HPU launches biomedical engineering program


Howard Payne University has announced a new four-year program in biomedical engineering. The major, scheduled to begin this fall, received unanimous approval by the university’s Board of Trustees at the group’s recent meeting.

Graduates from the program will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. Students will develop skills in biomedical measurements, medical signal and image acquisition and processing, biomedical prosthetics and robotics, as well as sports technologies. The biomedical engineering major will be offered through the Department of Engineering in HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics. Other departments will collaborate in the curriculum of the major, including the Departments of Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Kinesiology.

“The new Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering is yet another representation of HPU’s commitment to providing quality, Christ-centered higher education that is forward-thinking and allows students to differentiate themselves in the workforce upon graduation,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “I am grateful for the visionary leadership of Dr. Martin Mintchev, Dr. Kristen Hutchins and Dr. Gerry Clarkson in helping bring this program to fruition.”

Dr. Martin Mintchev, chair of the Department of Engineering, professor of engineering and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, said the new collaborative program will focus on the important technological link between engineering and biomedicine and will equip graduates with skills ranging from technological support and maintenance of hospital and clinical equipment to developing groundbreaking innovations in biomedical technologies through intellectual property development.

“Biomedical engineering is the application of the principles and problem-solving techniques of engineering to biology and biomedicine, which, in their broad utilization, can also contribute to technologically enhancing contemporary biomedical sciences,” said Dr. Mintchev. “It also includes the development of associated skills in designing, operating and maintaining complex biomedical systems.”

Dr. Mintchev expressed his appreciation for the university’s commitment to the new program.

“The approval evidences the commitment of Howard Payne University to provide in-depth, modern and ABET-compliant biomedical engineering education to future graduates,” he said. “These graduates will not only be able to respond to the demand for professionals in the area immediately upon graduation, but also to continue their education towards graduate studies, if they choose so.”

Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, vice president for academic affairs, said the program was developed with student needs in mind.

“The biomedical engineering program is a great example of academic departments working collaboratively to offer a program for the 21st-century marketplace,” Dr. Auvenshine said. “Prospective students have been asking if HPU has this program. When we couple the contemporary interest in biomedical engineering with the project-based approach we use in our engineering programs, it will be very interesting to watch what our students will be able to conceive and construct.”

In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 10% growth by 2031 in the number of biomedical engineering positions in the workforce.

Dr. Kristen Hutchins, chair of HPU’s Department of Biological Sciences, professor of biology and incoming dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, expressed her enthusiasm for the new program and how it will help prepare students for this specific career path.

“This degree allows students interested in both engineering and the medical field to combine the two into an engaging, hands-on education for their future profession,” Dr. Hutchins said. “Our Department of Biological Sciences is excited to be a part of it.”

From the perspective of Dr. Gerry Clarkson, dean of the School of Science and Mathematics and associate professor of physical science, the interdepartmental collaboration is especially beneficial to student outcomes.

“The biomedical engineering major is an exciting addition to our programs for HPU students,” said Dr. Clarkson. “With the collaboration between all of the departments involved and under the leadership of Dr. Mintchev, this course of study will prepare students for a future in a field that will have many career opportunities for them to pursue.”

Applications are being accepted for admission to HPU for the fall 2023 semester. Those interested in applying can contact the Office of Admissions at 325-649-8020 or enroll@hputx.edu or visit www.hputx.edu/apply.

Information on HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics is available at www.hputx.edu/science. Visit www.hputx.edu/engineering for more information about HPU’s Department of Engineering.