Jennifer S. Wayne, professor and department head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics in the College of Engineering, has been elected Academic Council chair of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

AIMBE is made up of leaders in the field who, according to the organization’s website, provide an authoritative voice and advocate for the value of medical and biological engineering to society. Its Academic Council includes representatives from the nation’s leading educational programs. As chair of the council, Wayne will lead discussions and activities while also working to increase national visibility for the fields of medical and biological engineering.

Wayne, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, has substantially contributed to the fields throughout her career, with a focus on experimental and computational simulation of musculoskeletal function. In 2004, Wayne was elected to AIMBE’s College of Fellows for her development of a multifaceted approach for articular cartilage biomechanics, encompassing modeling and in vivo repair.

Prior to her current position at Virginia Tech, Wayne led the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for more than 25 years. Her research in musculoskeletal biomechanics focused on experimental, computational, and theoretical models for consequences of injury and efficacy of injury treatment methods and surgical procedures. Her research in orthopaedic biomechanics focused on experimental, computational, and theoretical models for injury prevention, surgical procedures, and various injury treatment methods.

For her significant contributions to the fields of bioengineering and musculoskeletal biomechanics, Wayne received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) H.R. Lissner Medal in 2019, making her the first female recipient of the award since its inception in 1977. She also was elected fellow of the Orthopaedic Research Society in 2021 for her exemplary service, leadership, and achievements, in addition to her research contributions. She was recognized as an ASME fellow in 2007.

Passionate about teaching and advancing students’ knowledge, Wayne taught multiple courses covering biomechanics, finite element analysis, and various topics in physiology and anatomy at VCU. Since 2019, when she returned to her alma mater as department head, Wayne has continued to teach. Her current courses include an ethics and professional development course for biomedical engineering graduate students and a computer-aided design course for undergraduates. In addition to teaching, Wayne is a program evaluator for ABET, a nonprofit that accredits university programs, and she serves as an ABET commissioner to the Engineering Accreditation Commission.

Wayne graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in engineering science and mechanics in 1983. She received her master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Tulane University in 1984 and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, in 1990. 

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