This winter semester marked the debut of bioengineering classes at McGill. The new program has been designed as interdisciplinary and aims to broaden the scope of McGill’s Engineering program.
“Bioengineering is a rapidly evolving field that requires highly interdisciplinary training in both engineering and natural/life [sic] sciences that is not provided by traditional Engineering departments,” Georgios Mitsis, assistant professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering, told The Daily in an email.
“[This new department] will be one of the very few dedicated departments in Canada to provide an undergraduate degree that will […] place considerable emphasis on fundamental biology principles as guides for Engineering design,” he said.
In an email to The Daily, Nancy Nelson, advisor at the department of Biology, said that student representatives from interdisciplinary biology programs helped gather suggestions from their peers. According to Nelson, one benefit of the program will be the availability of bioengineering classes for science students. It also coincides with an “upcoming review and updating of the interdisciplinary programs offered by the Biology department.”
Brandon Xia, associate professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering, told The Daily in an email that the program’s start date will depend on whether or not it is approved by the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire.
“If the decision is favourable, we will start the admission process right away. If the decision is unfavourable, we will need to revise and resubmit the proposal,” Xia said. The program has already been approved by internal committees within McGill.
According to Xia, the new program will be taught by professors from a variety of faculties, including Engineering, Medicine, and Science.