Santa Clara University


Bioengineering Hires First Faculty Member

Prof. Yuling Yan

Yuling Yan has joined the School of Engineering as our first bioengineer.  She will head the bioengineering program and provide focus as the program transitions from a general engineering degree with a focus on bioengineering to a full bioengineering degree program.  Yuling has a long track record of research in the field, most recently in speech biomechanics and high speed imaging of the vocal cords to aid in clinical diagnoses.  This research was conducted at Stanford University, where Dr. Yan had an appointment with the Department of Otolaryngology. 

Yan is excited about the many opportunities for developing the bioengineering program at SCU. “This is such a wonderful opportunity for the University and Silicon Valley,” she said. “The great thing about SCU is that there are so many professors on campus and other industry leaders who are keen on seeing this program succeed.” Bioengineering is a highly interdisciplinary field of study, and to reflect this, the curriculum includes courses in biology, chemistry, and physics as well as many others from electrical and mechanical engineering. This fall, Yan is teaching an introductory class that presents many aspects of this emerging field as well as research and career opportunities, helping students to determine which track they wish to follow, for example biomedical, bioinstrumentation, bionanotechnology and others.  “Right now I am working on developing the undergraduate curriculum,” she said; “which will include independent research in the junior year as part of the credit requirements. This will give our students the opportunity to build skills in developing a research proposal, scientific writing, and presentation, in addition to actual research experience.”

Looking ahead, Yan sees exciting prospects for expanding this program to include Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees, and she is currently organizing a bioengineering research seminar series that will touch on current topics in bioengineering. She hopes to hire one or two new bioengineering faculty over the next two years.  “Silicon Valley is rich with experts in this field,” she said, “and the opportunities for drawing guest lecturers from academia and industry, for participating in collaborative research, and for providing continuing education to industry professionals are tremendous. I am very enthusiastic about helping to build this program for SCU.”

Dr. Yan joins the electrical engineering department and also has a courtesy appointment in mechanical engineering.