NSF announces $10-million center for bioengineering educational technology

A five-university partnership led by Vanderbilt University (Tenn.) will develop bioengineering educational technologies and curricula at a new Engineering Research Center funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through a five-year, nearly $10-million cooperative agreement, the center will support and enhance the education of a new generation of bioengineers needed to strengthen the industry.

The partnership includes Northwestern University (Ill.), University of Texas at Austin, and the joint Division of Health Sciences and Technology of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"We need a new level of educational tools to advance the frontiers of America's bioengineering industry," said Eugene Wong, NSF's assistant director for engineering. "These tools need to integrate basic bioengineering knowledge with the latest understanding of the learning process and the latest computer-based educational systems."

Bioengineers will join learning scientists and computer scientists at the center to address this need.

The researchers expect to develop modular, computer-based courseware, curricula, and educational technology tailored to the needs of bioengineering education, and to disseminate these products to engineering educators. Industry partners and national laboratories will participate in the research and education, and in developing ways to transfer knowledge and technological advances to industry.

Wong noted that two NSF directorates -- the Directorate for Engineering and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences -- will participate in funding the center.


Contact: Jean Thomas
National Science Foundation

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