College of Engineering & Mines

Updates for students, alumni, supporters and constituents

Biomedical Engineering Symposium brings together experts, industry leaders

A room full of people sit and listen to a panel of speakers.

On October 8th, the 2022 North Dakota Biomedical Engineering Symposium was held at UND Center for Innovation

This symposium started five years ago to promote the joint Biomedical Engineering programs at UND and NDSU, strengthening the collaborations among faculty, students, and industries. Providing new opportunities to broaden relationships, the event cultivates the development of BME collaborative research projects and proposals that require interdisciplinary participation, especially from industry.

A headshot of Dr. Kouhyar Tavakolian
Dr. Kouhyar Tavakolian

The event was organized by Dr. Kouhyar Tavakolian, the director of UND’s biomedical engineering program. Richard Glyn, the executive director of the Bioscience Association of North Dakota, was involved with organizing the event.

This year’s meeting began with guest speaker Dr. John Mihelich, the Vice President of Research at UND. Afterward, Dr. Amy Witney, the director of the Center for Innovation, introduced new opportunities provided to ND through the new NSF ICoprs Hub initiative approved by NSF. Professor Dan Ewert, a recently hired faculty at the BME program, talked about Innovation Based Learning as the new educational infrastructure to train graduate and undergraduate students in the BME program at UND. Dr. David Paschane, another invited speaker who is the national data coordinator for Indian Health Service, discussed humanizing an American Indian and Alaska Native precision behavioral health system.

The keynote speakers for this year were Zach Down and Michael Johnson from Aspire Clinical Intelligence, talking about Senior Healthcare Innovation Consortium (SHIC). SHIC is an education and scientific research consortium initiated in North Dakota and dedicated to leveraging technology and data to positively impact senior healthcare treatment and delivery models to reduce societal costs. SHIC’s mission is to improve senior population health quality, safety, and illness prevention, reduce social costs, and alleviate staffing shortages.

A panel of speakers sit at a long table at the front of the meeting room.

Later, an industry panel was held, including Osman Osman, the new UND licensing and tech transfer associate, and members of industry and academia. John Hanish, a patent attorney at Maynard Cooper & Gayle, was also present at the panel, and the topic was IP in healthcare and the role of academia in it. The other panel members were Kenneth Barton, CEO of SaftySpect Inc, Mark Gelfand, the CTO of Deerfield Catalyst, and Shayan Mashatian, the CEO of Silverberry Group.

There was a student poster competition at the end of the event, and three students won prizes sponsored by SafetySpect Inc. The first place went to Rakib Hasan Khan, a Ph.D. student from NDSU, the second prize went to Nathan Ruprecht, a Ph.D. student at UND, and the third prize went to Amirreza Daghighi, an MS student at NDSU.

Looking ahead to next year’s event? Next year symposium will be held at NDSU and will be hosted by Dr. Annie Tangpong, the director of the Biomedical Engineering Program at NDSU.