BME-IDEA Meeting 2018

Atlanta, GA

BME-IDEA 2018 was held on October 16 & 17, 2018 in Atlanta, GA


Members of the US-based BME-IDEA consortium meet approximately every other year to share best practices, discuss common challenges, and brainstorm new directions in BME innovation education. The group typically includes faculty and staff from leading U.S. universities that teach in experiential undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate training programs focused on health technology innovation.

This year’s meeting took place on Tuesday and Wednesday,
October 16 and 17, 2018  in Atlanta, Georgia in conjunction with the 2018 BMES annual conference.

See below for the program schedule or access the meeting presentations here.

What was New and Exciting This Year?

  • For the first time ever, we actively sought to include
    representatives from the BME-IDEA consortiums in Europe and the Asia Pacific. Select participants presented at the main meeting on Wednesday, October 17 and a special working session was held on Tuesday, October 16 to share ideas and information across these global regions.
  • New sessions on other timely topics, such as diversity in BME
    innovation education and technology translation, were included in this year’s agenda.
  • Time for networking with fellow participants over drinks and
    appetizers was set aside the evening before the event, allowing attendees to meet new colleagues and reconnect with old friends.

Program Schedule 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Timing Topic
2:00-6:00 Global Exchange: Tackling Issues and Sharing Best Practices in Innovation Education (by invitation)

This small group, interactive session will enable the leaders of innovation education programs from around the world to connect, share their experiences, and help one another overcome common challenges. Before the meeting, we’ll ask all participants to send in three issues/challenges currently facing their program. At the event, we’ll discuss the top issues, with more established programs their sharing strategies/lessons learned and the entire group brainstorming other possible solutions. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore potential international collaborations and discuss what innovation education programs want/need from more global BME-IDEA activities.

Registration update: Participants from international programs are still invited to join this session by expressing interest when they complete the BME-IDEA registration form. As of August 24, the session is closed to additional participants from U.S.-based programs. To join the waiting list, please express interest on the BME-IDEA registration form and the organizing committee will notify you via email if space opens up. Contact and with any questions.

Target Audience:

  • Attendees representing programs based outside the US
  • Participants from US institutions with active international collaborations and/or an interest is launching one

Required pre-work:

  • Using a standard template that we provide, prepare a one-page program overview to describe key aspects of your program. We will also ask you to identify the top three challenges facing your program that you’d ideally like to discuss during the session. The template will be sent via email to confirmed guests in early September.
  • Submit your completed template to and no later than September 14, 2018.

Location: North Tower – Magnolia Room

6:00-8:00 Networking Reception (all participants)
Catch up with colleagues and meet more of your peers at this year’s BME-IDEA networking reception. This informal event will include brief welcome remarks, as well as a fun get-to-know you activity. Appetizers and one drink ticket per participant will be provided.Location: North Tower – International Ballroom F

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Timing Topic
8:00-8:15 Welcome
8:15-9:15 Strengthening Industry-Academic Partnerships in Developing High Potential Talent and Solutions

Our intuition and experience tells us that partnership between industry and academia can be valuable to both. But what models for partnership deliver on this promise? How can we work together to advance our impact on health care, from both the talent and innovation perspective.Moderator: Dr. Youseph Yazdi (Johns Hopkins University)
Panelists: Arjun Desai (Johnson & Johnson), Angela Mitchell (Avanos Medical), Brian Lehman (Abbott), and Walt Baxter (Medtronic)Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D
9:15-10:00 Essentially Complicated: Making Sense of Healthcare Economics

For payers, providers, and even patients, healthcare economics has become an essential consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not to adopt a new medical technology. Aspiring innovators must be equipped to understand the economics of their solutions and the ways in which the economics of health care differs from other fields. The difficult question for educators is how to incorporate this complex subject matter into graduate and undergraduate BME innovation training curricula. In this interactive panel discussion, we’ll explore a variety of perspectives, including academic economists and industry decision makers regarding what our trainees should know about healthcare economics.Moderator: Paul Yock (Stanford University)
Panelists: Jan Pietzsch (Stanford University), Jason Hockenberry (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Eric Barrette (Medtronic)Location: North Tower – International Ballroom  D
10:00-10:45 Dream Teams: Expanding Beyond BME

BME innovation education took a giant step forward with the introduction of project-based, experiential learning. Now, important opportunities exist to evolve our training models further by expanding our design teams to be truly inter-disciplinary. In this interactive panel discussion, hear from graduate and undergraduate program leaders about how they are involving students from other departments and schools in their courses and the effect it’s having on the learning experience.

Moderator: Joe Tranquillo (Bucknell University)
Panelists: Mary Beth Privitera (University of Cincinnati), Vin Pizziconi (Arizona State University), and Wendy Newstetter (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom  D

10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Diversity in BME Innovation Education:  Moving Beyond #MeToo to Real Inclusion

BME programs have made meaningful progress in increasing student diversity with many programs reporting balanced gender equity at the undergraduate level.  However, inclusion lags behind for graduate programs and faculty, as well as in entrepreneurial ventures. To set the stage for this session, we will review statistics and discuss federally-funded programs designed to increase diversity. To explore one possible barrier to inclusion, we will then hear the findings and recommendations from the recent report on the Impacts of Sexual Harassment in Academia from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Together, we will discuss challenges, strategies, and successes in fostering inclusion and equity in BME innovation.

