Merryman selected to attend U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium

David Merryman

David Merryman, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is among 78 of the nation’s brightest young engineers selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 18th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

Engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines will come together for the two and a half day event. The participants – from industry, academia, and government – were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and chosen from approximately 300 applicants.

“Our nation’s health, quality of life, and security will depend on the engineering achievements of the 21st century,” said NAE President Charles M. Vest.  “The Frontiers of Engineering program gives young engineering pioneers the opportunity to collaborate and share approaches across fields. We believe those interactions will generate new ideas for improving the future.”

The symposium will be held on Sept. 13-15, 2012, at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Mich., and will examine serious games, vehicle electrification, climate engineering, and engineering materials for the biological interface. Alan I. Taub, retired vice president of General Motors global research and development, will be a featured speaker at the symposium.

Merryman’s lab is currently conducting multipronged research into valvular heart disease. One prong focuses on studying the effect of the growth factor, transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), on heart valve disease under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Merryman is also working on other, nondrug methods of fighting the disease. He has developed a percutaneous catheter which one day may take the place of open-heart surgery for certain types of heart valve disease.

Steve Hartmann, senior engineering manager at Medtronic, also has been selected to attend the symposium. Hartmann graduated from Vanderbilt with a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and he serves on the BME department’s external advisory board.