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Date: July 12, 2012

Biomedical Engineering Degree First In Western Canada

The University of Victoria is launching a new undergraduate biomedical engineering degree, the first of its kind west of Ontario. The Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering integrates engineering and biology and focuses on providing careers in one of the fastest growing areas in the health care field.

“Given the increasing demand for health care from an aging demographic and rising health care costs, this program will produce the skilled workforce that BC and Canada needs,” says Tom Tiedje, dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “Biomedical engineers will contribute to making health care more efficient and cost-effective while at the same time providing improved health outcomes for patients.”

The five-year program is also expected to attract more women into the field of engineering. Current trends in engineering show that women make up about 20 per cent of students currently enrolled, while statistics in the field of biomedical engineering have shown that women are drawn to the field, with a 50/50 female to male ratio in biomedical engineering classes.

“I like the balance UVic has achieved between adding quantitative physiology courses while not compromising the electronics and mechanical engineering training these students will receive,” says Scott Phillips, CEO of StarFish Medical, a leading medical device development company based in Victoria. “We look forward to hiring some of the graduates over time.”

Graduates from the program will be able to pursue careers in the biomedical device industry or work in a hospital in support of medical device use. After completing the program, graduates can pursue advanced training or do some minor upgrading and apply to medical school.

Similar to other UVic engineering programs, students will complete four co-operative education work terms and gain practical experience with employers in their field.

“We’ve already had a great deal of interest in this program,” says Tiedje. “We’ve attracted top researchers and faculty and expect this to be a popular option for students coming to UVic.”

For more information on this program, please visit the Biomedical Engineering program page.

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Media contacts:

Katherine Blake (Faculty of Engineering) at 250-721-6102 or kablake@uvic.ca
Phil Saunders (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or email psaunder@uvic.ca

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