BE Board:VisitingCom08

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Visiting Committee Visit Planning '08

Faculty Size/Curriculum

  • Increase number of electives
  • From Survey:
    • Statistics Class focused on Biology
    • Tissue Engineering
    • Graduate Lab Technique class:Imaging,Biochemistry,Basic Biology
    • Cellular,Physiological,Organ level biology
    • Genetics
    • Metabolics
    • Mathematical modeling
    • Ethics

Advisor Selection Process

  • First year funding is critical, need for more fellowships?
  • Working for two advisors - one in BE, one not. Is this working well for people?

Research Areas

What research areas are lacking?

  • Synthetic Biology
  • From 2006 survey:
    • Strengthen core subjects already emphasized
    • Neuroscience
    • Metabolic engineering
    • Energy/Environment
    • Epigenomics
    • Immunology


  • Currently de-centralized,lack of collaborations?,social interactions?
    • Labs in the Biology Building can definitely feel isolated from department
  • Tech Square people generally happy over there, would not necessarily want to move
  • Not enough space for new faculty

BE Department Staff

  • Compared to other engineering departments, less staff; asking them to wear a lot of hats
  • minimal web site activity, low student input, other departments seem to do more self-promotion (related to staff issue)
    • BE: 7, ChemE: at least 9, EECS: at least 9
    • ChemE has dedicated Web Site developer, Communications/Events people
    • EECS has Alumni Relations


  • Current grads are finding jobs, but new web portal might offer more help
    • How to attract recruiters - currently Merck actively recruits, but few others
    • Alumni contacts/database? - Dan says will try to incorporate into web portal, infinite connection has many
    • Where are current graduates working? (John Kisiday - faculty at Colorado State, Nora Szasz - start-up, Jon Fitzgerald - Merrimack, Jon Szafranski - Guidant, Laurel - industry, Ali K - HST faculty, Jenny Lee - Wyeth, Csani Varga - Millenium, Dan Erickson - Sales/Consulting, Kevin Janes - post-doc/academic, Maxine Jonas- , Nate Tedford- ,Erik Krauland- ,Kathryn Armstrong- ,Ricardo Brau- ,others?)
  • Is the department paying sufficient attention to helping people get academic/post-doc positions?
  • Are more people going to biotech or pharma in industry? Is BE training better received in one sector versus the other?

Undergraduate Effects

  • Increase in number of semesters as TA?

Department Spirit

Do the younger years feel the same association and investment in the department that the older years felt? If not, is this unavoidable as the department grows and matures? Can anything be done about this? Centralization of labs, common areas?

Visiting Committee Meeting 2006

Notes from previous Visiting Committee Meeting - have these issues been addressed significantly?