Students with a shoe project

Biomedical engineering is a discipline that advances knowledge in engineering, biology and medicine, and improves human health through cross-disciplinary activities that integrate the engineering sciences with biomedical sciences and clinical practice.  We offer the regular track and the pre-med track to our students. 

A career in Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering (BME) applies the science of engineering to the art of medicine in order to improve health and function, of individual patients and everyone in society. Technological and computational advances are transforming the field just like other engineering disciplines. Biomedical engineering jobs are growing at twice the rate of other engineering disciplines, with a median starting salary exceeding $97,000.

Medical solutions and therapies that were only dreamed of decades ago are now being developed in companies around the world--and at the Catholic University of America. Examples include smart robotic prosthetics, 3-D printed engineered tissues and biofabricated organ patches for implantation and disease modeling, molecular biosensors on biofabricated chips, polarization-sensitive holographic microscopy, treatments for kidney stones, and neurally-controlled adaptive exoskeletons. If you want to get in at the ground level of any of this research, you can do that! Just join the Catholic University undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Biomedical Engineering. 

Besides engaging in exciting research and development in and out of the classroom that makes a difference in people's lives, students choose biomedical engineering to be of service to people; for the excitement of working with living systems; and to apply advanced technology to complex problems of medical care. The biomedical engineer is part of a multi-disciplinary heath care team, a group which includes physicians, nurses, and technicians. Biomedical engineers may be called upon to design instruments and devices, to bring together knowledge from many sources to develope new procedures, or to carry out research to acquire knowledge needed to solve new problems. Many biomedical engineers work in hospitals, in the field for medical device companies, or in government labs and offices. Others go on to medical school!

Examples of work by biomedical engineers

  • Design and development of cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, artificial kidneys, blood oxygenators, hearts, blood vessels, joints, arms, and legs.
  • Design computer and information systems to monitor patients.
  • Design instruments and devices for therapeutic uses.
  • Development of strategies for clinical decision making based on expert systems and artificial intelligence.
  • Design, development and research in the area of medical imaging systems such as computer assisted tomography (CT), position emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, or newer modalities.
  • Development of mathematical/computer models and artificial intelligence products to improve healthcare.
  • Design and development of advanced biomaterials.
  • Research in the areas of biomechanics, sports mechanics and optimization of human performance.

Hear more from students and faculty

Read the newsletters below, and contact us.

Recent selected publications from the department involving student authors (in bold)

  • Shashwati Geed*, Megan L Grainger, Abigail Mitchell, Cassidy C Anderson, Henrike L Schmaulfuss, Seraphina A Culp, Eilis R Mccormick, Maureen E Mcgarry, Mystee N Delgado, Allysa D Noccioli, Julia Shelepov, Alexander W Dromerick and Peter Lum, 2023, “Concurrent Validity of Machine Learning Classified Functional Upper Extremity Use from Accelerometry in Chronic Stroke”, Frontiers in Physiology-Computational Physiology and Medicine, 14.
  • Casas R, Sandison M, Nichols D, Martin K, Phan K, Chen T and Lum PS, 2021, “Home-Based Therapy After Stroke Using the Hand Spring Operated Movement Enhancer (HandSOME II)”, Front. Neurorobot. 15:773477. doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2021.773477.
  • Casas R, Martin K, Sandison M, Lum PS., 2021, “A tracking device for a wearable high-DOF passive hand exoskeleton”, Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2021:6643-6646. • Hsin-Hung Kuo, Jing Wang, Manon Schladen, Michael Taylor, Sahana Kukke, Peter Lum, 2020, “Home assessment of grasp development in infants”. RESNA 2020.
  • Sandison M, Phan K, Casas R, Nguyen L, Lum M, Pergami-Peries M, Lum PS, 2020, “HandMATE: Wearable Robotic Hand Exoskeleton and Integrated Android App for At Home Stroke Rehabilitation”, 42nd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, July 20-24, 2020.
  • Phan, T.Q., Nguyen, H., Mulyk, A., Vermillion, B.C., Lee, S.W, 2020, “Development of self-adaptable mechanism to compensate angle-dependent flexor tone of the elbow joint post-stroke: a pilot study”, 42nd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Montreal, Canada.
  • Vermillion, B.C., Fasano, A., Park, H.S., Lee, S.W., 2016, “Superposition of mechanical action of muscles during multi-joint finger movements”, 40th Annual Conference of American Society of Biomechanics, Rayleigh, NC.
  • Correa SO, Staten EG, Nehmetallah G, and CB Raub, 2023, “Inexpensive bioprinting by photocrosslinking collagen and gelatin using liquid crystal displays and visible light”, Bioprinting, 35:e00305.
  • Ly K, Rooholghodos SA, Rahimi C, Rahimi B, Bienek DR, Kaufman G, Luo X, and CB Raub, 2021, “An Oral-mucosa-on-a-chip sensitively evaluates cell responses to dental monomers”, Biomedical Microdevices, 23:1-11.
  • Huynh RN, Pesante B, Nehmetallah G, and CB Raub, 2019, “Polarized reflectance from articular cartilage depends upon superficial zone collagen network microstructure”, Biomedical Optics Express, 10(11):5518-5534.
  • Khanh Ly, May Rajtboriraks, Ahmed Elgerbi, Xiaolong Luo, and Christopher B Raub, 2024, "Recombinant Human Keratinocyte Growth Factor Ameliorates Cancer Treatment-Induced Oral Mucositis on a Chip", Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2302970 (e-published).


