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IEEE Engineers Honor Medical School with Professional Development Award

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – With the joint School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences slated to begin this summer, the Winston-Salem Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has presented its Employer Professional Development Award to Wake Forest University School of Medicine for all it already has done to promote engineering.

The award cited "outstanding contributions to continuing education and professional development of employees and the technical professional community in the Triad."

Edward Fuller, the Winston-Salem section chairman, presented the award at a section meeting, crediting the school with saving the section after the downsizing of other area businesses employing engineers, including AT&T.

"At one time in our history, we enjoyed the support of a large contingent of industries which employed most of our members," said Fuller. "With the collapse of these industries, the section almost became inactive."

But the Department of Biomedical Engineering stepped in about 10 years ago to provide continuing support, "hosting dozens of meetings and providing speakers on a number of topics related to continuing education and professional development," Fuller said.

That support will be enhanced by the joint Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, which won final approval March 19 and is enrolling students for the fall term.

Douglas Maynard, M.D., who as chairman of the Department of Radiology was instrumental in starting the Department of Biomedical Engineering, promised that with the new school, "There will be many more engineers here." "There is no new academic program in this whole institution that is more important than what you are doing," said William B. Applegate, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the school of medicine and senior vice president of Wake Forest University Health Sciences in addressing the engineers. "You are more of our future than many other existing programs."

Peter Santago II, chair of biomedical engineering, said the existing graduate students in the department already participate in the chapter and help with programs. Those numbers will swell with the influx of engineering students in the joint school.

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Contact: Robert Conn (rconn@wfubmc.edu), Karen Richardson (krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu) or Barbara Hahn (bhahn@wfubmc.edu) at (336) 716-4587.

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