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Presentation for Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies (AISS) Students. Zoran Nenadic, DSc Assistant Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (courtesy) University of California, Irvine July 10, 2009.

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Presentation for Achievement Institute of

Scientific Studies (AISS) Students

Zoran Nenadic, DSc

Assistant Professor

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (courtesy)

University of California, Irvine

July 10, 2009


Poll Question #2: You would consider becoming an engineer because:

A) Engineering is challenging, exciting, hands-on and rewarding

B) Engineering has a good career potential (pays well, especially in the long run)

C) Engineers make a difference

D) Engineering requires skills in math and science and I am good at both


Poll Question #3: Which message is the most appealing:

A) Engineers make a world of difference.

From new farming equipment and safer drinking water to electric cars and faster microchips, engineers use their knowledge to improve people’s lives in meaningful ways.

B) Engineers are creative problem-solvers.

They have a vision for how something should work and are dedicated to making it better, faster, or more efficient.

C) Engineers help shape the future.

They use the latest science, tools, and technology to bring ideas to life.

D) Engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety.

From the grandest skyscrapers to microscopic medical devices, it is impossible to imagine life without engineering.

E) Engineers connect science to the real world.

They collaborate with scientists and other specialists (such as animators, architects, or chemists) to turn bold new ideas into reality.


Poll Question #4: If you wanted to tell your family and friends why you were going to engineering, what would you say?

A) I want to turn ideas into reality

B) Because my dreams need doing

C) I want to design things that work wonders

D) I want financial security

E) I want to be a part of making the next big invention


Changing Perception of Engineering in K-12


Mission Statement

No profession unleashes the spirit of innovation like engineering. From research to real-world applications, engineers constantly discover how to improve our lives by creating bold new solutions that connect science to life in unexpected, forward-thinking ways. Few professions turn so many ideas into so many realities. Few have such a direct and positive effect on people’s everyday lives. We are counting on engineers and their imaginations to help us meet the needs of the 21st century.



  • Engineering is not attracting enough people to the field
  • Engineering is not attracting the diversity of background needed
  • Students who are good in math and science may not be aware of
  • engineering careers
  • If this trend continues, the U.S. may lose its competitiveness in
  • the global economy
  • Moving Forward to Improve Engineering Education, National Science Board, 2007
  • A central issue: the way engineering is perceived by
  • prospective students(YOU)
  • teachers
  • guidance counselors
  • parents

Background: Society at large does not have an accurate perception of the nature of engineering


Significance: In contrast to these common public perceptions, it is an exciting time to be an engineer

  • - The next generation of U.S. engineers will be challenged to find holistic solutions to:
  • population
  • energy
  • environment
  • food
  • water
  • terrorism
  • housing
  • health
  • transportation problems
  • - New subfields of engineering continue to emerge:
  • nanotechnology
  • biotechnology
  • information technology
  • logistics

Opportunity: Biomedical Engineering (BME) is here to stay.

Biomedical Engineers combine engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and heath management and care delivery systems.



Orange County is the center of biomedical device industry (~200 companies)

It takes 4 years to earn a BME degree (comparable to science degree, and much shorter than medical and law degrees)

Mean annual wage for BME professionals: $81,120

Mean annual wage for BME professionals (California): $91,590

Other engineering disciplines (mechanical, electrical, chemical, civil) have similar wages

source: United States Department of Labor, 2008



- “Make a Difference” message is key

- This represents a paradigm shift from the previous message

where the challenge of math and science skills were emphasized

- Encouraging YOU to make a difference in the world through an engineering career is more likely to attract YOU to engineering.

Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering, National Academy of Engineering, 2008



400 ms



80 points


2 numbers

640 numbers