Student Life

Graduate Students, faculty, and staff participate in “Aloha Fridays” over the summer culminating in a department-wide end of summer Luau with prizes and great local BBQ food.

Get Involved With Student Organizations

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)

The primary goal of the U-M chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) is to serve undergraduate and graduate students interested in biomedical engineering by assisting their academic, professional, and social development. The organization strives to provide information regarding curriculum options, research opportunities, and industrial and academic employment prospects. It also distributes information about biomedical engineering to the University community and encourages unity among the BME department’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as interested individuals from other disciplines. 

Members of the U-M BMES chapter attend the BMES Conference in each October. The 2024 Annual Conference will be in Baltimore.

For the 2023-2024 Academic Year, the group has 357 total students on the interest list, with 202 of those declared BME students, and plans a total of 23 events for this academic year.


MedLaunch is a community of students at the University of Michigan passionate about healthcare and biomedical innovation. Students of different backgrounds from Engineering, LSA, STAMPS, the School of Music, and many more participate in a year-long Biodesign Challenge to develop assistive technology for local community partners with
disabilities. MedLaunch’s motto is that they design WITH community partners instead of FOR community partners, which means that members work side-by-side with community partners to create a customized product that directly addresses their needs. At MedLaunch, the team enables members to become leaders, creative thinkers, and problem solvers. Together, they are making the community a healthier and more equitable place.

Because their projects are year-long, students can apply to MedLaunch in the beginning of fall semester. They have a wide variety of projects ranging from Computer Science-based (i.e. game and app development) to mechanical-based (i.e. wheelchair adaptive bowling ramp). Learn more about their previous projects on their website or at their Final Showcase in April where current teams will present the culmination of their work.


Michigan Health Engineered for All Lives (M-HEAL) is a U-M student organization that fosters interdisciplinary work in global health, design, and entrepreneurship. The group engages students from various backgrounds in these efforts through guest lectures, interactive workshops, and volunteer opportunities. They support 12 student-led project teams that develop health-care solutions and travel abroad to work with international partners. M-HEAL strives to cultivate a well-informed, creative, and collaborative community prepared to make a positive impact for global health.

M-HEAL’s mission is to use education, needs assessment, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship to improve access to health care in underdeveloped communities. Members envision a world where every person has access to appropriate, affordable, and high-quality health care.

The group is adding a new “clinical immersion, observation, and needs-finding” program. A goal for the fall semester is to formulate a program with Michigan Medicine doctors to assist in students’ development of observation and needs-finding skills that are a critical part of front-end design.

M-HEAL has reinforced its commitment to DEI by rewriting its DEI strategy to focus on equitable recruitment and equitable partnerships. M-HEAL received the 2022 MLK Spirit Award in the Student Organization category, largely due to its comprehensive DEl strategy.

M-HEAL has held series-style events, including workshops and panels, and has collaborated with Engineering Student Government & SWE (Society of Women Engineers). Some additional group events will include MentorMatch, featuring an older member matched with a new member for support and mentorship. M-HEAL has a strong commitment to volunteering. This coming year’s plans include:

  • World Medical Relief volunteering
  • Expanding volunteering opportunities in Ann Arbor
  • 3rd annual Campus Challenge
  • The group also hosts a number of social events, including study groups, ice-cream socials, ice skating, trivia night, sports, wellness activities, and more

M-HEAL reinforces its collaborative event partnerships with other student organizations through activities such as the Global Health Symposium and STEMclusivity.

Michigan Sling Health

Sling Health is a national, student-run incubator that brings together engineering, medical, business, and arts and sciences students to invent novel devices and software applications targeting unmet clinical needs. U-M’s Sling Health chapter is one of eight chapters nationwide striving to make medical entrepreneurship more attainable for students and physicians.

Undergraduate and graduate students can apply to join Sling Health in the fall semester. Once admitted, students form teams based on the clinical problems they would like to solve, leveraging Sling Health’s clinical problem database to identify real-world, unmet clinical needs. Their nine-month experiential curriculum includes three design reviews that guide students through clinical assessment, prototype creation, and business
development. Teams receive access to several resources, to include funding, lab and workshop space, prototyping tools and equipment, legal services, and mentorship from experts. Additionally, students have the opportunity to pitch in various competitions, including the annual University of Michigan Demo Day and National Demo Day.

