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First-of-its-kind engineering degree at Augusta University integrates biomedicine, health care and cybersecurity

Building on the success of its groundbreaking cybersecurity engineering degree program launched in 2019, Augusta University’s School of Computer and Cyber Sciences (SCCS) is further expanding learning opportunities to train the next generation of engineers.

Augusta University received approval today from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to introduce a new engineering undergraduate program for Fall 2023, a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Systems Engineering (BMSE), and once again, this is the first such program in Georgia.

Nationally, there are many undergraduate degree programs in biomedical engineering, but few, if any, focus on biomedicine and health care system integration with an emphasis on cybersecurity.

School leadership said the BMSE program at AU is like no other, with its curriculum designed around the systems engineering and cybersecurity aspects of constructing and integrating systems in biomedical and health care settings. The program takes advantage of AU’s strengths in health sciences, its growing momentum in cybersecurity and its access to the Georgia Cyber Center on the university’s campus.

“As a leading public comprehensive research university in Georgia and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, Augusta University is launching this innovative Biomedical Systems Engineering program to extend the university’s strengths in health sciences to technology-based academic programs, while being responsive to growing workforce needs and the increasing global threat in health security,” said Brooks A. Keel, PhD, president of Augusta University.

Students will have the opportunity to work with partners such as Savannah River National Labs and the Medical College of Georgia. Through these experiences, the program will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to utilize high-impact practices, which are unique to SCCS.

The program is offered by SCCS in collaboration with AU’s College of Science and Mathematics and contributions from MCG. Students graduating with BMSE degrees will find employment in health care, education settings, private practice or industry. Students will also be well prepared for graduate and professional studies in STEM areas and medicine.

“The new program aligns with our mission to provide state-of-the-art technology education and research in the computing and cybersecurity disciplines by creating a multidisciplinary program for health care-focused cybersecurity,” said Alex Schwarzmann, PhD, dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences. “This program, at the intersection of health care systems and cybersecurity, complements Augusta University’s public comprehensive research mission and our current academic portfolio in computer and cyber sciences, setting the stage for biomedical systems engineering to be a leadership program.”

The BSME program aims to improve the understanding, management and integration of biomedicine systems and the ability to develop digital health care-oriented systems and technologies, along with guaranteed security and integrity. The program culminates in a capstone experience, where the students hone and practice the learned skills needed in their future careers as they work in teams to develop solutions to real-life problems.

“We currently work with Savannah River Nuclear Laboratory in the capstone program and look forward to expanding future projects with them over two semesters. Along with our work with SRNL, we have plans to partner with the Medical College of Georgia to identify research problems that our students can contribute to and help solve,” said Jeffrey Morris, PhD, SCCS assistant professor and BMSE interim program director.

“We are very proud of our growing momentum in engineering at Augusta University,” said Schwarzmann. “Our cybersecurity engineering program and the addition of the biomedical systems engineering program bolster Augusta University’s position as a leader in education in computing disciplines, information technology, cybersecurity and related engineering disciplines.”

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Written by
Caroline Eaker
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Woman standing outside Written by Caroline Eaker

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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