Ken Lutchen

Dean's Bio

Dean, College of Engineering
Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Kenneth R. Lutchen has been the dean of the Boston University College of Engineering since 2006, and a member of the Biomedical Engineering faculty since 1984.

As dean, he has overseen the creation of two new College of Engineering divisions – Systems Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering – that focus on interdisciplinary research and graduate education. He also expanded the College’s Mechanical Engineering Department and implemented new graduate degree programs and several undergraduate concentrations and minors. Dean Lutchen has also led the creation of the Clean Energy & Environmental Sustainability Initiative, a joint initiative with the School of Management, the College of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Prior to his appointment as dean, Lutchen had served as the Biomedical Engineering Department’s chair since 1998. During his eight-year chairship, the department received both a $14 million dollar Whitaker Foundation Leadership Award and a $15 million Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership Award. Boston University is the only institution in the nation to have received both awards. Also during his tenure as chair, extramural funding increased from $8 million to more than $24 million per year, and the department’s ranking in U.S. News & World Report improved from 18 to 6.

Dr. Lutchen is one of the world’s leading biomedical engineers in the field of pulmonary physiology. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and has advanced novel experimental, imaging, and computational-based methods for probing the structure-function relations governing lung disease.

Dean Lutchen is past president of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which represents some 36,000 bioengineers. He was also secretary/treasurer of AIMBE and chair of the Academic Council. He has served on the board of directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and is one of that society’s inaugural fellows. Dr. Lutchen also has served on scientific advisory board, review panels and study sections for the Whitaker Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and several bioengineering departments and engineering colleges nationwide.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science from the University of Virginia in 1977, and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1980 and 1983, respectively.

Engineering, Education and Society

Below are a series of Dean Lutchen’s essays on an array of topical matters, adapted from pieces that appeared in The Engineer, the College’s alumni magazine.

Educating Engineers

  • Putting MOOCs Where Our Mouths Are: Massive Open Online Course aren’t the educational nirvana some think they are, but they can play an important role in transforming engineering education.
  • A Trademarked Education: The concept was so important that Boston University trademarked the phrase Boston University Creating the Societal Engineer. Here’s how it’s done.
  • Engineering Education for the 21st Century: The technology leaders of tomorrow need more than what the classroom alone can offer.

STEM and K-12 Outreach

  • We Can Build the Future: How we can get K-12 kids interested in engineering, retain engineering undergraduates and create Societal Engineers.
  • Engineering is Not Science: We need to excite kids about engineering and innovation, not just science.

Public Policy

Engineering in Society