Meet Dean Lutchen and his Views on Education
Dean, College of Engineering
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Kenneth R. Lutchen, is Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. He received his B.S. from the University of Virginia and Ph.D from Case Western Reserve University. He has published over 135 peer-reviewed journal articles. Dean Lutchen was Chair of Biomedical Engineering from 1998-2006 over which the department ranking improved from 18th to 6th in the nation. Dr. Lutchen is Past-President of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Since becoming Dean, the College’s Graduate Ranking in US News and World Report has improved from 54th to 34th , the largest improvement of any school in the top 54 over that time. Since 2015 he has overseen the creation and resourcing of several new major research centers, including The Biological Design Center, The Precision Diagnostics Center, and the Neurophotonics Center. During his Deanship, he has orchestrated the creation of a new Division of Materials Science and Engineering and a new Division of Systems Engineering and Masters programs in Robotics, Cybersecurity and Data Analytics. Recently, he oversaw the creation of a new 20,000 sq. ft Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC) designed to partner with industry to instill interdisciplinary design and product innovation skills throughout engineering education. Dean Lutchen has focused on transforming engineering education to create the Societal Engineer®, an individual who combines their engineering foundation with empowering attributes to address society’s challenges regardless of their career paths. He also drove the creation of a unique Technology Inspiration Ambassador program that trains Engineering students to inspire K-12 students to pursue Engineering. In 5 years this program has reached over 20,000 K-12 students in 26 states.
In 2016 Dean Lutchen was honored to be named a member of the Advisory Committee to the Directorate for Engineering of The National Science Foundation. Dr. Lutchen is on the Board of Directors of the Wyss Institute at Harvard and serves on several other academic and corporate advisory boards as well as on review panels for the NIH and NSF. Dr. Lutchen has been the recipient of the AIMBE Pierre Galletti Award, AIMBE’s highest honor, and the College of Engineering’s Professor of the Year Award and the Biomedical Engineering Professor of the Year Award — twice.
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 ENGineer, the College’s alumni magazine.
- Engineering’s Gender Diversity Problem: Why does the most popular engineering discipline attract so few females?
- Educating the Maker Generation for the Digital Economy: The Days of the Single-Discipline Engineering Degree Have Passed
- A Foundational Experience: Students at the Forefront of Research: Senior Design Projects and alumni-funded undergraduate research opportunities have evolved into integral hallmark experiences for students.
- Looking Forward: Several College initiatives now bearing fruit were envisioned years ago, and others are now in the early stages of development.
- The Hidden Value Proposition Via On-Campus Digital Learning: These new technologies have the potential to excite and engage students so they will be more likely to remain in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
- The Challenges of Success: As we welcome rising interest in engineering, we need to take a closer look at who our students are and how we are educating them.
- Transforming Engineering Education for a New Era of Product Innovation: The Engineering Product Innovation Center promises to prepare students for a changing design and manufacturing landscape.
- Putting MOOCs Where Our Mouths Are: Massive Open Online Courses 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.
- Partners in Innovation: A new model for academic-industry research partnerships.
- Society’s Technology Gap: America’s lack of basic technology knowledge threatens our future.
- Healthy Investing: Continued federal research support is critical to our economic prosperity.
Engineering in Society
- Creating the Societal Citizen…or Else?: Higher education needs to commit to Creating the Societal Citizen.
- Planning for a Bright Future: Leveraging emerging technologies in research and education.
- Creating the Societal Engineer: Engineers need an appreciation and passion for how they can use their education to improve society.