The new degree program B.Sc. Biomedical Engineering, jointly established by the Technical University Darmstadt and the Goethe University Frankfurt is being very well received: Around 280 first semester students enrolled as "first year", some 40 percent of them women. The demand shows that obviously "a nerve" was hit and the interest in innovative study programmes is great.
The cooperation between the TU Darmstadt and the Goethe University Frankfurt offers students working toward the new B.Sc. Biomedical Engineering the unique opportunity in Hessen to benefit equally from the competences and knowledge of both a university of medicine and a technical university and obtain a degree jointly supported by both universities. The number of applicants, which far exceeded expectations in the run-up, underlines that the program is in line with current trends: The degree programme offers interdisciplinary teaching that suggests answers to the societal issues of tomorrow.
To meet the interdisciplinary demands of biomedical engineering, some eighty percent of the institutes teach engineering core competencies; some twenty percent lay the scientific-medical foundations. Students are also introduced to both disciplines as early as in the first semester. While mathematics, physics, and electrical engineering are all part of the curriculum in engineering, medicine is all about the fundamentals of natural science, the structure of the human body, and its functions. Right from the beginning, a close relationship between biomedical engineering and clinical issues has been established. Through internships and exercises, the theories conveyed in the lectures can be experienced right from the start.
The TU Darmstadt considers that about two-fifths of those enrolled for the first time are female to be a resounding success, particularly since women are still in the minority nationwide in STEM subjects. "Studies show that increasing numbers of women are interested in engineering sciences when these are interdisciplinary or include socio-political issues. The course of study of biomedical engineering
is precisely this. Thus, the department was able to support TU Darmstadt's goal of attracting women to STEM subjects,” says Professor Andy Schürr, Dean of Studies at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.
Of course, the high number of first-semesters, especially for a medically demanding teaching is a special time-consuming and resource-intensive burden. "But the cooperation between the TU Darmstadt and the Goethe University Frankfurt also opens up a whole new dimension for Hessen, not just for teaching," says Professor Robert Sader, Dean of Studies at the Goethe University's Department of Medicine. "Both universities are among the top universities in their field in Germany, and the combination of these two competencies creates significant added value and a multiplier effect that will sustainably promote biomedical engineering research at the Hessen location."
A master's programme in medical engineering following on from the Bachelor's degree is to be introduced in the winter semester 2021/2022, in time for the first Bachelor's graduates.