News Archive

March 2012

January  2012


  • Microthreads help grow new muscles
    Mending muscle: Hair-thin threads like the ones shown here were seeded with muscle cells and implanted into wounds to help heal muscle in mice.
  • Cell-Seeded Sutures 
    Biological sutures: Hair-thin threads seeded with stem cells (marked in red and blue) could help heal the heart. 
  • Biomedical Engineering, Nanotech Likely Among Top Jobs Of Coming Decade.
    The Wall Street Journal (5/26, Shellenbarger) reports on predictions regarding what will be the in-demand jobs by 2018, noting 10-year projections by the Labor Department which indicate the fastest-growing occupation will be biomedical engineering. Nanotechnology, home healthcare professionals and network systems analysts are among the other professions mentioned. The Journal takes care to point out that the accuracy of such predictions are limited in several ways, and also notes that job opportunities vary by region.
  • 2011 Biomedical Engineering Project Presentation Day 
  • BME rated No. 1 of top 30 fastest-growing jobs by 2018 
  • BME Majors Awarded $500 Stipend to Advance Project’s Entry in Competition - December 21, 2010
    A team of undergraduate biomedical engineering majors has been awarded a $500 BMEidea (Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Award) stipend from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).  
  • 2008 Graduate Achievement Day
    The third annual Graduate Research Achievement Day (GRAD 2008) was held on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 in the Campus Center Odeum. GRAD 2008 celebrated the research activities of graduate students with a poster-style symposium. The event provided graduate students the opportunity to present their research to peers, faculty, the WPI community and their guests.
  • WPI Biomed Program No. 2 in Nation for Percentage of Degrees Awarded to Women - November 16, 2007
    WPI has been ranked number two in the nation for the percentage of bachelor degrees in biomedical engineering (BME) that are awarded to women.
  • WPI Ranked No. 2 in Nation in Percentage of Biomedical Engineering Degrees Awarded to Women - November 9, 2007
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been ranked number two in the nation for the percentage of bachelor degrees in biomedical engineering (BME) that are awarded to women. The honor was announced by the American Society of Engineering Education in its October 2007 edition of Prism magazine. In 2006 (the year the rankings are based on), WPI awarded 56.8 percent of biomedical engineering degrees to female graduates.
  • WPI - Transformations: Creating Synergy - May 2006
    Grant McGimpsey (BEI), Alex DiIorio (BBT), Kristin Wobbe (CBC), Yitzhak Mendelson (BME), Eric Overström (BBT), and Kristen Billiar (BME), are just some of the faculty who will do research in WPI’s new facility at Gateway Park.
  • In Memoriam: Jennifer McLaughlin '06, Our Young Alum
    It is with sadness that we notify you of the passing of one of our alums, Jennifer McLaughlin (Spencer, MA), Class of 2006. Jen passed away in her sleep this weekend and funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. 
  • On Thursday, October 30, a retirement reception was held in Higgins House where colleagues, staff and students had the opportunity to thank Dr. Peura for his 40 years of dedicated service to WPI and the BME Department. View our photo gallery of Dr. Peura's reception.

