History

CampusThe J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida is the newest department within the College of Engineering. Established in 2002, it grew out of a five-year-old program made possible by a grant from the Whitaker Foundation.

Also in 2002, college administrators successfully recruited Dr. William L. Ditto to chair the new department. Ditto came from the Georgia Tech/ Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering in Atlanta, Ga.

In 2006, the Department received a $10 million donation from J. Crayton Pruitt and his Family foundation. As a result of the gift, University officials named the Department in honor of the Pruitt family, making it the first-ever named department at UF. The Pruitts' gift is among the largest cash gifts received by UF. It is eligible for matching funds from the State of Florida Major Gift Trust Fund, which could result in a $20 million endowment for the newly named J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Biomedical Engineering at UF has the unique advantage of being within easy walking distance of the entire College of Engineering complex, as well as world-class medical facilities like Shands at UF, the UF Health Science Center and the McKnight Brain Institute. This physical proximity allows for numerous research and academic collaborations.

The department's graduate-level academic programs are rapidly expanding. Hundreds of students apply each year, creating competition so stiff that only one in every qualified ten students is given admission. Through innovative courses developed by department faculty, including Problem-Based Learning and classes in anatomy and physiology for biomedical engineers, students are equipped to tackle multidisciplinary problems of current relevance.