Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 904–916 | Cite as

Biomedical Engineering and The Whitaker Foundation: A Thirty-Year Partnership

  • Peter G. Katona
OriginalArticle

The Whitaker Foundation, established in 1976, will close in 2006. It will have made awards totaling $805 million, with over $710 million in biomedical engineering. Close to 1500 faculty members received research grants to help them establish academic careers in biomedical engineering, and over 400 graduate students received fellowship support. The Foundation also supported the enhancement or establishment of educational programs in biomedical engineering, especially encouraging the formation of departments. The number of biomedical engineering departments almost tripled during the past 10 years, now numbering close to 75. Leveraging of grants enabled the construction of 13 new buildings. With the field firmly established, the grant program supporting new faculty members will be the one missed the most. New opportunities, however, are emerging as interdisciplinary research is being embraced by both public and private funding sources. The life sciences will be increasingly incorporated into all areas of engineering, and it is expected that such “biofication” will pose both opportunities and challenges to biomedical engineering.

Keywords

BME, history, future, education, funding, departments, programs 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My special thanks go to the hundreds of biomedical engineering colleagues and friends who have provided professional leadership to our field. Many of them also served as consultants to the Whitaker Foundation; I apologize that space limitation prevents listing them. Within the Foundation, thanks are due to members of the Governing Committee for their support and dedication, especially to the two chairs with whom I was privileged to work: Drs. Burtt and Ruth Holmes. I would also like to express my appreciation to my current and former colleagues at the Foundation, especially to Frank Blanchard, James Frost, Miles Gibbons, Carina Hreib, John Linehan, and Wolf von Maltzahn. This paper would not exist without their ideas and collaboration in shaping the Foundation's programs.

REFERENCES

  1. 1.
    Dickason, J. H. and D. Neuhauser. Closing a Foundation: The Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust. Washington, DC: The Council on Foundations, 2000.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Harris, T. R., J. D. Bransford, and S. D. Brophy. Roles of learning sciences and learning technologies in biomedical engineering education: A review of recent advances. Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. 4:20–48, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Johnson, A. T. and A. M. Philips. Philosophical foundations of biological engineering. J. Eng. Educ. 84:311–218, 1995.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Katona, P. G. The Whitaker Foundation: The end will be just the beginning. IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging 21:845–849, 2002.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kohn, D. H. The end is just the beginning. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie-Mellon University, 1980.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lindsenmeier, R. A. What makes a biomedical engineer? IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Mag. 32–38, 2003.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Linehan, J. H., guest editor. Special issue on biomedical engineering education. Ann. Biomed. Eng., 2006.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Montaigne, F. Engineering by Design: The Practice and Promise of Biomedical Engineering. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    National Academy of Engineering. The Engineer of 2020. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2004.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter G. Katona
    • 1
  1. 1.The Whitaker FoundationArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations