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Summer 2022 Newsletter

Image of Sara Arena pointing as she teaches class of second-year VT students

Teaching Excellence in BEAM

Sara Arena started teaching full-time at Virginia Tech in 2017. She teaches the Introduction to Biomedical Engineering course for our new program, among other courses. She is an alumna of our department, having earned her bachelor’s in engineering science and mechanics and both her master’s and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. As a teacher, she loves those “a-ha” lightbulb moments with students, and her philosophy centers on active learning. Learn more here.

Message from the Department Head

It was a momentous Spring semester! While graduation is always a special time for the graduates, their families, and their departments, this May’s commencement ceremonies included our first cohort of Biomedical Engineering undergraduate students. They achieved much in their four years at Virginia Tech – mastering the fundamentals of mechanics, designing biomedical circuits, honing their cell engineering skills, finalizing senior design projects.  And all the while engaged in research labs, internships, co-ops and other extramural activities.  They set their sights on exciting new ventures… Read more.


Senior Designs 2022: In this video, you'll hear more about three of the many senior design projects completed during the Spring 2022 semester. Our Engineering Science and Mechanics majors and our Biomedical Engineering majors are contributing to improving others’ lives, in the spirit of Ut Prosim.

First cohort of biomedical engineering undergraduates, during their first semester as official majors, taking apart medical devices.

First cohort of Virginia Tech undergraduate biomedical engineers set to graduate this spring: The new program – which bridges engineering fundamentals and biomedical science – is creating its own unique rhythm as its first students prepare for commencement. Read more.


Jennifer S. Wayne elected chair of AIMBE Academic Council. As chair of the council, Wayne will lead discussions and activities while also working to increase national visibility for the fields of medical and biological engineering. Read more.

Image of Rob Gourdie in blue plaid shirt, sitting in front of window

Biomedical researcher is Virginia Tech’s first NIH Outstanding Investigator Award recipient. Robert Gourdie, the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund Eminent Scholar in Heart Reparative Medicine Research, received the $6.4 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. Read more.

John Robertson named senior member of the National Academy of Inventors. As a child, John Robertson loved to tinker with old machine parts and broken tools supplied by his dad, a machinist and electrical engineer. His passion for solving problems only grew and has led to him earning recognition. Read more.

Drawing of the helmet lab

Virginia Tech Helmet Lab takes on snow sports. The Lab has added snow sports to the list covered by its nationally regarded five-star helmet rating system. Read more.

Join us for BEAM's Tailgate before Hokie Football  

September 17th, time TBD, Virginia Tech Hokies take on the Wofford Terriers after our department tailgate. Stay tuned.

Gifts help our students

  • $10 provides the academic cell engineering lab with 2 safety goggles for BEAM undergraduate students.

  • $50 can provide small supplies for an experiment.

  • $100 can provide 3D printing materials for that new student design.

  • $250 covers the student registration fee for a national conference.

  • $1000 funds a hands-on lab experience.

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