An update on bioengineering’s successes this academic year

As the Department of Bioengineering is at the end of this academic year, it is an opportune time to reflect on the shared values and accomplishments that define the department. At a September 2022 faculty retreat, faculty embraced the theme of “Impact Built Together,” recognizing that BioE’s collaborative efforts are the foundation of its strength and what sets it apart. Our committees and staff have had some remarkable results this year. Here are some highlights:

Department Infrastructure
New committees were created or revised including a new Executive Committee and Academic Services team. A new marketing and communications manager has been hired. Key infrastructure gaps were filled while providing leadership pathways.

Professional Development and Community
An Early Career Leadership Taskforce, mid-career lunches and a mentoring program were formed to offer new opportunities for faculty.

Transforming Financial Services
The department implemented a new partnership with the Engineering Collaboration Core and realized time savings and customer service gains for purchasing and reimbursements. This is part of a larger movement across higher education to improve efficiency and cut waste.

Awards and Events Committee

This committee introduced new events to foster community and is actively nominating our community members for well-deserved awards. Read about Coffee Chats, one of the ongoing events students and faculty created.

Strategic Teaching and Enrollment Management Committee
BioE developed equitable policies that address the evolving needs of our teaching and learning enterprise.

Graduate Student Feedback
In response to student requests to share feedback on their experiences in research labs, a new feedback program was created and approved. This program will provide a platform for student voices in our research laboratories and is a demonstration of faculty and staff’s commitment to their education, exceptionalism and well-being.

Engaging Shared Governance in the Faculty Senate
BioE has benefited from working closely with the UW Faculty Senate, which is the faculty-driven legislative body of the university. The current senators have played a vital role in keeping the department informed about important legislation, allowing BioE to actively shape UW policies and practices.

Graduate Admissions Committee
A new values-based, holistic admissions approach was unveiled, yielding increased enrollment of international students and continues to collaborate with partners to incorporate best practices into our graduate recruiting efforts.

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting Committee
BMES has partnered with the College of Engineering to develop workshops using an innovative model, ensuring BioE’s prominence at the Seattle meeting in October 2023.

Department Policies-Adjuncts and Affiliates
BioE revised policies to actively enhance engagement of our adjunct and affiliate professors, aligning our policies with our shared values.

Fueling Innovation
The department supported the renewal of the Center for Translational Muscle Research administratively and through a pledge of fiscal support. Mike Regnier, UW professor of bioengineering, started the center, which is focused on muscle research for Seattle’s biomedical research community. BioE faculty maintain an ongoing commitment to supporting other research centers throughout the campus community.  Additionally, our faculty took the lead in the submission of a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant (T32), to support interdisciplinary training of graduate students.