Rachael Schmedlen, Ph.D.

Teaching Professor, Biomedical Engineering


2218 Lurie Biomedical Engineering
1101 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2110


(734) 763-0575


  • Ph.D., Bioengineering; Rice University, Houston, TX
  • B.S.E., Chemical Engineering; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research Interests

Research Areas:

Engineering Education

Additional Title(s)

  • Director of Academic Programs, College of Engineering


Rachael Schmedlen is the Director of Academic Programs in the College of Engineering and a Teaching Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan.  She holds a B.S.E. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University.  Dr. Schmedlen has played a crucial role leading the evolution of the biomedical engineering curriculum and currently oversees the first-year curriculum in the College of Engineering.  Passionate about expanding engaged, active-learning experiences for students, Dr. Schmedlen has taught BME capstone design every year since joining UM as a faculty member and has developed a year-long undergraduate design course, biomedical engineering laboratory, and clinical observation and needs finding course.  In addition, she established and currently runs the Clinical Peer Mentors clinical immersion, front-end design summer program.


  • BME 451/452: Biomedical Engineering Design
    • Fall 2008 – present
  • BME 450: Biomedical Engineering Design
    • Winter 2005-2021
  • BME 499:  Clinical Observation and Needs Finding
    • Spring 2011 – Fall 2019
  • Engr 100: Biomedical Engineering and Human Values in the Age of COVID-19
    • Fall 2020
  • Engr 100: Biotechnology and Human Values
    • Fall 2005-2009, 2013-2016
  • BME 241: Introductory BME Lab
    • Fall 2007, 2011, 2012, Winter 2008, 2009
  • BME 584: Tissue Engineering
    • Winter 2005, 2007
  • Eng 110: The Engineering
    • Fall 2006-2009, 2011


  • W.H. Guilford, M.Kotche, R.H. Schmedlen.  A Survey of Clinical Immersion Experiences in Biomedical Engineering.  Biomedical Engineering Education (2023).  DOI:
  • W.H. Guilford, R.H. Schmedlen.  Perspectives on Successfully Implementing BME Design Courses Online: Notes from an ASEE Workshop.  Biomedical Engineering Education (2020).  DOI:
  • A. Huang-Saad, R. Schmedlen, R. Sulewski, K. Springsteen.  Reconceptualizing BME Authentic Learning in the Age of COVID-19 and Remote Learning.  Biomedical Engineering Education (2020).  DOI:
  • R. Schmedlen, J.W. Lee, P. Shekhar, J. Stegemann.  The Clinical Peer Mentors Program
  • Student Motivations, Skills and Knowledge Acquisition, and Influence on Career Path.  American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exhibition, Tampa, FL, June 2019.
  • R. Schmedlen, S. Kusano, J. Gosbee, J. Lee, J. Stegemann.  The Medical Device Sandbox:  A Creative Learning Experience for Engineering Students and Medical Learners.  American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, LA, June 2016.
  • Y. Shen, D. Li, A. Al-Shoaibi, T. Bersano-Begey, H. Chen, S. Ali, B. Flak, C. Perrin, M. Winslow, H. Shah, P. Ramamurthy, R.H. Schmedlen, S. Takayama, and K.F. Barald.  Student Team in a University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering Design Course Constructs a Microfluidic Bioreactor for Studies of Zebrafish Development.  Zebrafish, Special Issue on Zebrafish Education, (2009) 6:2; pp. 201-213.
  • Schmedlen, R., Adam, M., Sulewski, R., and O’Donnell, M.  A Real Introduction to Engineering and Biotechnology.  American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exhibition, Honolulu, HI, June 2007.
  • M.S. Hahn, M.K. McHale, E. Wang, R.H. Schmedlen, J.L. West.  Physiologic Pulsatile Flow Bioreactor Conditioning of Poly(ethylene glycol)-based Tissue Engineered Vascular Grafts.  Annals of Biomedical Engineering (2007) 35:2;  pp. 190-200.
  • R.H. Schmedlen, W.M. Elbjeirami, A.S. Gobin, J.L. West.  Tissue Engineered Vascular Grafts.  CRC Handbook of Biomedical Engineering: Tissue Engineering and Artificial Organs, 3rd Edition (2006).
  • M.S. Detamore, R.H. Schmedlen.  Teaching a Graduate-Level Course in Tissue Engineering.  Chemical Engineering Education (2005) 39:4;  pp. 272-278.
  • R.H. Schmedlen, W.M. Elbjeirami, A.S. Gobin, J.L. West.  Tissue Engineered Small Diameter Vascular Grafts.  Clinics in Plastic Surgery (2003) 30;  pp. 507-517.
  • R.H. Schmedlen, K.S. Masters, and J.L. West.  Photopolymerizable Polyvinyl Alcohol Hydrogels That Can Be Modified with Cell Adhesion Peptides for Use in Tissue Engineering.  Biomaterials (2002) 23;  pp. 4325-32.
  • B.K. Mann, A.S. Gobin, A.T. Tsai, R.H. Schmedlen, J.L. West.  Smooth Muscle Cell Growth in Photopolymerized Hydrogels with Cell Adhesive and Proteolytically Degradable Domains:  Synthetic ECM Analogs for Tissue Engineering.  Biomaterials (2001) 22;  pp. 3045-3051.
  • B.K. Mann, R.H. Schmedlen, J.L West.  Tethered TGF-b Increases Extracellular Matrix Production of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells in Peptide-Modified Scaffolds.  Biomaterials (2001) 22;  pp. 439-444.

Professional Service

  • Internal
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Design Curricular Working Group
    • Summer 2007 – present
  • Faculty Advisor, Beta Mu Epsilon Professional BME Fraternity
    • Summer 2020 – present
  • UM College of Engineering
  • College Curriculum Committee, member
    • January 2022 – present
  • External
  • U.S. – Africa Teaching Fellows Program, Rice 360
    • Fall 2021 – present
  • American Society for Engineering Education, member
    • 2005 – present
  • Biomedical Engineering Division                                                           
  • Past Chair
    • 2018 – 2019
  • Division Chair
    • 2017 – 2018
  • Program Chair
    • 2016 – 2017
  • Program Chair-elect
    • 2015 – 2016
  • Vice Chair, Honors & Awards
    • 2014 – 2015
  • Session Chair, Annual Meeting,Seattle, WA
    • 2015
  • Moderator, Poster Session, Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA
    • 2015
  • Abstract and Paper Reviewer
    • 2012 – present
  • Biomedical Engineering Society, Abstract Reviewer
    • 2006-2009, 2013-2019
  • Biomedical Engineering Education Journal, Reviewer
    • Summer 2020 – present
  • BME Council of Chairs Education Summit, Host Committee
    • 2019
  • VentureWell DEBUT undergraduate design competition, Reviewer/Judge
    • 2016 – 2021     
  • Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Reviewer
    • 2017, 2018


  • 2023: American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellow
  • 2022: Theo Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award (ASEE BED)
  • 2021: Collegiate Lecturer (university honor, highest honor for lecturers, career title)
  • 2021: Biomedical Engineering Department Award (College of Engineering)
  • 2018: Eminent Engineer, Tau Beta Pi (student nominated)
  • 2017: Golden Apple nomination, (student nominated teaching award)