SEMINAR: A Bioengineering Approach to the Scientific Method

Karen Bertocci, Ph.D, MBA
When Nov 13, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Shumaker Research Bldg, Room 139
Contact Name
Contact Phone 852-7485
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Abstract: While scientists study how nature works, engineers create new things. Because these objectives are different, scientists and engineers follow different processes in their work. Scientists perform experiments using the scientific method, whereas engineers follow the engineering design process. In actuality, these approaches fall within the continuum that many scientists and engineers move along.

In bioengineering, the problem is typically a clinical medicine one that is framed within the scientific method. Clinical problems often need to be informed by our understanding of medicine - what are the causes and consequences of kidney disease, for example. But they also need to be informed about whether the effects of kidney disease can be ‘fixed’. That is, can we create technology that allows the patient to maintain quality of life while also mitigating the effects of kidney disease?  Successful bioengineers must understand both approaches. During this seminar we will introduce the scientific method, compare it to the engineering design process, and discuss taking an engineering approach to the scientific method. This seminar will be of particular interest to first year graduate students and those planning to pursue graduate studies.   

Speaker: Karen Bertocci, PhD completed her PhD in rehabilitation science and technology at the University of Pittsburgh, and a certificate in clinical epidemiology and statistics at the University of Louisville. Before receiving her doctorate, she worked in industry for 15 years, earning an MBA along the way. Her research focus is diverse and includes assistive technology development, rehabilitation outcomes, wheelchair transportation safety, and early detection of child abuse. Dr. Bertocci is a proponent of the need for in-depth, multidisciplinary approaches to identify gaps in knowledge and resources that can be filled to advance scientific understanding and medical and industry practices. She teaches research design and methods and bioengineering ethics.  Her yellow lab Ivy helps her grade papers.


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