International Forum on “Convergence and Biological Engineering Education”

Read a summary of the Forum The Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) organized an International Forum on “Convergence and Biological Engineering Education.” Dr. Lalit Verma of the University of Arkansas was an organizer together with Dr. Keith Roper of UA Chemical Engineering department, Dr. Brahm Verma of the University of Georgia and Dr. David Jones of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Forum was held in Norfolk, VA on April 5-7, 2018 in conjunction with the IBE Annual Conference.

The goals of the Forum were to:
  • engage educators, researchers, students and professionals in conversations on trans-disciplinary biological engineering education for the range of career opportunities in food, energy, health and the environment; and
  • learn what philosophical and structural changes are being made by countries and U.S. educational institutions to encourage cross-disciplinary scholarly inquiry and education by such methods as modifying curricula to widen course flexibility, integrate undergraduate research with teaching, open opportunities for experiential and peer learning, and promote innovation.
The Forum included distinguished participants from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and India, and the U. S. participants were from several universities (such as, MIT, CMU, UNC, UMD, Georgia Tech, UGA, UA, UFL and USU), industry (Tyson Food and Forest Concepts) and federal agencies (USDA-NIFA). In the two-day Forum, participants specifically presented and discussed the following four topics:
  1. Philosophy, content and best practices of undergraduate biological engineering education,
  2. Core competencies and role of convergence for educating practicing biological engineers,
  3. Graduate and postgraduate training for non-academic careers, and
  4. Professional society coalition to facilitate convergence for biological engineering education.
The outcomes from the Forum will be captured in reports that will be available at the IBE website (www.ibe.org) and in manuscripts for publication in IBE’s Journal of Biological Engineering. The Institute of Biological Engineering is a community of scientists, engineers and practitioners that is addressing societal problems through systematically organizing the understanding of structure and behavior of living systems and creating biology-inspired design solutions. IBE promotes biological engineering in the broadest and most liberal manner through research, education and professional development.

For more information Contact: Lalit Verma (lverma@uark.edu)