Pitt | Swanson Engineering

The Department of Bioengineering combines hands-on experience with the solid fundamentals that students need to advance themselves in research, medicine, and industry. The Department has a long-standing and unique relationship with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and other academic departments at the University of Pittsburgh as well as neighboring Carnegie Mellon University. Our faculty are shared with these organizations, offering our graduate and undergraduate students access to state-of-the-art facilities and a wide array of research opportunities. We currently have 190 graduate students who are advised by some 100 different faculty advisers, pursuing graduate research across 17 Departments and five Schools. Our undergraduate class-size of approximately 50 students per year ensures close student-faculty interactions in the classroom and the laboratory.

The main engineering building is located next to the Medical Center in Oakland, an elegant university neighborhood with museums, parks, and great restaurants. Beautiful new facilities have also been built, a short shuttle ride from the main campus, along the Monongahela River, replacing the steel mills that once were there. Our department is growing rapidly, both in numbers of students and faculty, and in the funding and diversity of our research. The Pittsburgh bioengineering community is a vibrant and stimulating alliance of diverse components for which our department forms an essential and central connection.


Pitt designated an Innovation Corps Site by National Science Foundation

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has designated the University of Pittsburgh as an NSF I-Corps site. The award, which supports innovation activities at select academic institutions, comes with a three-year, $300,000 grant to be used to advance innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship at Pitt. The University's Innovation Institute will manage the Pitt I-Corps site. (The "I" in I-Corps stands for "Innovation.") Through the I-Corps grant, 30 Pitt Innovator teams per year will receive $3,000 to participate in the Institute's Pitt Ventures program, which provides Pitt teams with hands-on commercialization and entrepreneurial education activities in partnership with entrepreneurs-in-residence, investors, and local business mentors. Pitt Innovator teams may use the $3,000 stipends for market research, customer-discovery analyses, and other development efforts.  "We're honored to receive this prestigious NSF award to support our commercialization efforts," says Marc Malandro, founding director of the Innovation Institute and associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization at Pitt. "This award builds on our efforts to instill a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the entire University, bringing together more faculty, staff, and student innovators with educators, mentors, and other community partners to advance our commercialization activities." The Innovation Institute's goals for the I-Corps program are to accomplish the following: Increase the number of entrepreneurially minded faculty, staff, and students at Pitt through education, training, and outreach-particularly among innovators from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented academic disciplines. Enhance a recently deployed commercialization process at Pitt that includes experiential learning and customer-discovery support for Pitt Innovator teams. Improve Pitt's connection to-and support of-the Pittsburgh region's entrepreneurial ecosystem in nurturing startup companies emerging from University innovations. "Through support provided by the I-Corps program, the University of Pittsburgh now will be able to develop an even deeper pipeline of commercialization opportunities from a broader group of innovators, further enhancing our impact on regional and national economic development," Malandro says. The Innovation Institute , launched in November 2013, serves as the hub of innovation commercialization and entrepreneurship activities at the University of Pittsburgh.   ###
Joe Miksch

Pitt scores in U.S. News Best Graduate Schools Guidebook

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- In newly released statistics from U.S. News & World Report , a number of University of Pittsburgh schools and programs have excelled in the Best Graduate Schools 2016 guidebook. Pitt's School of Nursing is ranked no. 5 nationwide in an inaugural annual ranking of nursing schools that offer master's or doctorate programs. In nursing specialties, the school is no. 1 in the category of nurse anesthesia; no. 3 in clinical nurse leader; no. 3 in pediatric, primary care (tie); no. 5 in administration (tie); no. 5 in adult / gerontology, acute care (tie); and no. 5 in psychiatric / mental health, across the lifespan. Pitt's School of Medicine ranks no. 16 in the research category and no. 19 (tie) in the primary care category of the Best Medical Schools ranking. In medical specialties, Pitt is no. 4 in women's health. In new Health disciplines rankings, Pitt's master's and doctorate programs in public health in the Graduate School of Public Health are ranked no. 13, and the rehabilitation counseling program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is no. 18 (tie). Among public universities, Pitt's graduate programs in education, engineering, and business are all ranked in the top 25. The School of Education is ranked no. 17 among public universities and no. 27 overall (tie); the Swanson School of Engineering is no. 24 among public universities and no. 43 overall (tie); and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business is No. 23 among public universities and No. 48 overall (tie). The School of Law advanced three spots to no. 78 overall (tie). It is ranked no. 42 among public universities. Individual departments within the Swanson School of Engineering ranked as follows: Bioengineering: 7 among publics, 16 overall (tie) Chemical and Petroleum: 24 among publics, 39 overall (tie) Civil Engineering: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie) Computer Engineering: 30 among publics, 54 overall (tie) Electrical Engineering: 30 among publics, 52 overall (tie) Industrial Engineering: 15 among publics, 22 overall (tie) Materials Science: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie)   ###  
Cara Masset

