UGA College of Engineering adds new doctoral programs

Scientist holding vial above equipmentThe University of Georgia College of Engineering is launching new doctoral programs in biochemical engineering and biomedical engineering to prepare graduates for opportunities in these rapidly growing and quickly evolving fields.

The Ph.D. in biochemical engineering program will train students to work in high-demand areas such as biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology, sustainable energy, renewable materials and other industries. In addition, the program will leverage UGA’s existing strengths in life sciences, physical sciences and public health.

Students earning a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering will be prepared for careers centered on biomaterials, tissue engineering, stem cells and regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapy, medical devices, bioinstrumentation, and systems physiology.

“Our new doctoral programs in biochemical engineering and biomedical engineering will provide students with a solid engineering foundation while also providing opportunities for interdisciplinary research and collaboration with faculty from the life sciences, chemistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine,” said James Warnock, chair of the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering.

Employment in chemical engineering jobs in the pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing sectors is expected to grow 5.6 percent between 2019 and 2029, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Likewise, the number of biomedical jobs is projected to increase by 5 percent over the next ten years.

Georgia has emerged as one of the nation’s leading biotechnology locations. The state is home to more than 400 biotech companies that employ more than 19,000 people, primarily in Atlanta, Athens and Augusta, according the Georgia Power Bioscience database. Georgia ranked sixth among the fastest-growing states in bio-related employment from 2012 – 2017 and now ranks among the top 15 states for overall bio-related employment.

“These new doctoral programs underscore our commitment to teaching, research and service that sparks innovation and addresses urgent global challenges,” said Donald Leo, dean of the College of Engineering. “By offering new opportunities in these growing fields, we can help supply Georgia’s bio-tech industries with a highly-skilled, highly-educated workforce.”

The new doctoral programs build upon steady growth in the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering. Enrollment in the school’s Ph.D. programs increased by 87% between 2018 and 2021.

The Ph.D. in biochemical engineering and the Ph.D. in biomedical engineering are the first new doctoral programs established since the inception of the UGA College of Engineering in 2012.

Details on the new doctoral programs are available here.

By: Mike Wooten | Contact: James Warnock

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