Remarks by the President of IBE at the close of the 2019 Annual Conference

St. Louis, Missouri
April 6, 2019


As this banquet comes to a close, I wish to thank the service of outgoing President David Jones.

I am Mark Eiteman. It is both my honor and privilege to have been elected to serve as your president of IBE for the next year.

Twenty-four years ago, in May 1995, ten individuals came together in Atlanta for discussion which would lead to the formation of IBE. IBE shall encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner, interest and inquiry in biological engineering, fostering international cooperation among engineers, scientists, technologists, and allied professionals in order to apply engineering principles to systems of biological origin to improve the quality of the human condition. This is the vision of IBE - In the broadest and most liberal manner. We have had discussions during a workshop yesterday during this conference about diversity. Think about the inherent call for diverse perspectives in this stated vision.

Consider how much has changed in the world since 1995. The human genome was completed in 2003. Today one can sequence the genome of a prokaryote for less than $1000, and I have done so several times this last year. Think about the changes in medical technology or innovations in agriculture and the delivery of food. Consider the breadth of subjects showcased during this conference. Where else can you learn about research involving getting corn to fix nitrogen, stem cells, metabolic engineering or be inspired in educational practices and bioethics? I believe IBE has never been more relevant.

Next March the very special 25th anniversary celebration of IBE will take place in Athens, Georgia. I want you also to imagine what changes might occur in the next 25 years. Having been present at that first meeting in 1995, I now know this statement is particularly worth considering for the undergraduate and graduate students here in attendance. Where will you go for your information and community? Where will you engage with your professional colleagues?

And so, as I close I make a couple requests. First, I ask you to tell a colleague and invite them to participate and engage with this community to guide us for the next 25 years, and become members. And, I ask you to join us in Athens in 2020.

Thank you and good night.
Mark A. Eiteman
President of IBE, 2019-2020