Michigan Synthetic Biology Team

The Michigan Synthetic Biology Team (MSBT) is affiliated with both the College of LSA and the College of Engineering. The organization operates as a cross between a research lab and an engineering project team. Each year, participants develop and execute a project in the field of synthetic biology. Members come from a variety of disciplines, including BME,
MCDB, Biochemistry, Computer Science, and others, to work towards an annual project that is presented at the iGEM competition each fall. In the last 4 years out of 14 years of MSBT competing at iGEM, MSBT has won nine medals, including a recent gold medal.
MSBT’s mission is to prioritize the building of an excellent space for diverse, talented and dedicated team members. The current team consists of 27 people, with more than a third of the students affiliated with BME.

The team greatly benefits from guidance from faculty in departments such as biomedical engineering and MCDB, as well as grad student advisors in BME and chemical
biology. MSBT adds to the diversity of student organizations in terms of the types of training the group provides its students, focusing on the research aspect. New members have the chance to learn foundational web-lab and dry-lab skills that can be developed
throughout the execution of the project. For more advanced members, MSBT is a good opportunity for them to have a great deal of control over the direction of team research
and the troubleshooting that occurs throughout the research process. MSBT also has an active mentorship network within the organization, enabling younger members to have access to really strong mentorship opportunities. MSBT also hosts a variety of community-outreach and career-development events that also benefit members.

Beta Mu Epsilon

Beta Mu Epsilon’s mission is to foster community and personal development through academic endeavors, professional growth, and philanthropic service. The student chapter was established in 2015 and is open to all majors. Dr. Rachael Schmedlen is the faculty advisor. The chapter has six pillars: biomedical, scholarship, professional, philanthropy, social, and membership. The group has hosted an Innovation Day and offers help getting internships and research. They also host a mandatory service event for all members, as well as many other service events. Beta Mu members also enjoy community-building events such as going to cider mills, alumni networking, as well as professional office
hours and internship and resume advice. The organization is also planning a Research Symposium, with a goal of introducing members to all of the different labs that are available on campus. Additional plans call for workshops about graduate school, studying abroad, and course planning. Some specific community-service projects include a blood drive, canned food drive, and blanket-making for a local homeless shelter.


In 2022, Carlos Aguilar, associate professor, biomedical engineering, founded a LatinXinBME group. “I founded this group because Hispanic graduate students are now our department’s largest underrepresented minority and I wanted to form a support structure for them,” Dr. Aguilar said. “I wanted to celebrate these students, let them know they have a mentor who looks and speaks like them, and that there are others who share our heritage. We had dinners to meet one another last year and sponsored travel awards for students to present their work at conferences. I was able to obtain funding for this group through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and a fellowship that supports Jesus Castor Macias (our College of Engineering’s first HHMI Gilliam fellow).” HHMI’s Gilliam Program invests in graduate students from populations historically excluded and underrepresented in science so that they are prepared to become scientific leaders.

“Thank you again to Dr. Aguilar for the opportunity and for making the LatinXinBME group possible,” said Carlos Urrego, a PhD student in Professor David Kohn’s lab. “I can’t stress enough how much it has changed my perception of the program and increased my sense of belonging.”
Dr. Aguilar said the group is intended to encourage and support Hispanic graduate students. “This year, I hope to achieve a few additional goals, such as building a bank of successful essays for fellowships (it’s my goal to get more Hispanic students winning prestigious fellowships), have practice presentations for students to introduce their work to one another, and, of course, eat!”

Michigan Neuroprosthetics Team

“The Michigan Neuroprosthetics Team builds customizable and affordable prosthetic arms for children,” said team leader and student Meha Goyal, the President of the group. “So far, we’ve been working with local patients, such as Julian and Michael, who range from about 12 to 16 years old. We’re also working with patients internationally in Syria by partnering with the Syrian American Medical Society to provide prosthetic arms to three children there.”

International Opportunities