After years of significant student involvement in its biomedical engineering club, BYU now has an established chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). BMES is the lead national organization and professional home for biomedical engineering and bioengineering disciplines.
BYU has had an active biomedical engineering club since 2005. Christian Esplin, current club president, feels this new status is the result of the commitment BYU students have to biomedical work.
“The affiliation BYU's students have in biomedical engineering is more official and more professional now than ever before,” said Esplin, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering.
BYU does not currently offer a degree in biomedical engineering, but Esplin sees this as a step in the right direction.
“We hope that interested students will find help and gain the advantage they need to be just as competitive and influential as engineers graduating from biomedical engineering programs,” he said.
The BYU Biomedical Engineering Club gets students involved through field trips to biomedical facilities, hands-on projects, and guest speakers. The group also hosts an annual conference that showcases the inspiring biomedical engineering research happening on campus. The change from a club to a society will not significantly alter the groups’ activities.
“The main advantages for students are in visibility, credibility, and networking opportunities,” said Anton Bowden, associate professor of mechanical engineering and the club advisor for the past four years. “The transition to a society provides the credibility and benefits of a formal, national society to our students. It also opens doors for finding jobs, attending conferences, and pursuing graduate education in this field.”
Because of the quality of the existing biomedical engineering club, the process of getting the society on campus was not a strenuous one, according to Bowden.
“We needed to show that we have a thriving group of students with interest in biomedical engineering,” Bowden said. “Minimum requirement from BMES is 10 registered members—we have 30!”
Beyond the club’s registered members, many students are unofficially active with the organization too.
“Our mailing list has had over 100 active participants,” Bowden said. “Our initial club activity this year drew an attendance of approximately 70 students, and our officer elections meeting drew about 50 students.”
BYU BMES will host this year’s “Emerging Ideas in Biomedical Research” conference on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Clyde Building Lounge.