UH took another important step toward establishing a new degree program during Wednesday's Undergraduate Council meeting.
Larry Williams, biology professor and chairman of the council's committee on degree programs, presented a proposal to recommend to the administration that a bachelor's of science degree in biomedical engineering be created.
After discussion, the council approved the proposal. Should the program receive approval from the administration, it will begin in Fall 2003 and will be part of the Cullen College of Engineering.
Biomedical engineering provides advances in medical technology to improve quality of life for patients. Research and development in the field has produced many devices, including the pacemaker, high-quality prosthetic limbs, imaging technologies including CT scans and MRI, and artificial organs.
The new degree program will combine the study of biology and engineering into a single field. In the past, UH students interested in biomedical engineering were forced to learn what they could while getting a degree in one field or the other.
"We want this degree, because we should have a connection with the biomedical side of things," said Larry Witte, associate dean for undergraduate programs and professor of mechanical engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering.
The only program of its kind in the state right now is at Texas A&M University, although other universities are attempting to begin programs.
With major advances being made in the field, the Cullen College of Engineering felt it was time to bring the program to UH.