2024 Biomedical Engineering Giving Day Newsletter

Message from the Program Chair

Biomedical Building

The Biomedical Engineering Program at Louisiana Tech University has changed quite a bit since I arrived as a student in 2007. Just in the last year, we welcomed a new president, a new provost, a new dean, a new academic director, and a new program chair. As I reflect on this past year, I see that despite all these changes and all the challenges that we have faced (especially in the past five years), our program continues to attract talented students who move on to do marvelous things and dedicated faculty who provide a solid, unparalleled education to these students while producing high-impact research.

My role as the program chair has increased the number of interactions I have with our students and faculty, which has been a wonderful experience as I get to celebrate the successes of our students and faculty who continue the traditions of ground-breaking research. One of my newest responsibilities, working and interacting with you, is one of the most exciting aspects of this role. Hearing your stories at the 50-anniversary celebration was a real treat, and I look forward to hearing more. Some of you have asked how you can be more involved with Louisiana Tech and our program. I am excited by your enthusiasm to make an impact on our students.

This Giving Day, I want to challenge you to help us grow this program through any means you think would be helpful. It could be as simple as an annual donation to support scholarships or classrooms and lab spaces for our talented students. You can also contact our program with ideas for problems students can solve in the senior capstone and other design courses, or ways you would like to interact with our student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society to host an event, give a presentation, or sponsor a trip to a conference so our students (and program) gain exposure to the diverse career options available to them. I strongly encourage you to be an active member of our community, helping recreate that spark that drove you to succeed within our students. If you haven’t been on campus in a while, please stop by for a visit to see all the changes that our program (and University) have experienced. I look forward to seeing how our program will grow and evolve over the next few years, and I look forward to getting an opportunity to meet every one of you.

Louis Reis's signature

Dr. Louis Reis,
Program Chair

Message from the Senior Emma B. Faul

Throughout my time in the Biomedical Engineering program at Louisiana Tech, I have had the privilege of truly experiencing as much as possible from this program and the College. The most impactful opportunities have included being an officer for the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), serving as an ambassador for the College of Engineering and Science (COES), and finally conducting research within the Neural Technologies Laboratory.

During the summer preceding my senior year, I initiated my research journey within the Neural Technologies Laboratory under the leadership of Dr. Elisa Castagnola. The laboratory is dedicated to pioneering research in the integration of flexible neural devices with glassy carbon materials, enabling simultaneous electrophysiological recording and electrochemical detection. My focus centered on the intricate process of double pattern fabrication for flexible, implantable all glassy carbon microelectrode arrays tailored for neurochemical sensing.

Emma receiving an award from Dr. Reis

Following months of meticulous optimization and extensive data collection, I had the amazing opportunity to present my summer research at the 39th annual Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference. I was honored to be awarded first place in the undergraduate presentation competition during this distinguished conference. I am also thrilled to announce my first publication as the first author for the paper titled “Batch Fabrication of Microelectrode Arrays with Glassy Carbon Microelectrodes and Interconnections for Neurochemical Sensing: Promises and Challenges.” This immersive laboratory experience bolstered my confidence and deepened my passion for the biomedical field.

As an officer for BMES and an ambassador for COES, my dedication to biomedical engineering was deeply influenced by giving tours to potential students and the many interactions with the first- and second-year biomedical engineering students. Their enthusiasm, curiosity, and relentless pursuit of knowledge served as a constant source of inspiration, fueling my passion and reinforcing my commitment to this program.

Through engaging with these students, witnessing their transformative growth and sharing in their triumphs, I am continually reminded of the profound significance student involvement can have within a program. Together, future students, current students and alums can forge a dynamic community driven by a shared vision of harnessing technology to enhance healthcare, improve quality of life, and make a meaningful impact on the world.

Emma-Bernadette Faul is a senior in the BME program and the 2024 winner of the Tommy Landrum Scholarship. She has accepted a position with PrepMD as a Cardiac Device Specialist, which she will start after graduation in May.

Message from the Alumnus Roger White (’81)

Why do I give to Biomedical Engineering?

Since graduating with a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Louisiana Tech in 1981, I have been a consistent donor to the program. Why is this such a priority for me? First, Biomedical Engineering continues to graduate outstanding engineers who step into such a critical workforce. Both the medical device industry and the pharmaceutical industry produce consistent innovations that change lives for the better. These industries rely heavily on the kind of creative and capable biomedical engineers who graduate from Louisiana Tech.

Second, my degree has been such a personal treasure. I was raised by a single mother with very modest means. My degree thrust me instantly from those circumstances into a middle-class life and an incredibly enjoyable career. I can never thank Louisiana Tech enough for providing me with the chance to obtain such a valuable degree at such a reasonable cost.

Roger and Senior Catherine Lacey

Third, I remain connected to the great friends I made in Biomedical Engineering and give back to honor them. In the case of our departed friend, Cengiz Topakoglu, that includes ensuring the continuation of the scholarship that carries his name.

Lastly, I give to honor the vision Daniel Reneau had for Biomedical Engineering and his passion for developing great engineers and caring human beings. His positive influence on my life during those few years was immeasurable and has affected every aspect of my life.

I encourage all alumni to join me in becoming regular donors to the Louisiana Tech Biomedical Engineering program.

Roger White graduated from Louisiana Tech with his B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. He currently serves as the President of Phiama, Inc., a consulting firm that serves the medical device industry.