The GEAR Center opened in 2009 to prepare students to work in the evolving biotech and medtech economy. It is an intersection of academic research and industry, where students can work on real problems found in clinics and hospitals in hopes of solving them.

Previously, the biomedical engineering department only offered graduate-level classes; however, Engebretson has successfully advocated to build an undergraduate program to support the industry in Sioux Falls and to grow the workforce in the field. The department now offers certificate programs, an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree, and it is always changing to support students’ interests.

“I’m finding a lot of our students are interested in entrepreneurship,” Engebretson said. “We want to equip the students with the technical skills they need and get students familiar with funding they can receive to start their business.”

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