Students in the News

  • BMEStudent awarded Goldwater Scholarship 
    Congratulations to Andrew Black ’11 and Andrew K. Capulli ’11 who were named 2010 Goldwater Scholars today by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Goldwater Scholarship program fosters and encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. Since 2002, sixteen WPI students have been named Scholars or Honorable Mention recipients in the Goldwater Scholarship competition.
  • Adebayo earns ESPN the Magazine Co-Sida Academic Honor 
  • Syed Ali '09
    Congratulations to Syed Ali '09 who was recently elected as President of the Student Government Association for the 2008 calendar year. Syed, has been involved with the SGA since A-term of his freshman year. At WPI, Syed is majoring in Biomedical Engineering concentrating in biomechanics/tissue engineering/regenerative engineering and hopes to attend medical school upon graduation.
  • Shawn Carey '09
    Congratulations to Shawn Carey '09 who received the 2008 Goldwater Scholar Honorable Mention. This award is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
  • Syed Ali '09 and Nicholas Pelletier '09
    Congratulations to Syed Ali '09 and Nicholas Pelletire '09 who were selected as recipients of an Honorable Mention for the Two Towers Prize. This award is given to students who, through general academic competence, campus leadership, regular course work, and special work in research and projects, best exemplify a combined proficiency in the theoretical and practical union that is at the heart of the WPI educational tradition.
  • Justine Roberts '08 and Lynn Worobey '08
    Congratulations to Justine Roberts '08 and Lynn Worobey '08 who have each recieved a Salisbury Award. This award is made to the most meritorious seniors at the university. It was established by Stephen Salisbury II, a WPI founder and the first president of the Board of Trustees.
  • Paola A. Pinzon-Arango BS '05 and MS '08
    Congratulations to Paola Pinzon-Arango BS'05 and MS '08 who received the 2008 Sigma Xi Outstanding Master's Thesis Research Award for her project entitled "Investigating the Effects of Cranberry Juice on the Physiochemical Properties of Escherichia Coli for the Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections." This award is presented for outstanding research by students at the master's and doctoral levels and is sponsored jointly by the Society of the Sigma Xi and the Committee on Graduate Studies and Research.

Faculty in the News

  • Prof. Kristen Billiar
    WORCESTER, Mass.– May 12, 2009 – – Kristen L. Billiar, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work at the National University of Ireland Galway on research and education related to tissue engineering. Billiar, who will be in Ireland for the 2009-10 academic year, is the 14th member of the current WPI faculty to be awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant. read more
  • Prof. Kristen Billiar
    At the recent regional American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference hosted by WPI, Prof. Kristen Billiar was presented with the Outstanding Paper award for his paper "Streaming Video Tutorials for Complex Laboratory Techniques: Lessons Learned in Sophomore and Junior Biomechanics Courses". The theme of the conference was Engineering Education and Practice for the Global Community, and the paper was presented in the session on Innovations in Engineering Education.
  • Prof. Mendelson
    CBS affiliate Boston TV Channel 4 recently aired a piece describing the Wireless Telehealth project that Prof. Mendelson (BME Department) and Profs. Pedersen and Michalson (both from the ECE Department) are working on. The project is part of the WPI Bioengineering Institute Center for Untethered Healthcare.


