October 16, 2009

40 Years on the Leading Edge

Biomedical Engineering Department Commemorates Achievement, Looks to Future


The Department of Biomedical Engineering celebrates its 40th anniversary with a day of events including a talk by the leader of the world's largest medical technology company, an open house and reflections by past chairs, Thursday, Oct. 22.

William A. Hawkins, chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, Inc., is the featured speaker for the Allen H. and Constance T. Ford Distinguished Lecture, at the Wolstein Research Building Thursday, 2103 Cornell Road, at 4:30 p.m.

Hawkins will trace the biomedical industry back to its roots, discuss early innovations and the evolution of biomedical engineering and suggest future roles for students and faculty.

He'll also highlight Medtronic's strong ties to Case Western Reserve University. The company funds Medtronic Scholars with scholarships for undergraduate and graduate research, and currently employs 87 Case Western Reserve graduates.

Medtronic has also honored more employees hired from this university than from any other in the country, by naming them Bakken fellows for their distinguished contributions to medical technology. The Medtronic Bakken Society is named for company co-founder Ed Bakken.

Earlier in the day, former department chairs Patrick Crago, Donald Gann, Peter Katona, Robert Plonsey and Gerald Saidel, will look back on the department— the first to offer a joint M.D./Ph.D. program in the country and a pioneering undergraduate program used as a model for others across the U.S. They will discuss innovations from imaging technologies that have made exploratory surgery obsolete, to implantable stimulators that enable the paralyzed to grab and walk and breathe on their own.

Students, faculty and guests are encouraged to come to the department's open house, which features posters of the latest research and technologies under development, and tours of the department's cutting-edge labs in Wickenden Hall. The open house will take place twice during the day, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. For a full list of events, go to the BME Web site .

For more information contact Kevin Mayhood, 216.368.4442.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, October 16, 2009 12:18 PM | News Topics: Case School of Engineering, Events, Lectures/Speakers, School of Medicine, features

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.