The Founding of ISOTT: The Shamattawa of Engineering Science and Medical Science

  • Duane F. Bruley
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 812)


The founding of ISOTT was based upon the blending of Medical and Engineering sciences. This occurrence is portrayed by the Shamattawa, the joining of the Chippewa and Flambeau rivers. Beginning with Carl Scheele’s discovery of oxygen, the medical sciences advanced the knowledge of its importance to physiological phenomena. Meanwhile, engineering science was evolving as a mathematical discipline used to define systems quantitatively from basic principles. In particular, Adolf Fick’s employment of a gradient led to the formalization of transport phenomena. These two rivers of knowledge were blended to found ISOTT at Clemson/Charleston, South Carolina, USA, in 1973.

The establishment of our society with a mission to support the collaborative work of medical scientists, clinicians and all disciplines of engineering was a supporting step in the evolution of bioengineering. Traditional engineers typically worked in areas not requiring knowledge of biology or the life sciences. By encouraging collaboration between medical science and traditional engineering, our society became one of the forerunners in establishing bioengineering as the fifth traditional discipline of engineering.


Carl Scheele Adolf Fick ISOTT Medical and engineering sciences Clemson/Charleston meeting 



Dr. Bruley is most grateful for the expert and professional assistance of Eileen Thiessenin the preparation of this paper and supporting presentation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Synthesizer, Inc.Ellicott CityUSA

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