Biomedical engineering seniors attend Coulter College training program


Six Penn State biomedical engineering seniors attended the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Coulter College Aug. 13-16 in Coral Gables, Florida.

The Coulter College training program, an intensive three-day event sponsored by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, promotes biomedical innovation in the clinical landscape. Students are encouraged to identify challenges within the industry and respond by designing improved solutions that incorporate viable commercial models.

The program is highly selective and invites only 20 student teams to participate annually.

During the program, students participated in a series of valuable commercialization training courses and had the opportunity to present an original biomedical innovation, one that could potentially impact future standards of care.

The program also included workshops, lectures and team activities hosted by some of today’s most influential industry professionals. The students were educated in the areas of patent law, FDA regulatory strategy and technology transfer, among others.

At the culmination of the event, students had the opportunity to present and pitch an original biomedical innovation. Penn State students unveiled a development aimed to quickly close surgical wounds while maintaining minimal scarring outcomes — similar to sutures.

The proposed device combines the ease and convenience of a staple gun with the precision of manual suturing, ultimately leading to reduced training times for medical professionals, reduced surgical and treatment costs, and expedited wound healing.

Students developed the idea prior to attending Coulter College by observing surgeons and physicians at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. They noted that manual suturing often slowed the flow of medical care and demanded a great deal of time and specialized skill from surgeons and physicians. The solution aims to remedy the situation by greatly reducing suture time and also allowing a variety of medical professionals to assist in the process.

Rebecca Nagurney, a student in the College of Engineering and Schreyer Honors College who attended the conference, believes the workshops and product pitch served as an excellent segue to the senior design course she will take later in the academic year.

“The lessons we were taught at Coulter College about the business end of engineering and how we need to make our products appealing to different markets were exciting concepts,” Nagurney said. “We learned new ways to think and work with team members. That is something you can't learn in the classroom, which made this experience truly valuable.”

In addition to Nagurney, other Penn State students attending Coulter College included: Joseph Roberto, David Yeroushalmi, Venkatesh Raman, Dominic Recco and John Peterson. The students were advised by Margaret Slattery, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Dr. Joshua Winder, Penn State Hershey Medical Center clinician.


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Mindy Krause

“We learned new ways to think and work with team members. That is something you can't learn in the classroom, which made this experience truly valuable.”

—Rebecca Nagurney



The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

205 Hallowell Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614