Three Pitt faculty named 2015 Carnegie Science Award winners

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 29, 2015- Three University of Pittsburgh faculty were among the winners of the 2015 Carnegie Science Awards, presented by Eaton, announced yesterday by the Carnegie Science Center. The program honors awardees from more than 15 categories, including Corporate Innovation, Emerging Female Scientist, Entrepreneur, and Leadership in STEM Education. These individuals and companies have distinguished themselves by making unparalleled contributions to science and technology in various disciplines. "The Carnegie Science Awards spotlight some of the most innovative minds today," said Ron Baillie, Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. "These individuals are making a global impact starting with our own region. We know they are already inspiring a new generation of leaders." The Pitt awardees are: Advanced Materials Award Steven R. Little, PhD Associate Professor, CNG Faculty Fellow and Chair, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Secondary Appointments: Bioengineering, Immunology, Ophthalmology littlelab.pitt.edu Life Sciences Award Yadong Wang, PhD William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering Secondary Appointments: Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Surgery biomaterialsfoundry.pitt.edu Catalyst Award Rory A. Cooper, PhD FISA/PVA Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Secondary appointments: Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering Director, Human Engineering Research Laboratories herl.pitt.edu Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. Celebrating its 19 th year, Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 400 individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their commitment and contributions in science and technology. "One of our central missions is to promote education in science, technology, engineering, and math - or STEM," said Ann Metzger, Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. "The Carnegie Science Awards winners exemplify the highest levels of success in STEM fields and in STEM education. We are proud to recognize these outstanding awardees and look forward to their continued contributions." Eaton has supported Carnegie Science Awards for more than a decade as presenting sponsor. Chevron is the Awards' prime sponsor, and Kennametal is associate sponsor. "Eaton is proud to be a part of this vibrant community of science leaders and educators who continue to help position our region among the foremost technology and energy innovation centers in the world," said Ruppert Russoniello, president, Circuit Protection Division, Eaton, and Carnegie Science Awards Event Chair. "These awardees are helping us to build a future that promises to be healthier, smarter, and more prosperous for us all, which is why we offer our congratulations and our thanks." Awardees will be honored during a formal celebration at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Friday, May 8, 2015. Three student winners, who will be selected at the Science Center's 76th annual Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair, also will be recognized. WINNERS: Advanced Manufacturing - Michael Podobnik, Teletrix Corporation Advanced Materials - Steven R. Little, PhD, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Catalyst - Rory A. Cooper, PhD, Human Engineering Research Laboratories Corporate Innovation - Aesynt Elementary Educator - Jenna Whitney, South Allegheny Elementary School Middle Level Educator - Julie Allison, Beaver Area School District High School Educator - Graig Marx, Winchester Thurston School Leadership in STEM Education - Marijke Hecht, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy University / Post-SecondaryEducator - David Brumley, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, CyLab University / Post-SecondaryStudent - Danielle Chirdon, Carnegie Mellon University Emerging Female Scientist - Shirley Ho, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Physics Start-Up Entrepreneur - Ananya Cleetus, Magikstra / Upper St. Clair High School Entrepreneur - Jesse Schell, Schell Games Environmental - Jeanne M. VanBriesen, PhD, PE, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Information Technology - Luis von Ahn, PhD, Duolingo Life Sciences - Yadong Wang, PhD, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Science Communicator - Kathleen Knauer, The Allegheny Front   HONORABLE MENTIONS: Corporate Innovation - Rhiza, Inc. Elementary Educator - Michele Thomas, Kiski Area School District High School Educator - Volunteer Advisors of the Seneca Valley High School, Seneca Valley School District Leadership in STEM Education- David Brumley, Carnegie Mellon University, CyLab University Student - Sarah Kochanek, Duquesne University Emerging Female Scientist - Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Dept. of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Start-Up Entrepreneur - Robb Myer, NoWait Entrepreneur - Susan & Eric Koger, ModCloth Environmental - Ronald Gdovic, WindStax Wind Power Systems   For more information about Carnegie Science Awards, visit CarnegieScienceCenter.org .   About Carnegie Science Center Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center's goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh's premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs. About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events. ###