Moderator: Amy Lerner (University of Rochester)
Panelists: Michele Grimm (National Science Foundation), Gilda Barabino (NASEM, CUNY, and past president of BMES); Zeynep Erim (National Institutes of Health)

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom  D

This resource list provides links to reports, policies and articles related to the topic of diversity in BME Innovation.

12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Going Global: Keeping up with Biomedical Innovation Education Worldwide

BME innovation education programs are building momentum in universities and other institutions around the world. Hear from the invention education leaders in Africa, Asia, and Europe about how their programs work, their greatest challenges, and how they seek to address them. During the discussion, and during networking opportunities throughout the meeting, we will also explore opportunities for international cross-program collaborations.

Moderator: Maria Oden (Rice University)
Panelists: Jimmy Moore (Imperial College), Masakazu Yagi (Japan Biodesign), and Theresa Mkandawire (University of Malawi Polytechnic)

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom  D

2:00-3:30 Large group break-out sessions (choose one):

Translation for Student-Generated Start-Ups: What You Need to Know, What They Need to Know

From the research lab to the Capstone Design experience, there are many opportunities for translation of ideas into commercial products in the academic environment. However, for many students (and faculty), starting a company can be intimidating. Most startups fail and the path to success can depend on a few key decisions along the way. In this special breakout session, four entrepreneurs with different levels of experience – from struggling first time entrepreneur to seasoned successful serial entrepreneur – will share their personal stories and provide their perspective on “If I knew then what I know now…” Join us to learn more about key issues for successful translation for student generated startups.

Moderator: Eric Ledet (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and James Rains (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Panelists: Dev Mandavia (Ethos Medical), Erika Tybursk (Sanguina), Chris Lee (NuVasive), and Harold Solomon (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom  D

The Next Big IDEA: Re-Imagining the Future of Design Competitions

Student-driven innovation has become a key part of many BME training programs at the graduate and undergraduate level. Over a decade ago, the BME-IDEA community articulated a shared set of needs for external targets to help focus emerging projects on innovation, create a competitive context to support the innovators and their ideas, and recognize and celebrate the programs that launched them. The resulting design competition has grown and supported many successful teams over its 12 year history. A variety of other competitions have emerged, as well, at both the regional and national levels. This session will be a “charrette” – to reflect on the current needs of our community and the students we serve, explore opportunities for encouraging and promoting innovation, and generate ideas to guide the evolution and development of these kinds of offerings.

Moderators: Phil Weilerstein (VentureWell) and Joe Tranquillo (Bucknell University)

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom  ABC

3:30-3:45 Break
Round Table Topic: Facilitator:
Design Diversity: Embracing and Encouraging Diversity in BME Innovation from Pipeline to Product Jordan Gilmore (Clemson University)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D
Industry-Academic Partnerships: Design Programs to Get Students Jobs Nicholas Durr ( Johns Hopkins University)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom ABC
Outcomes and Outputs: Measuring Educational Success in Design and Innovation Programs Lyn Denend (Stanford University)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom ABC
Go-Fund-Me: Follow-on Funding for Graduate and Undergraduate Project Teams Phil Weilerstein (VentureWell)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom ABC
Engagement in the Classroom: Moving Beyond the Lecture Ross Venook (Stanford University)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D
Design Bootcamp: The Must-Know-Skills for New Design Faculty Amir Manbachi (Johns Hopkins University) and Devin Hubbard (University of North Carolina)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D
Design Drama: Managing Designs, Divas, Duds and Do-it-Alls Jason Zara (George Washington University)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D
On-The-Line: Digital Management Tools for Faculty and Design Teams James Francis Antaki (Cornell University)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom ABC
Clinically Connected: BME Immersion Programs for Design Teams Sarah Rooney (University of Delaware)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D
The Cutting Room Floor: What To Do with Old Design Projects Tanya Nocera (Ohio State University)
Location: North Tower – International Ballroom ABC
4:30-5:00 Reconvene and Report-Outs

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D

5:00-5:30 Your Turn: Nifty Ideas Emerging from Today’s Discussion

The collective wisdom of the BME-IDEA community extends beyond the names in the program and the invited panelists. We’ll close the conference with a chance for a few attendees to share their perspectives on ideas that have bubbled up throughout the day. If you have a best practice or an answer to a challenge that emerged from a panel discussion, please consider presenting in the Nifty Ideas section. This will be a crowd-sourced session of brief talks similar to the “snapshots” of previous years.

HOW IT WORKS: At any point during the day, propose a Nifty Idea talk! If you have a perfect response to a panel question, if your lunch discussion has people around you asking for more details, or if you feel like a critical topic was missing from the agenda, this is the chance to help others learn from your experience. We’ll be using the platform to collect ideas. When you have the inspiration for a Nifty Idea presentation, jump on to to add your proposal. During the 3:30 break, we’ll open the list of ideas for audience voting. The three topics that receive the most interest from participants will have five minutes to present during the Nifty Ideas session at the close of the day, followed by three minutes of group discussion.

Presentations should be informal (no slides). In the interest of time, they should stay focused on a single idea or best practice, rather than providing a general overview of your program or curriculum. Lobbying for your presentation is encouraged! At networking breaks, be sure to mention your Nifty Ideas to test the level of interest and encourage up-voting.

DETAILS: During the event, go to and enter code #NIFTY.

Moderator: Moose O’Donnell (University of California-Berkeley)

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D

5:30-5:45 Wrap-Up

Location: North Tower – International Ballroom D

Many thanks to our generous sponsors! Learn more here.

BME-IDEA 2018 Flyer

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