New bioengineering master’s program is hands-on

Dan Lykens

Shawn Carey, Staff Writer

For the 2012-2013 academic year the College of Science and Engineering is offering a new master’s program in bioengineering.

The program was officially launched this semester and has nine students taking the 36 -credit course.

“It has been tremendous, because of what it took to launch the program, we did not get it approved until late into the academic year (Spring 2012),” program director Dr. Rodney Ridley said.

The program is the first of its kind in the Wyoming Valley. It is designed to give students  a chance to get hands-on experience and practice real-world situations during their studies at Wilkes.

“I am anxiously excited to get things going and to see if the program will work,” Associate program director Dr. William Terzaghi said.

“The bioengineering program is an exciting development for Wilkes University and an important asset for northeast Pennsylvania,” Wilkes president Dr. Patrick Leahy said in a release. “Offering this advanced program will help the region increase jobs by meeting industry needs and solidifies Wilkes as the region’s premier provider for science and engineering education,” Leahy said.

Students who are accepted into the program will choose between two tracks: biomedical engineering and cell/metabolic engineering.

“The job market requires highly skilled candidates,” Justin Flam, a student in the program said in a release. “This puts me in a better position to get a job right out of college at a higher pay rate, especially in the science and technology fields.”

Associate program director Dr. Gregory Harms, who also teaches in the program, commented on the uniqueness of the two-track system at Wilkes.

“Usually most programs have more of a one-track mind,” Harms said. “I think that is one of our advantages, we really have a two-track program and we are thrilled to have it.”

In order to be in the program, students need an undergraduate degree in engineering or biology. Harms also commented the uniqueness of bringing these two majors together into one program.

“Biologists are going to work directly with the engineers and the engineers get to work directly with the biologists,” Harms said.

Ridley stated students are going to have a lot of advanced hands on experience in the classroom and applying it to real world situations.

“You would be hard pressed to find a school where you can get really hands on, world class research and access to industry,” Ridley said. “You get the benefit of what makes small schools great which is access and personal relationships and working with professors.”

Students who are interested in the program should contact the graduate admissions department counseler Joshua Savitski at [email protected] or (570) 408-4238.

Students will have to meet the graduate level admissions requirements to be in the program and  are strongly encouraged to have either a biology or engineering background.