The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Department of Biomedical Engineering

Welcome to the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst! We are a young department that was founded in 2017 as part of a larger life sciences initiative at UMass Amherst to prepare students in biomedical engineering and to contribute to cutting-edge research in this field. During the 2020-21 academic year, the department is growing to 8 tenure-track faculty members, 4 lecturers and research faculty members, and 3 staff members, and I expect our growth trajectory to continue. The department is housed in new, state-of-the-art laboratory facilities on the 6th floor of the Life Science Laboratories building.

Our degree programs in biomedical engineering have quickly become popular choices for engineering students. We have over 300 students in our undergraduate program with the first class of B.S. students graduating in the 2020-21 academic year. At the graduate level, we are offering a research-focused doctoral degree program.

The research conducted within the department is in the broad areas of bioinstrumentation and imaging, biomaterials, tissue engineering and regeneration, and biomechanics. We work in close collaboration with colleagues in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), the College of Engineering, and the College of Natural Sciences. Several of our faculty members have their labs located at the UMass Medical School in Worcester, where they closely collaborate with UMMS researchers and practitioners.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our community of scholars and students is vibrant because of the diversity of our members and their contributions to our inclusive educational and work environment. We are committed to the efforts in the College, the University, and the nation to fight for racial and social justice.

To learn more about our department, please browse this website. For questions regarding the undergraduate program, please contact our undergraduate program director, Natalia Kolk. For questions regarding the graduate program, please contact our graduate program director, Dr. Seth Donahue. For all other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

S. Thai Thayumanavan
Interim Department Head
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering Department News

Sankaran Thai Thayumanavan will serve as interim department head of Biomedical Engineering (BME) starting in January of 2021 and has already taken on the role of an associate department head in BME in order to collaborate closely with the current interim BME department head, Tilman Wolf, during the transitional phase.

The Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department and the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at UMass Amherst are adding a total of six new faculty members to the College of Engineering during the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021 semesters. The BME department is adding Assistant Professor Prabhani Atukorale (January 2021) and Assistant Professor Siyuan Rao (January 2021), as well as Lecturers Martin Hunter (September 2020) and Qianbin Wang (December 2020). The CEE department is adding Assistant Professor Mariana Lanzarini Lopes (January 2021) and Lecturer Jessica Boakye (...

UMass ADVANCE has announced the 2020-2021 cohort of ADVANCE Faculty Fellows, and it includes five engineering faculty — one from each department.


A team at UMass Amherst reports developing a bioelectronic-ammonia-gas sensor that is among the most sensitive ever made. The sensor, created by Biomedical Engineering Department doctoral student Alexander Smith (first author) with his advisor Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Derek Lovely of the Microbiology Department, uses electric-charge-conducting protein nanowires derived from the bacterium Geobacter to provide biomaterials for electrical devices.