Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Founded: 
1997
Named: 
2000

The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University (the Coulter Department) is a unique partnership between a public institution and a private university—Georgia Tech's College of Engineering and Emory's School of Medicine. The formation of the Department in 1997 was the culmination of collaborative efforts in the field of biomedical engineering that dates back to the 1980s. The Committee met initially on June 2, 1997 and was charged to develop a set of recommendations for an innovative and unique Department of Biomedical Engineering that is joint with Georgia Tech and Emory and that will enable both institutions to maximize research and educational opportunities in fields of intersecting biomedical interest. The Committee was required to report to Drs. Thomas and Lawley no later than August 15, 1997. In 2000, the Department assumed the name of Wallace H. Coulter, who was recognized as one of the most influential engineers in the twentieth century through his entrepreneurial efforts in shaping the fields of automated cell analysis and hematology. Georgia Tech Provost and Vice President, Michael E. Thomas, and the Emory Dean of Medicine, Thomas J. Lawley, established an Advisory Committee of Georgia Tech and Emory faculty to address new opportunities in biomedical engineering.

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Honorary - The Department assumed the name of Wallace H. Coulter, who was recognized as one of the most influential engineers in the twentieth century through his entrepreneurial efforts in shaping the fields of automated cell analysis and hematology.

Wallace H. Coulter

Wallace H. Coulter (February 17, 1913 – August 7, 1998) was an American electrical engineer, inventor, and businessman. The best known of his 85 patents is the Coulter principle, which provides a method for counting and sizing microscopic particles suspended in fluid. His invention of the Coulter Counter made possible today’s most common medical diagnostic test: the complete blood count (CBC). The Coulter principle is used in quality control of consumer products, such as chocolate and beer, paint and toners, and was even used to analyze moon dust.
  • #2 Undergraduate Program (US News & World Report)
  • #2 Graduate Program (US News & World Report)
  • Joint Department between Georgia Tech and Emory
  • Two NIH Centers of Excellence in Nanomedicine
  • $33 million annually in research