Georgia Tech/Emory BME Senior Research Design Program

The Georgia Tech/Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is seeking ideas and advisors from the Atlanta medical/research community for capstone project teams in biomedical engineering. If you have a clinical or surgical oriented idea or "problem," you can work with a team of senior BME students in developing and testing a potential solution.

Students work in teams of four on clinical or research relevant projects with medical, clinical, or PhD project advisors. The course produces BME industry-ready engineers, complete with work skills and technical, business, and clinical literacy. Note: if you would like to be an advisor but have several ideas (or no specific ideas), a team can meet with you to formulate a project idea through clinical observation and idea discussion. Projects from new advisors and faculty that have worked with BME on projects in the past are welcome.

Previous advisors have found working with a student team very rewarding in learning about the phases of design research, generation of engineering alternatives, prototyping and testing, and the FDA 510(k) regulatory pathway for medical device clearance. Examples of past projects include:

  • Intergraded surgical patient monitoring device to reduce "cable clutter"
  • Wearable personal activity device for predictive healthcare
  • Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) improvement for hemodialysis access
  • Defibrillator designed for small animals used in clinical investigative studies
  • Safety device for central venous line insertion

In exchange for having a team of students work on a particular problem, advisors are asked to provide about 10-12 hours during a semester on the following:

  • 2-3 meetings a semester with the project team
  • Provide feedback on project deliverables and team reports
  • End of semester assessment of team's performance
  • If possible, attend the end of semester project presentation

The Senior Design Project course uses biomedical engineering and development, FDA regulations and ISO standards, business and management processes, and clinical projects to complete submitted projects and create products. Industry advisors and non-profits from around the U.S. suggest global health, medical device, basic science, and clinical projects.

Since the beginning of the program in 2008, 27 BME students have participated in research projects with ACTSI investigators with 6-12 months of mentoring and team meetings. In the 2011 InVenture Competition at Georgia Tech, four of the finalist teams worked with ACTSI investigators: Device that Powers Hospital Equipment in Third World Countries, Device that Improves Cataract Surgery, Device that Improves Hospital Intubation Procedures and Device that Discreetly Screens for Medical Implants. The Device that Improves Cataract Surgery BME-ME/ ACTSI team took top prize in the Mechanical Engineering Design Expo symposium.