Published: May 25, 2023 By
Last one

The first-ever graduating class in biomedical engineering at CU Boulder received their diplomas this spring, marking a significant achievement not only for the students but for the program as well.

The graduation ceremony was held in the Byron R. White Club in Folsom Stadium on May 11. The event was packed with family and friends of the 14 undergraduates and one Master of Science student.

Photos of the full ceremony are available on Flickr.

In his opening remarks, Program Director Mark Borden said that he had been dreaming of this day for years and that it exceeded his expectations. He also highlighted the tight bond the small group of students formed with each other over the past four years.

Biomedical engineering is a highly interdisciplinary discipline that lies at the interface of medicine, biology and engineering. Most of the equipment in hospitals and clinics is designed, built and tested by biomedical engineers. They also generate new biomimetic engineering designs in fields such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

The program has proven popular with a diverse group of students – this year’s undergraduate class was 71% women, representing the highest percentage of women graduates of any academic program in the college.

“Electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, physicians and biologists all realized they held the pieces of a larger puzzle that promised to help and improve the lives of millions of people,” graduating senior Quinn Beato said in his address during the ceremony. “Together, these connections charted a new map to explore biomedical applications.”

The journey wasn’t always easy for the first-ever graduating class, graduating senior Catalina Bastias Diaz shared in her remarks. There were no practice exams, study guides or fixed curriculum. Some of the classes were entirely new, like biomaterials and biotransport.

But at the same time, the students got to know their professors outside the classroom, had the opportunity to give back to the program by being course assistants and engage with medical companies at a level that other majors don’t get the chance to.

After graduation, many of the students plan to go into industry, where they will work on designing and manufacturing cutting-edge medical devices. Others plan to further their knowledge in engineering in graduate school, while others plan to pursue medical school. 

“As biomedical engineers, we have the unique ability to change lives for the better,” Diaz said. “Through our innovative work, we can improve patient outcomes, advance medical technology, and make a real difference in the world.”