UBEC Organizers and Award Winners
[Left to Right: Hannah Duffy, Chris Young, Annika Hylen Gilmore, Kai Pruyn, James Craig, Katrina Hilman, and Sam Clinard]



The Utah Biomedical Engineering Conference (UBEC), founded in 2005 by former Department of Biomedical Engineering Chair Patrick Tresco at the University of Utah, brings together researchers from different regional geographical areas and across the entire spectrum of the biomedical engineering discipline.  Despite the amazing pool of research talent in the region, a dedicated forum to encourage exchange of ideas and facilitate collaborations within the area did not exist prior to UBEC. This conference was born from the desire to create such a biomedical engineering-dedicated platform.  Participants from regional universities and industry are encouraged to attend UBEC to network, share research and experiences, recruit employees, and celebrate the 50-year history of Utah biomedical engineering and this consistently productive and creative diverse technology community.  This community is commonly acknowledged to be central to the local vitality and strong growth of Utah’s vibrant medtech industry that has employed many Utah BME graduate for over a half century.

The 18th annual Utah Biomedical Engineering Conference recently continued the proud tradition of collecting biomedical engineering enthusiasts from around the State of Utah and the greater Intermountain West for a broad, interdisciplinary conference that celebrates the breadth and diversity of research under the umbrella term “biomedical engineering.” The event occurred Saturday, September 9th on campus in the University’s Union Ballroom, expertly organized by Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. graduate students Sam Clinard, Hannah Duffy, and Chris Young.  Several University units were involved in UBEC financial sponsorship: the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, and the University Health Sciences Vice President for Innovation and Vice President for Research offices.  Over 40 oral talks were accompanied by 90 research posters in an all-day technical program and an industry Q&A panel, and culminating with a closing keynote lecture from Mark Paul, former Global Division President, Stryker Neurovascular, and new Executive Director of the University’s Center For Medical Innovation, and closing reception/dinner.

The diversity of regionally represented biomedical research on display at UBEC challenges participants to expand their perspectives, applying their expertise to different areas of the field (e.g., cardiovascular, medical device development, neuroengineering, imaging, data science, drug delivery and biomaterials, synthetic biology and molecular engineering, biomechanics, regulatory affairs) to examine their own research from new angles and perspectives.  BME student participation and values have served as cornerstones of UBEC over the past decade, providing an opportunity for graduate and undergraduate researchers to highlight their work and network with their peers.  Graduate student organizers put in long hours to lock in all conference details.   Student presentations serve vital roles at UBEC, helping to spread new knowledge, cultivate curiosity, establish networks, and engender additional collaborations among the broader research community, developing students’ public speaking skills and encouraging a healthy competitive spirit amongst participants. All interested researchers and industry colleagues are invited to next year’s UBEC, tentatively scheduled for September 21, 2024.  See you there!