My greatest professional satisfaction has been being part of the team that launched Bucknell's Biomedical Engineering Department. What began as a few meetings in the 1990s is now an accredited program with several years of alumni, a half-dozen professors and dedicated teaching space.
According to Jim Baish '79, variety is what keeps professors interested and interesting. "We're good teachers because we're involved in research, but we're good teachers first," he says.
Baish ought to know about good teaching; he was the 1999 recipient of the Class of 1956 Lectureship. The lecture is given in recognition of inspirational teaching at Bucknell.
Baish has taught widely across the curriculum, including everything from Engineering 100 to thermodynamics. He helped found the Residential College on Society and Technology and has mentored students at all levels of their education. He taught Bucknell's first biomedical engineering class almost two decades ago, and has served as co-director of the biomedical engineering program, which offers both a major and a minor in biomedical engineering.
"This is my last year as chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department," he says. "I'm looking forward to returning my focus to teaching and research after a stint in a more administrative role."
Baish's research includes a collaborative project with Rakesh Jain at Massachusetts General Hospital. It is a study of the geometry of blood vessels in tumors and how the shape of a blood vessel affects the delivery of medicine, among other things to the tumor. Their work may play an important role in the development of models for more effective treatment of cancerous tumors.
"I've also worked with urologists from Geisinger Health System and Bucknell students on a variety of medical devices and computer models aimed at improved treatment of urological disorders," says Baish.
Baish was integral in the development of Bucknell's Biomedical Engineering Department, which graduated its first class in 2008. "My greatest professional satisfaction has been being part of the team that launched Bucknell's Biomedical Engineering Department. What began as a few meetings in the 1990s is now an accredited program with several years of alumni, a half-dozen professors and dedicated teaching space," he says. "Our graduates are going on to do great things."