  • 2011 Salisbury Award Recipients
    Congratulations to Andrew Capulli and Jeffrey Marrion for being selected as recipients of the 2011 Salisbury Award. This award exemplifies hard work and outstanding accomplishments you have made during your four years at WPI. We are all proud of your outstanding accomplishments!
  • Sigma Xi Research Award
    Congratulations to Marsha Rolle, one of this year winners of the Sigma Xi Outstanding Senior and Junior Faculty Researcher Awards.
  • BME Senior Awarded Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research
    Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Adebayo (BME '11) was awarded a competitive Grant in Aid of Research in the amount of $1,000 from the national chapter of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. The award will support Funmi's independent research project "Analysis of material properties and failure behavior of cell-derived tissue rings". The project, which Funmi began as a summer research intern in the Rolle Lab through the 2009 WPI NSF REU program in bioengineering, is a collaboration with Prof. Kris Billiar's tissue biomechanics laboratory. The overall goal of the study is to evaluate the mechanical and structural differences between engineered vascular tissue ring constructs comprised of cells and cell-derived extracellular matrix, compared to cells embedded in natural biopolymer gels such as collagen and fibrin
  • Award Received from BMEideaLAB
    Congratulations to Samantha Brown, Kushal Palkhiwala, Bhavika Shah and Keeon Tabrizi, the project that they submitted for a BMEidea stipend, BioPacer, was approved for a $500.00 award.
  • Congratulations Sarah Mattessich accepted into the 2011 NIH BESIP
    Congratulations to Sarah Mattessich, one of the 16 students to participate in the 2011 Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program (BESIP) at the National Institutes of Health this summer. Approximately 171 applications from 73 colleges and universities were received for this competition. The BESIP Selection Committee, composed of eight engineers and scientists at NIH, agreed that Sarah’s application was among one of the best submitted.
  • Presidential IQP Award Winners 
  • Alfred R. and Janet H. Potvin Biomedical Engineering Fund 
    In addition to the two "Potvin Outstanding Student Awards" given to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in Biomedical Engineering, Alfred R. and Janet H. Potvin shall also support the "Alfred R. and Janet H. Potvin Undergraduate Scholar in Biomedical Engineering" Scholarship.
  • HFSP short term fellowship awarded to Dr. Billiar
    Dr. Billiar has been awarded a Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) Short-term Fellowship to study the mechanics of fiber-based scaffolds at the nano-level at Twente University in The Netherlands. The varied arrangement and interconnectivity of collagen fibers, the primary structural protein in the body, give rise to a tremendous array of macroscopic tissue behaviors from stiff tendons to compliant skin. Interactions between fibers determine how external forces are transferred to cells, which in turn regulates the cell behavior. Quantitative knowledge of structure-function relationships of these fibrous tissues is critical for elucidating complex mechanisms of cell interactions with the surrounding matrix in health and disease. Knowledge from this project will also have direct relevance to designing scaffolds for tissue engineering.
  • 2007 Biomedical Engineering MQP Project Presentation Day
    Biomedical Engineering Department Awards, April 2007
    ◦"A Device for Monitoring the Severity of Peripheral Edema"
    Presenters: Charles Gammal (ME/ECE), Erika Hall, Rachelle Horwitz, Stephanie LeGare
    Advisors: Kristen Billiar, Yitzhak Mendelson, Raymond Dunn (UMMS), John McNeill (ECE)
    ◦Honorable Mention (tie)
    "Design of a Reproducible Murine Femoral Fracture Device"
    Presenters: Melissa Byrne, Benjamin Cleveland, Joseph Marturano
    Advisors: Kristen Billiar, John Wixted (UMMS)
    ◦Honorable Mention (tie)
    "Design of a High-Throughput Molecular Diffusion System to Characterize Membrane Transport"
    Presenters: Rachael Buteau, Thomas Jenket, Christina Mezzone
    Advisors: George Pins, Katie Bush (GS)
    The 2007 Biomedical Engineering MQP Project Presentation Day was held on 04/17/07 at Kinnicutt Hall in Salisbury Labs. For more information please visit the PPD webpage.
  • Billiar, Kristen, Streaming Video Tutorials for Complex Laboratory Techniques: Lessons Learned in Sophomore and Junior Biomechanics Courses. Presentation was awarded Outstanding Paper at the ASEE conference, March, 2006.
  • Mendelson, Y, Floroff, V, and Comtois, G. Wireless Reflectance Pulse Oximetry for Remote Triage Applications, Poster was presented at the MEDi2005 Conference and Exposition, Hartford, CT, October 2005. The poster won a First Prize Award ($500).
  • The Student Chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) was awarded an Honorable Mention Award at the 2005 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
  • Kevin Cornwell and Brett Downing, two WPI/UMMS Joint PhD Program Graduate Students, were awarded Biomedical Engineering Society Chapter Awards for travel to the 2005 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
  • Helena Zec, BME '06 was awarded a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship to study in either the Netherlands or Switzerland for the academic year 2006-2007.
  • Professor Mendelson, in collaboration with Professors Michalson and Pedersen were awarded a grant from the Department of Defense/Army for research on real-time troop physiological status monitoring systems.
  • Professors Billiar and Hoffman (WPI Mechanical Engineering faculty) received a WPI Teaching Technology Fellowship for 2004-2006 entitled "Self-Paced Biomechanics Lab Technique Modules." Read more about the fellowships...
  • Professor Billiar was recently awarded a Johnson & Johnson Wound Management/UMMS Department of Surgery Grant entitled "Mechanical analysis of forces exerted on the sternum in vivo for the design of an accurate sternal fixation testing device" administered through Dr. Billiar's UMMS appointment.
  • Second year graduate student Katie Bush received a travel award from the national chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society to present her poster presentation at the recent meeting in Philadelphia.
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