Alumnus, now CEO of a Biomedical Consulting Company

The education that I received from CUA while obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering served as a key foundation to my successful career in the medical device industry. My relationship with CUA began 35 years ago when I first enrolled as an undergraduate. While many things have changed in 35 years, the analytical skills that I developed at CUA have served me well throughout my career and ultimately prepared me for Senior Executive positions in both government and industry. Additionally, due to smaller class size and the close-knit community, the relationships that I formed with members of my class while at CUA are still going strong today.

Alumnus (2012), B.B.E., now Chief Technology Officer at a Biomedical Device Startup

Studying Biomedical Engineering at the Catholic University of America set me up for a dynamic career pathway. At CUA, I engaged in lots of hands-on projects and extracurricular activities that not only sharpened my skills, but also paved the way for my first role at the NIH after graduation. Thanks to the supportive faculty and incredible opportunities in Washington D.C., I was also able to dive deep into considerations for biomedical innovation, which was crucial for my development in grad school and later, in cofounding a medical device startup. If you’re aiming to make a tangible impact in the biomedical field, CUA is an excellent place to start your career! Alumni, ’21, B.B.E., M.B.E., Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at Yale School of Medicine While obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering at CUA I received a solid educational foundation which has allowed me to excel in my research career. I have been able to use that education and especially the analytical and human subjects research skills I gained to expand my biomedical research to areas of study and specialties I never imagined were possible. However, it is the community and the relationships built over my time at CUA that have truly helped me advance. The ability to effectively communicate and work with CUA staff and other team members was and is invaluable!

Alumnus (2021), B.B.E., now pre-dental

The Biomedical Engineering program at The Catholic University of America fostered my passion for patient care and innovation. My experiences at Catholic U—such as a hands-on design project with QL+ and volunteering at The Little Sisters of the Poor—validated my decision to pursue a career in healthcare. The engineering program prepared me well for my first job after graduation as a patent examiner of electrosurgical devices at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and for my current job as a dental assistant — two very different careers, but both requiring an understanding of medical devices, patient care, and innovation in healthcare. I am currently also applying to dental schools. I will always remember how much fun I had with my design team and our amazing mentors and professors. I highly recommend studying at Catholic U for anyone interested in biomedical engineering!

Alumnus (2016), B.B.E. and M.B.E., now Program Manager at a large biotechnology company

My bachelor and master degrees in biomedical engineering from Catholic University were an essential stepping stone on my path to where I am today. The intimate class size at CUA allows for individualized attention, but the strong curriculum and cross-functional professors allow for breadth of learning opportunities. Through the research experience in senior design, volunteering in Dr. Raub’s lab, and gaining a summer internship at nearby NIH, I was well prepared to enter industry as a research associate in the tissue engineering field. CUA not only gave me a strong technical skillset, but helped me learn how to learn – that is, I was able to quickly pick up new skills and techniques on the job because CUA prepared me for my working career post-graduation and beyond.

Alumnus (2021), B.B.E., now Master’s student in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Studying biomedical engineering at The Catholic University of America is the cornerstone of who I am today. My time and experiences at Catholic laid a foundation of knowledge and expertise that allowed me to begin my career in research and later begin pursuing a master's in orthotics and prosthetics. These opportunities, made possible by Catholic’s BME program, are invaluable to me and will shape the care I provide future patients as an orthotist/prosthetist. Most importantly, my time at Catholic introduced me to my best friends - some of whom studied BME and others who studied fields as different as accounting or education. These people continue to encourage and support me in all my endeavors and adventures. My time at CUA set me on the path I wanted to pursue for my life and gave me the knowledge and community that will help me achieve my goals.



Previous Newsletters

Spring 2022

Winter 2022

Fall 2021


If you are interested in a research position or in being a postdoctoral scholar, please reach out to the faculty whose research program aligns with your expertise and interests. For more employment information, go to the Engineering Employment page.