About The College
The College of Engineering and the Morsani College of Medicine Create a Department of Medical Engineering
The new department will be home to USF's growing biomedical engineering program.
By Janet Gillis
Tampa, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2016) -- The College of Engineering and the Morsani College of
Medicine at the University of South Florida have established the Department of Medical
Engineering, a unique transdisciplinary concept that will combine the related aspects of
engineering and medicine while providing access to real-world health care environments for
education and research.
The faculty will consist of both physicians and engineers specializing in chemical and
mechanical engineering, biomedicine and nanotechnology with initial concentrations in a broad
range of biomedical engineering areas such as nanotechnology for drug delivery, orthopedics,
and cardiology, neurology and cancer.
"The new program will focus on how best to help patients and improve medical care," said
Robert H. Bishop, dean of the USF College of Engineering. "We are creating an environment
where intellectual collisions can readily occur between engineering professors, medical doctors,
researchers, and students leading to innovative solutions that save lives and improve the quality
of health care. In addition, occupations in biomedical engineering are typically high paying and
are showing above average growth in the United States."
While most biomedical engineering programs are based only within engineering, medical
engineering at USF will offer a unique concept that pairs engineers with doctors and medical
residents in a clinical setting. Graduate students will spend time at Tampa General Hospital
meeting with surgeons and going into the operating room as observers. In addition to completing
a thesis, graduate students will be encouraged to obtain a patent and publish an article in a peer-reviewed
"This medical engineering department will enhance opportunities for doctors and engineers to
learn from one another in real-world clinical environments," said Dr. Charles J. Lockwood,
senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. "It will
facilitate joint work on applied research, including drug discovery and delivery and the
development of medical devices and imaging to solve health care problems and improve patient
The success of the USF biomedical engineering (BME) graduate program, which has grown
more than 50 percent over the last five years and is currently the largest BME graduate program
in Florida, will lead to the launch of a bachelor's program in biomedical engineering at USF in
the near future.
Robert Frisina, PhD, director of the Biomedical Engineering Program, will serve as interim chair
of the Medical Engineering Department. An advisory group of National Academy members is
being formed to help attract world class faculty to the new program.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success.
USF is a Top 25 research university among public institutions nationwide in total research expenditures,
according to the National Science Foundation. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an
annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the
American Athletic Conference.