Current Projects

Design Self-efficacy

NSF-funded investigation of BME student self-efficacy in a design-intense curriculum

Clinical Immersion

NIH-funded effort to prepare BME students to identify needs in urban clinics at the IU School of Medicine

Design Curriculum

IUPUI-funded effort to implement and assess design projects throughout the BME curriculum

Ethical Inquiry in BME

Participants in an NSF-funded effort to integrate ethical inquiry into STEM curricula

BME Student Community

Efforts to build community among BME students through design of physical and virtual spaces

Research Initiation: A Study of Biomedical Engineering Student Self-Efficacy Toward Design


In the engineering classroom and workplace, self-efficacy is an inferred skill. Thus, research focused on identifying how self-efficacy relates to engineering design achievement would provide a basis for intentional and effective improvements to engineering curricula, educator training, and workplace professional development. In this work, which is funded by an NSF PFE: RIEF Grant, we take a BME discpline-specific approach toward studying engineering design self-efficacy in the context of a design-rich undergraduate curriculum. Furthermore, this grant supports our professional development as engineering education researchers and biomedical engineering faculty.

A Clinical Immersion Program to Train Biomedical Engineers to Identify Indiana's Urban Health Needs


The development of new medical devices and technologies requires a BME workforce that is capable of identifying unmet clinical needs and working in teams to develop design solutions. Clinical immersion provides a complementary experience to the traditional BME curriculum, as students in such opportunities observe real-world application of medical devices and communicate with clinical personnel. Clinics in urban environments present a unique set of issues, including the challenge of delivering health care to populations that are socially and economically diverse. We developed the summer (IN)SCRIBE Program, funded by an NIH R25 Grant, as a seven-week summer clinical immersion and design experience that challenges student teams to integrate socioeconomic considerations into clinically-relevant design. The first (IN)SCRIBE cohort completed the program in summer 2021.


We leveraged an internal Seed Grant from the IUPUI Stem Education Innovation & Research Institute (SEIRI) to develop and refine an undergraduate clinical shadowing experience for a required 300-level BME course and to prepare for our NIH R25 subission.

Vertical Integration of Engineering Design Experiences throughout the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program

IUPUI Curriculum Enhancement Grant

A year-long capstone project culminates in the senior year of the BS BME degree. To prepare our students for this challenge, we have designed and integrated four design projects for students to experience during their 200- and 300-level lab courses. This work was supported by an internal Curriculum Enhancement Grant, funded by the IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning.

Promoting Ethical Inquiry in BME (I-CELER STEM Ethics Faculty Learning Community)

Participants in an NSF CCE-STEM Grant

As professionals, biomedical engineers will be expected to recognize their responsibilities and apply ethical inquiry when developing, refining, and communicating the solution to a biomedical engineering situation. We intend to bring to light the topics from animal euthanasia to professional codes throughout the BS BME curriculum. Dr. Miller and Dr. Higbee are currently particpants in a STEM Ethics Faculty Learning Community funded by an NSF CCE-STEM grant: Institutional Transformation: Enhancing IUPUI STEM Curriculum through the Community-Engaged Learning and Ethical Reflection (I-CELER) Framework.

Creating Spaces to Build Community Among Students Entering an Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Program

IUPUI Learning Environment Grant

Undergraduate BME programs challenge students with rigorous and multidisciplinary curricula that integrate concepts from the life sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Furthermore, BME curricula often incorporate active and team-based learning methodologies, in addition to more traditional engineering problem solving. To succeed in such broad and challenging programs, students may depend on interactions with their peers, both in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, we are leveraging an internal Learning Environment Grant to transform an undergraduate teaching space in order to support community-building and teamwork among undergraduate BME students.

We have observed that the shared challenge of an undergraduate BME curriculum creates a strong sense of community among each cohort of students, and we fear that students who enter our program during the COVID-19 pandemic may miss out on the formative experiences that begin to build such a community. We are working to implement digitial tools to build community among BME undergraduates during distance and hybrid learning environments.