Graduate Center for Biomedical Engineering officially became the Department of Biomedical Engineering on July 1, following unanimous approval by the UK Board of Trustees. David Puleo, chair of the department, says the move is a big step forward for the program.


"We have had biomedical engineering here, in one form or another, since the late 1950s," Puleo said. "Until BME degrees were formally established in the 1980s, students were nominally affiliated with some other department — primarily mechanical engineering or physiology — but their main affinities lay in the biomedical engineering program and, especially, here in Wenner-Gren Lab. By becoming a department, we take another step forward, building on the decades of achievements of our alumni, students, staff, and faculty."


Puleo says the college and the university will benefit from the enhanced stature that departmental status confers upon the program.


"Prospective students and faculty often ask us: 'Do you have a Department of Biomedical Engineering?'" he said. "Being able to answer in the affirmative will help to raise the profile of the college in this rapidly growing, highly competitive field. It also enhances the prestige of the college and the university as a whole, in general."


John Walz, dean of the College of Engineering, says the move will help to advance the goals of the college in undergraduate education, in addition to graduate study and research.


"Forming a Department of Biomedical Engineering is an important step in the continued evolution of this program at UK," Walz said. "Given our proximity to UK Chandler Hospital and the UK College of Medicine, biomedical engineering is an important growth area for our college. Having a formal department will not only help us attract the best faculty and graduate students, it will also allow us to offer undergraduate courses in this area, which are always in great demand."


As a graduate center, Biomedical Engineering was unable to tailor courses specifically to undergraduates. As a result, options for undergraduates were limited to a small number of courses that could be taken at only the upper level alongside graduate students. While there are no immediate plans to create an undergraduate major, Puleo anticipates the launch of either a minor or a certificate program, including five or six new undergraduate courses, by the Fall 2014 semester. 


The discipline of biomedical engineering bridges engineering and medicine to advance health care. The history of biomedical engineering at UK began after World War II, with aeronautics research funded by the Air Force at Wenner-Gren Aeronautical Research Laboratory. At that time there was a signal shift in aeronautics research, from rotary aircraft to jet propulsion and rocketry, and it was this foundational work that would eventually lead to the creation of NASA. 


Part of that research involved studying the effects on the human body of the rigors of flight, such as intense vibration or, a bit later on, transitions between terrestrial gravity and the microgravity environment of space. As was the case with computers and robotics, many advances made under the auspices of the space program in biomedical engineering proved to have useful applications here on Earth as well. And so, biomedical engineering came into its own.


Biomedical engineering at UK existed loosely as an area of graduate engineering study throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Eventually, an ad hoc committee was formed to develop a biomedical  engineering program.  This committee was later replaced by a Biomedical Engineering Council. By 1981, there were nine doctoral candidates, five master of science candidates and two postdoctoral fellows participating in the biomedical engineering program.


In 1985, the program was formally constituted as the Center for Biomedical Engineering, under the jurisdiction of The Graduate School at UK. Graduate programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees were approved by the Kentucky State Council on Higher Education in January 1988. Oversight of the center passed from The Graduate School to the College of Engineering in 2010. 



MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-533-2911,

Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
PEIK Seminar: Jim Rogers
Oct 31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman 10/31/2014

Fri, 10/31/2014

Sat, 11/01/2014

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 29 2014 except Sat Sep 20 2014, Sat Oct 18 2014.
Sat, 11/01/2014

Reset Page