Biomedical Engineering (BME) at the Technion began as early as the mid 1940's, when the body's bio-electric phenomena were studied in the Department of Electrical Engineering. The interest and enthusiasm generated by this new field of studies grew so rapidly that by 1968 over forty ongoing biomedical projects were underway at various Technion departments. In 1969, the Julius Silver Institute was set up to house all the Technion's biomedical engineering research, and the interdisciplinary Department of Medical and Biological Engineering was formally established with the mission of developing a program for graduate studies. Today, the Department of Biomedical Engineering is involved in wide ranging research, both basic and applied. The varied novel engineering techniques and state-of-the-art technological, scientific and medical know-how generated by the Department have, over the years, proved both useful and beneficial to Israel's medical community.
Biomedical engineering utilizes traditional engineering disciplines for the development of medical systems and devices for clinical diagnosis and therapy, and the investigation of the physiological basis of diseases. With the rise in life expectancy and improvement in the quality of life, there has come an increasing demand for better health-related products and services. The biomedical industry is characterized by innovation and sophistication, and the constant search for new challenges. It provides artificial organs, implant devices, cardiac assist devices, diagnostics and therapeutics, catheterization and imaging equipment. Biomedical companies are also involved in molecular and cellular engineering, tissue engineering, plasma engineering, intracellular physiological control mechanisms, drug regulation and drug delivery systems, rehabilitation engineering, and aids for the feeble and the disabled.
Our graduates have integrated remarkably well into Israel's biomedical industry. These, and other industries, have employed the Department's graduates in key positions in research and development, production, marketing, and medical applications. In the past few years our graduates have become involved in many start-up companies, and more than 45% of Israel's start-ups are in this sphere. In addition to the biomedical industry, the Department's alumni are found in the foremost research institutes and academic institutions, both in this country and abroad, where their know-how and expertise are highly valued.
The Department's program of studies provides high quality education in biomedical engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its graduates are equipped to meet the diverse needs of biomedical research and its industrial applications.
The Undergraduate Program (B.Sc.). Launched in October 1999, our new undergraduate program offers a B.Sc. degree in BME. This is a four year program which provides its graduates with the qualifications for employment in the high-tech BME engineering profession, and/or continuation of studies towards higher degrees. The biomedical engineering program equips the students with a basic and in-depth background in basic sciences, and a broad knowledge in engineering, and in the life sciences and medicine. The program encourages participation in undergraduate courses from other engineering, life sciences and medical sciences disciplines, and integration of the knowledge acquired in the project courses. Three subspecialties are offered in the undergraduate curriculum: medical equipment and imaging; movement, rehabilitation engineering and artificial organs; and biomaterials and biotechnology.
The Graduate Programs . The Department's well established graduate program develops the student's skills and the insight needed to provide effective solutions to current medical challenges. This is accomplished by broadening and deepening the student's knowledge and providing specialization in BME education. Although candidates who graduated the BME undergraduate program are the natural candidates for our higher degree studies, graduates from other disciplines can be also accepted. The Department confers the Masters of Science degree for biomedical engineering sciences, as well as the Masters degree in Engineering (M.E.) for which no research thesis is required. The Higher Ph.D. Degree program prepares the graduate student for a career in scientific research. Ph.D. students must complete a research project consisting of an original contribution to the BME sciences.
The high-quality basic and applied research program contributes significantly to the know-how of the biomedical engineering sciences and of related and relevant fields of research and education. The research-oriented atmosphere also attracts clinicians to join research projects and provides them with up-to-date advances in the exact sciences and technology.
The Department's Faculty members include 12 full time and 9 affiliated members who are engaged in teaching, and in research and development in BME. Their innovative research activities focus on biomechanics and orthopedics, tissue engineering, rehabilitation engineering, neural engineering and neural interfaces, biological signal processing and imaging, biomaterials, and the cardiovascular system. Additionally, there are 9 adjuncts faculty members from the BME industry and clinical environment who take part in the teaching efforts of the Department.