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The Virginia Tech Carilion Biodesign Program

One of Carilion Clinic’s six robots is docked to perform colorectal surgery at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Introducing a new state of the art program dedicated to teaching the next generation of clinical innovators.

The Biodesign program represents a joint venture between the Virginia Tech (VT) College of Engineering and Carilion Clinic, the region’s premier healthcare provider. Students engage in the entire lifecycle of medical technology innovation, including the identification of unmet needs, the generation of novel technologies to address them, and the development of implementation plans to bring them into fruition. The experience is highly-immersive, with transdisciplinary teams of surgical residents and graduate engineers working collaboratively in the clinical environment. Trainees will be poised to improve patient care and spark growth in the regional biotechnology ecosystem.  

​The Biodesign process originated at Stanford University and is adapted from design thinking. The process starts with problem definition and then implements solutions, with the needs of the user and patient at the heart of concept development. Our program is positioned uniquely within Southwest Virginia and emphasizes the social determinants of health across a range of geographic and demographic influences. Medical, engineering, and business content are woven throughout the curriculum and capture a range of topics, including disease state fundamentals, prototype fabrication and testing, intellectual property, regulatory science, and marketing strategies. 

Program Features

  • Joint venture between VT College of Engineering and Carilion Clinic
  • Master's degree (non-thesis) through the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES)
  • Unique clinical immersion in rural and urban healthcare environments across Southwest Virginia to study the influence of the social determinants of health on medical technology innovation. 
  • Deep-dive into medical device design, including FDA design controls, consensus engineering standards, risk management strategies, and enhancing quality in design
  • Opportunity to develop and test new products from conception to commercialization
  • Access to expert faculty from across the university, medical school, hospital system, regional bioengineering ecosystem, and startup companies.
  • Emphasis on individual professional development and mentorship
  • Competitive support for students

Contact Information

Kelsey Wall

Biomedical Engineering / SBES Graduate Coordinator