Department of Biomedical Engineering

Message From Chair

Welcome, and thank you for virtually visiting the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at UC Irvine.

Located in Orange County (OC) in Southern California and tucked  between Los Angeles and San Diego, this is an area more known for its beautiful beaches, surfing lifestyles and, perhaps, Mickey Mouse. However, you may not know that OC is home to more than 150 biomedical device companies, boasting one of the highest density industries in the nation. There is a strong and robust entrepreneurial culture in this region, as the Orange County Technology Alliance Network (OCTANe) supports and promotes startup activities by bringing together aspiring high-tech innovators, experienced business executives and financial capital that enables the rapid translation of novel research into tangible healthcare products. This is the environment that the BME Department (founded in 2002) is fortunate enough to be at the center of and, in fact, was a primary reason it was awarded a Whitaker Foundation Development Award in 1997, to realize its potential as the innovation engine of the region.

Over the years, the department has developed strong ties to the local biomedical device industry, with a Corporate Advisory Board whose members include the most reputable biomedical industry leaders in the region. Many of these board members have supported our program since its inception. Our undergraduate Senior Capstone Design Class relies heavily on local companies to mentor student projects and lecture on industry-relevant topics. Every year, BME students are hired by these local companies, completing the cycle from education to research to economic growth. We are making waves as an innovation hub for aspiring and accomplished biomedical engineers alike and hope to attract talented surfers of a different type – ones with big dreams and big hearts that want to make a difference by revolutionizing healthcare. The mission of the department is to “Inspire Engineering Minds to Advance Human Health.” 

To you, the aspiring BME surfer, did you know that:

  • BME faculty lead four highly visible and well-funded research centers that bridge fundamental discoveries to applied clinical applications, and arguably are the best in their respective fields:  Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (BLI), Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (LFD), Edwards Life Sciences Center for Cardiovascular Technology (ELCACT), and Center for Advanced Design & Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics (CADMIM).  The annual budget for each of these centers tops $1M per year.
  • BME faculty are integral members of multidisciplinary centers across campus including Center for Complex Biological Systems, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Center, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and the Institution of Clinical & Translational Science. BME students participate in the business competition and win top honors on an annual basis. BME has 65 affiliated faculty from other schools on campus, encouraging and participating in cooperative multidisciplinary research across fields.
  • BME faculty are competitive in garnering extramural grants, with expenditures topping $15M on an annual basis.  This includes two NIH P41 awards, one P50 award, and one NSF I/UCRC award. BME faculty are respected and renowned leaders in the field evidenced serving as Chief Editors and Editorial Board members in the top journals of their fields (e.g. Journal of Biomedical Optics, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, Lab on a Chip)
  • BME is accredited by the international Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which accredits over 3,100 programs worldwide. Accrediation ensures a quality education that takes into account design content, mathematic rigor and solid measures of outcome.

I invite you to continue to surf our department website to learn more about our challenging degree programs, our research accomplishments and our exceptional faculty. You are bound to discover resounding waves of a different kind!


Abe Lee

William J. Link Professor and Chair

Biomedical Engineering