March 08, 2010


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Two Bucknell University biomedical engineering professors have been honored by the Biomedical Engineering Division (BED) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Dan Cavanagh, the chair of biomedical engineering and an associate professor of biomedical and chemical engineering, received the Theo Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award. Joe Tranquillo, an assistant professor of biomedical and electrical engineering, received the Biomedical Engineering Teaching Award.

To be considered for the awards, Cavanagh and Tranquillo were nominated by their peers with letters of support from former students and colleagues at other universities. The awards will be presented at the 2010 ASEE meeting in June in Louisville, Ky.

Dan Cavanagh
The Theo Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award recognizes significant contributions to biomedical engineering education as evidenced by the development of successful undergraduate or graduate level programs, curricula, publications as well as by membership and activities in ASEE/BED and other biomedical engineering organizations.

"Since arriving at Bucknell in 1999, Professor Cavanagh has worked diligently to both build a BME department at Bucknell and contribute to biomedical engineering education," the citation says. "At Bucknell, he has developed a new department that emphasizes a strong, hands-on education utilizing novel instructional methods.

"In the BME community, Professor Cavanagh has served in various capacities including a six-year member of BME Council of Chairs executive board and chair of the BED. His numerous contributions to BME education include effective leadership in BME education focused organizations, authorship on 17 education conference papers, and efforts in coordinating educational sessions at national meetings."

Cavanagh holds his degrees from Northwestern University. He received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from Bucknell in 2006. He was appointed to the William C. and Gertrude B. Emmitt Memorial Chair in Biomedical Engineering in 2002 and reappointed in 2007. || Faculty profile

Joe Tranquillo
The Biomedical Engineering Teaching Award recognizes contributions in the field of biomedical engineering education by new faculty members as evidenced by innovative teaching materials, curricula, textbooks and professional papers and by activity in ASEE/BED and other biomedical engineering organizations. Awardees must have a primary educational role in biomedical engineering, either through a dedicated BME/bioengineering program or through a related engineering program.

"While Dr. Tranquillo's passion for undergraduate education is quite obvious in his dedication to his students at Bucknell, this passion also comes through in his efforts to enhance the biomedical engineering community as a whole," Tranquillo's nomination materials read. "In only four and a half years, Dr. Tranquillo has made significant contributions to the BME education community including nine ASEE peer-reviewed conference papers, nine presentations at meetings including BMES, BME-IDEA and BME Education Summit, and 11 education-related invited presentations."

Since joining the Bucknell faculty in 2005, Tranquillo has created four BME courses, led the development of writing exercises to satisfy Bucknell's writing requirement, and worked with 16 students resulting in two peer-reviewed journal articles with student co-authors, 17 conference presentations and one Bucknell honors thesis. He has taught eight different classes at Bucknell, including an improvisational dance and movement performance class.

Tranquillo, who holds his degrees from Duke University and Trinity College, is the author of the textbook, Quantitative Neurophysiology. || Faculty page

Contact: Division of Communications


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