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BioE Seminar: Kenneth Lutchen, Ph.D.


333 Curry Student Center

December 6, 2017 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
December 6, 2017 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Kenneth Lutchen, Ph.D.


College of Engineering

Boston University


“Part 1: How Does the Lung Become Asthmatic?

Part 2: The Challenge & Opportunities of BME and Engineering Education”



This seminar will be split. The first part will present current research to enlighten on the mechanisms of how an otherwise healthy lung might become capable of airway hyperresponsiveness, a hallmark of asthma. Surprisingly, despite nearly 70 years of intense research, this question remains unanswered. This is partly because many researchers typically focus on a single biological level from the airway smooth muscle cells to the individual airway all the way to the whole lung. I will present new perspectives that attempt to connect all these levels. The second part of the seminar will switch gears and provide an overview of the origins and potential future opportunities of biomedical engineering as a discipline and more broadly the challenges and opportunities facing engineering education as a whole. I will discuss the extraordinary growth in engineering over the last decade and how engineering education should be changing to accommodate the driving forces. If time permits, I will present thoughts on the value proposition of higher education in general and the primary reasons for the rising costs in concert with the extraordinary return on investment that still exist.



Dr. Kenneth R. Lutchen is Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University.  He has published over 135 peer-reviewed journal articles focusing largely on the mechanisms that cause structural changes in the lung leading to disease.


As Chair of Biomedical Engineering, the department ranking improved from 18th to 6th in the nation.  Since becoming Dean, the College’s Graduate Ranking has improved from 54th  to 34th  and is ranked 15th among all private universities. He orchestrated the creation of a new Divisions in Materials Science and Systems Engineering and the Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC),  a 15,000 sq ft. maker space designed to partner with industry to instill interdisciplinary design and product innovation skills throughout engineering education.


In 2016 Dean Lutchen was named a member of the Advisory Committee to the Directorate for Engineering of The National Science Foundation. He is Past-President of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and has served on the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society and currently the Wyss Institute for Bioinspired Engineering at Harvard. Dr. Lutchen has been the recipient of the AIMBE Pierre Galletti Award, AIMBE’s highest honor.