Stemming from the tremendous growth of the department, several changes were made within the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering’s administration faculty shortly before the commencement of the 2011-2012 academic year. Paul Benkeser, Ph.D. was the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies for almost ten years, and has been with the Coulter Department since its creation in 1997. Benkeser is now the current Senior Associate Chair for Operations. In this position, Benkeser will work together with the Department Chair, Larry McIntire, Ph.D. in providing greater oversight on operations throughout the department while addressing needs more efficiently. His previous position is now held by Associate Professor Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D.
Paul Benkeser, Ph.D, the outgoing Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. (Photo: Nicole Cappello)
Over the past decade, Benkeser oversaw the creation of the undergraduate curriculum for biomedical engineering, was instrumental in providing a vision for the department, and laid the groundwork for the integration of the successful problem based learning (PBL) education model into the curriculum. With the rest of the faculty available at the time, Benkeser began to conceive an undergraduate curriculum while simultaneously hiring faculty. As he reflects on being the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, Benkeser says, “A lot of time and effort has gone into shaping individual courses and the curriculum as a whole. It was made through a partnership of faculty, students, and now a sizable number of alumni that have all contributed to what we now call the undergraduate program.”