Swanson School announces 2015 roster of Distinguished Alumni

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (January 26, 2015) … Seven alumni who have made an impact across public, private and government sectors will be recognized by the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering with the 51 st Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award honors those Pitt alumni who have made a positive contribution within their respective fields across the School's six engineering departments. In addition, one individual who was previously selected as a department awardee will be recognized as the overall Swanson School awardee. The awards will be presented at the Swanson School's Distinguished Alumni Banquet on Thursday, March 26 at Pitt's Alumni Hall. "On behalf of the Swanson School we're proud to recognize these seven individuals who have excelled within their discipline and are exemplary ambassadors of Pitt engineering," noted Gerald D. Holder, PhD, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. "I look forward to welcoming them back to campus and celebrating their achievements." This year's recipients are: Swanson School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Leonard K. Peters, BsChE '62, MSChE '69, PhD '71 Secretary of Energy and Environmental Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky Bioengineering Fernando Aguel BSBioE '00, MSBioE '04 Branch Chief of the Circulatory Support Devices Branch, United States Food and Drug Administration  Civil and Environmental Engineering John D. Bossler, PhD, BSCE '59 Retired, Professor and Director of the Center for Mapping, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Studies, Ohio State University Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Michael J. Fetkovich, DSc, BSPet '54 Phillips Fellow Emeritus, Phillips Petroleum Co. Sr. Principal Reservoir Engineer Member of the National Academy of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Jeffrey M. Platt, BSEE '79  President and CEO, Tidewater, Inc. Industrial Engineering David M. Dunahay, BSIE '78 Founding president (retired), FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co. in Changchun, China; and Adjunct Professor of International Business, Georgetown University Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Albert J. Neupaver, MSME '79, MBA '82 Executive Chairman, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation   ###  


Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards three novel biomedical devices with $53,000 total Round-2 2014 Pilot Funding

All SSoE News, Bioengineering

PITTSBURGH (Dec 11, 2014) … The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $53,000 to three research groups through its 2014 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include developing super-sensitive chemical assays for detecting blood proteins, a novel retractor for abdominal and thoracic surgical procedures, and a self-monitoring device for rehabilitation of stroke patients. CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE), supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with "kickstart" funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare. "This is our third year of pilot funding, and our leadership team could not be more excited with the breadth and depth of this round's awardees," said Alan D. Hirschman , PhD, CMI Executive Director. "This early-stage interdisciplinary research helps to develop highly specific biomedical technologies through a proven strategy of linking UPMC's clinicians and surgeons with the Swanson School's engineering faculty." AWARD 1 FOR: I-HITS: Individualized Hand Improvement and Tracking system for stroke. Award to design, build and test a rehabilitation system for stroke patients to self-monitor, track, and improve hand weakness. Amit Sethi, PhD, OTR/L Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Ervin Sejdic, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept of Electrical & Computer Engineering Scott Bleakley, PT, PhD Director of Therapy Services, Health South Hospitals of Pittsburgh AWARD 2 FOR: Diagnosis of Aggressive Prostate Cancer via Detection of MMP9 in Biological Fluids Award to develop a prototype chemical assay device for detection of femtomolar levels of MMP9 in biological fluids. Abhinav Acharya, PhD Postdoctoral Associate, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Steven R. Little, PhD Associate Professor and Chair, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Tatum V. Tarin, MD Assistant Professor of Urology, UPMC AWARD 3 FOR: A motorized flexible arm retractor for open abdominal surgery Award to develop a prototype flexible retractor system which significantly improves effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of surgical procedures. Garth A. Elias, MD UPMC Mercy Dept of General Surgery Pete Allen, MD UPMC Mercy Dept of General Surgery Jeffrey S. Vipperman, PhD Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science About the Center for Medical Innovation The Center for Medical Innovation at the Swanson School of Engineering is a collaboration among the University of Pittsburgh's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Office of Technology Management (OTM), and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (CTRP). CMI was established in 2011 to promote the application and development of innovative biomedical technologies to clinical problems; to educate the next generation of innovators in cooperation with the schools of Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, and Law; and to facilitate the translation of innovative biomedical technologies into marketable products and services in cooperation with OTM and in partnership with CTRP. ###  

Upcoming Events

Bioengineering By The Numbers


Number of Undergraduate Students enrolled for the 2013-2014 Academic Year


Number of PhD Candidates enrolled for the 2014-2015 Academic Year


Number of Masters Candidates enrolled for the 2014-2015 Academic Year



Number of PhD Degrees Awarded in Spring/Summer/Fall 2014 


Number of MS Degrees Awarded in 2013-2014 Academic Year 


Number of BS Degrees Awarded in 2013-2014 Academic Year 



 Number of Faculty Publications in 2013-2014 Academic Year 


 Number of Graduate Publications in 2013-2014 Academic Year 


Number of Undergraduate Publications in 2012-2013 Academic Year