Santa Clara University


A Vision for Bioengineering

Paul Davison, M.S. ’08, has always been a visionary for the School of Engineering’s bioengineering program. As a graduate student in the Engineering Management and Leadership program, Davison applied his years of experience working in the medical device industry to his master’s thesis—a guide for how to develop medical devices. Later, he created a course on the subject and began teaching it through the engineering management department. As the bioengineering program was launched at Santa Clara, department chair Yuling Yan recognized Davison’s expertise, keen insight, and passion for growing Santa Clara’s program; she recruited him for the Bioengineering Industry Advisory Board.

Paul Davison with his Medical Device Product Development class
Photo: Charles Barry

Since then, Davison, Vice President, Advanced Energy, for ConMed Linvatec, and inventor on eight U.S. patents for medical devices, has been a tireless supporter of the program. As an advisory board member he helps guide curriculum and program development; in his role as adjunct professor he teaches two courses—medical device product development and biomaterials; and he serves as a project advisor, mentoring undergraduates who are working on real challenges for local medical device companies. “It’s been very rewarding advising on projects,” he said; “It benefits the students, the University, and the industry. After working on these projects, many of our students have jobs immediately after graduation and are working in the medical device industry now.” His mentorship doesn’t end with graduation, though; with 24 years of experience in engineering, mid-level and senior management, Davison is regularly called upon by former students who are working in industry or developing their own products. 

“I truly believe we should always be learning,” he said; “that’s part of what I enjoy about teaching and serving on the advisory board—I learn a lot from our students and it’s wonderful to meet the faculty and other board members whose accomplishments are so impressive. We all have different experience, so collectively we bring a lot of value to the University.” Dr. Yan agrees: "We are fortunate in having an impressive and effective advisory board whose members are pioneers in their fields of medical devices, biotechnology and medicine. Many are making significant contributions to the development and advancement of the Department of Bioengineering, including the teaching and training of our students, co-advising of senior design projects, facilitating internships and providing valuable advice on career opportunities. Paul has been extremely active in all of these endeavors, and we are grateful for his unwavering commitment, dedication and generous contributions to our department and students."  

For his part, Davison envisions great change in the medical field through bioengineering. “There are strong opportunities to develop low cost alternatives to existing devices, and for devices that can reduce the overall cost of surgery and length of hospital stay while minimizing patients’ pain and speeding recovery. The future is bright for bioengineering.” 

For more about the Department of Bioengineering, see

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