Loras College adds new biomedical track to engineering program

For Immediate Release
August 8, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Loras College, Iowa’s first college, will unveil its new biomedical track as part of its engineering program this fall. The new focus will prepare students to work in a diverse range of areas from prosthetics and assistive devices to ergonomic workstation design and improved interfaces.

Jeanie Kasper, a sophomore from Waukegan, Illinois, will be the first student to follow the biomedical track. Originally a biochemistry major, she plans to work in the field of prosthetics.

“It will be really interesting to be the first person to go through it,” she said. “And I’m sure there will be more people joining the program soon so I can help them.”

Kristen Thompson, Ph.D., assistant professor of engineering and Danial Neebel, Ph.D., professor of engineering and computer science, are leading the effort to bring more value to an already academically-rich engineering program. Thompson, the driving force behind the biomedical track, has already developed labs in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and controls.

Graduates, Neebel said, will be prepared to work for biomedical instrumentation companies, makers of prosthetic and assistive devices. Employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Growing technology and its application to medical equipment and devices, along with an aging population, will increase demand for the work of biomedical engineers,” Thompson said.

Loras College’s engineering program provides students the opportunity to develop strong technical and design skills. Graduates have gone on to careers at companies such as Epic, John Deere, Rockwell Collins, and Vermeer.

In addition, Loras College’s engineering program is one of only a few in Iowa that’s ABET accredited. With the accreditation, students and employers can be confident that the program meets precise quality standards.

More about Loras College’s engineering program

  • Student-built solar panels at Loras College’s adopted Catholic high school in Haiti allows students to apply their engineering knowledge, advance their commitment to sustainability and provide service to those truly in need.
  • Students introduced “E-Walk” so Loras College staff can traverse the campus in sustainable, affordable and efficient ways.
  • Selected students interned at Dubuque Stamp and Manufacturing where they designed a 40,000-square-foot expansion.
  • For the past two years, 100 percent of Loras College’s engineering graduates have passed a mock assessment of the national Fundamental of Engineering exam. The national average is 50 percent.

For more information, visit www.loras.edu, call 563.588.7100 or (800) 245-6727, like Loras College on Facebook or follow @lorascollege.

About Loras College
Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. According to the 2016 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, Loras College was named the 13th Best Regional College: Midwest. Visit www.loras.edu for more information.

Sue Hafkemeyer, Director of Communication
Office: 563.588.7769 | Cell: 563.590.3999

Thomas Jensen, Public Relations Manager
Office: 563.588.7179 | Cell: 919.930.1997

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