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Dr. Matthew Rickard
Dr. Matthew Rickard
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Rickard named chair of CBU Bioengineering Department

Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 25, 2014) -- When the bioengineering department in the Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering was launched last fall, Dr. Matthew Rickard, associate professor, was named interim chair. In July, he was officially named chair.

The department currently offers a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. In this field, students study the human body from an engineering perspective and learn about medical devices and technologies, and therefore the curriculum is grounded in mechanical and electrical engineering. This provides opportunities for students to create high-tech solutions for improving human health.

It is logical to house biomedical engineering in its own department, Rickard said.

“It made sense not to have that degree in an existing department,” he said.  “In the future we could add new degrees underneath bioengineering.”

Rickard’s goal is to offer other majors and possibly a master’s program. About six bioengineering students comprising the first class are expected to  graduate in 2016.

Dr. Mark Gordon, assistant professor, and Dr. Seung-Jae Kim, associate professor, are also part of the department.

The curriculum was created to comply with ABET requirements, Rickard said.

ABET is the recognized accrediting body of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology. Other requirements consider faculty, student experience, facilities and continual improvement policy. According to ABET policy, CBU cannot apply for accreditation until after the first students graduate, Rickard said. It takes about a year of review, but the accreditation is retroactive to include all the first graduates.