Bill Liechty Co-Authors Best Paper in Biomedical Engineering Education Competition

Graduate student Bill LiechtyGraduate student Bill Liechty co-authored a piece that won the Best Paper Award in the American Society of Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Biomedical Engineering Division (BMD).

The purpose of the competition was to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of biomedical engineering education.  Decisions were based on the extent to which the paper advanced knowledge or creative practice in the field, the utility of information, and the clarity of the writing, originality, innovation, and documented results.

The winning submission was entitled, “Controlled Drug Delivery from Alginate Spheres in Design-Based Learning Course”.  Steve Marek, a PhD graduate of ChemE and currently a biomedical engineering (BME) lecturer, and James Tunnell, a BME professor were the co-authors.

The paper discussed an experiment that the three conducted in a BME freshman undergraduate course, “which was designed to provide students with an introduction to the fundamentals of controlled drug delivery and teach them how they can use basic engineering principles to understand and solve real-world problems,” Liechty said.

Liechty’s role was to actually come up with and design an approachable and safe experiment that could be readily grasped by the undergraduates, while Marek and Tunnell implemented the experiment in the classroom.  The freshman ended up forming alginate beads to simulate a controlled drug delivery device in the pharmaceutical industry.

“The three made a fine contribution to BME education,” said Nicholas Peppas, BME Department Chair and Liechty’s advisor.  “Their work has become an integral part of James Tunnell’s BME 102L freshman design class which is now taught by Steve Marek.”

Liechty, Marek and Tunnell will attend the annual ASEE conference in San Antonio from June 10-13, where they will receive a plaque and check at the BMD awards banquet.

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