Biomedical Engineering 400

Senior Seminar


Fall, 2004

Last Updated September 10, 2004


Instructor:             Dr. Steven A. Jones


Phone:                   257-2288

Office Hours:         Tuesday through Friday, 2-4:30, Bogard 239


Course Description:

Biomedical Senior Seminar is a course designed to promote the student’s professional development and to begin the senior design process.


Your professional development as a biomedical engineer requires that you learn skills such as resume writing, interviewing with potential employers, becoming registered as a professional engineer, applying leadership concepts, establishing an ethical framework, and having a commitment to lifelong learning.  The senior design segments parallel these goals.


Senior Design: BIEN 400, 402 and BME 404 represent the culmination of your undergraduate education in Biomedical Engineering.  You will devise and implement a design project that requires integration and synthesis of prior engineering, life science, design and analytical skills.  This will involve use of the engineering design process and consideration of biomaterial, biomechanics, human factors, ethical and legal concerns, and oral and written communication skills.  Teams of classmates work together to facilitate group processing skills and successful designs.


Your design objective in BIEN 400 is to identify a design concept for a biomedical device or for biomedical research. You wish wish to establish a concept that fulfills the major criteria for a good project.  Specifically,  (1) There is a clear need for the product or research that you propose. (2) The product or research has not yet been done by someone else. (3) The premises on which you base your work are likely to be correct. (4) You personally have enough expertise in the subject and access to the needed resources to accomplish the proposed work. (5) The cost of the work is not prohibitive. (6) It is possible to delineate quantitative design criteria that define a successful design. Of particular importance to your design are (1) the use of quantitative engineering principles in the design process, (2) the testing of your device/experiment to ensure its viability, and (3) appropriate engineering modeling (physiological modeling) that will enable you to optimize or improve your design.  You are required to specify in your proposal the specific theoretical analysis you will use in the design process and the tests that you will perform. 


In BIEN 402 you will finalize your design, begin working on a prototype, perform physiological modeling, and assemble any measurement apparatus that is necessary to validate the fulfillment of the design criteria.


You will have completed the prototype and testing apparatus early in the Spring quarter (BIEN 404) and should spend the major part of this quarter on validating design criteria and improving both your testing methods and your device.


Textbook:    Mittendorf and Engelmann, “Design of Devices and Systems,” third edition, Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York.

                    Dictionary of Statistics


Supplemental Texts: Handout material and directed readings


Time:           TBA



Attendance is mandatory and will be accounted for in your final grade. In-class exercises cannot be made up without a physician’s note or prior approval for absence. See also Louisiana Tech University Bulletin (catalog), page 21.


Grading:                A=90-100, B=80-90, C=70-80, D=60-70, F=0-60


Grading will be based on your homework assignments (35%), your final design report (25%), the quality and completeness of your log book (10%),  attendance (10%), and participation in your design group (20%).


Design group participation will be monitored by weekly progress reports that you submit to your group.  Each week you are required to fill out a form that details 1) the objectives you were to accomplish that week, 2) an indication as to whether these objectives were accomplished, 3) an explanation for objectives that were not accomplished, 4) an evaluation of how to accomplish the objective and 5) a statement of the objectives to be accomplished in the upcoming week.  These forms are available on my web site.  At the end of the quarter, the group leader will summarize the information from this form.


Each member must work out weekly goals with the rest of the group.  You must sign your statement of goals for the upcoming week, indicating that they can be reasonably accomplished in a week’s time span.


Often it may make sense to identify objectives that may take more than one week.  However, in such cases it is your responsibility to divide such objectives into sub-objectives that can be accomplished in a single week.


Quality of log book: There should be at least four things in your log book. 1) A record of daily activities on the project (both yours and your sophomore’s) 2) Summaries of important information you have learned through the literature, contacts, or other sources, 3) Your own ideas and thoughts, and 4) data that you have collected in testing your product.  Make liberal log entries.  You never know what information you will need to look up at a later time.  Use your log book as a tool.  Log books that are merely diary entries are not sufficient.



Library research is necessary to a good design proposal.  Do not assume that just because your idea is good your proposal will be good.  Also, do not assume that you can find everything you need on the world wide web.  The web is a valuable tool for research, but remember that there is no critical review process for most of the materials on the web.  To get a complete view of your project you will need to read articles from refereed journals, textbooks, web pages and other sources.  At the end of the third week of the quarter, you will be required to turn in a list of 50 refereed journal articles related to your topic.  You will then be required to print out the abstracts of these articles, read them, and use a highlighter and pen to delineate any information you find that is of particular importance.  For many of the articles you find you will want to read the entire text.  It is possible to find a substantial amount of information on even the simplest of problems.


Problem Ideas:

Your problem ideas can come from any source.  You are even allowed to use problems from previous Senior Design students at Louisiana Tech.  However, if you do so, it is your responsibility to 1) Determine how the state of the art has changed since that student’s report.  2) Take the research beyond what was done by that student.