EYP Insights: Immersion Matters! Designing New Education Spaces To Accelerate Health Innovations


September 22, 2021


Insights_logo_0_0.jpgJoin us for a dynamic session exploring two state-of-the-art health education facilities breaking down traditional academic silos to train the next generation of caregivers.

The EnMed project provides a home for a unique program Texas A&M University has established in the Texas Medical Center, integrating engineering and medical education to train invention-and innovation-minded, problem-solving doctors known as “physicianeers.” And, the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Health Professions combines nine previously physically separated departments under one roof to allow resource sharing for cross-discipline, technology-rich learning and biomechanical research. Both projects include unique makerspaces that encourage creative and collaborative work.

This discussion focuses on the student perspective, discussing facility strategies that create synergy and strategic overlap, allowing learners to acquire more interprofessional team experiences, improve their engagement and confidence, and encourage new partnerships and career interests.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the planning implications to support the pedagogical shift to link disciplines and break down silos in Health Education, and incorporate complex program spaces. 
  2. Understand the educator’s perspective of the critical ingredients for innovation spaces by exploring strategies for exposing students and faculty to new teaching and learning methods.
  3. Recognize the value of student perceptions through post-occupancy feedback to discover how learning on display helps create an important identity for the departments and facilitate translational opportunities.
  4. Review effectiveness of strategies for intersection points between disciplines that can help strengthen the educational experience.




12-1 PM CST - Presentation
1-1:30 PM CST - Optional Conversation with Panelists


Jennifer Amster, AIA LEED AP
Health Education Planning & Design, Higher Education, Principal, EYP

Laura Vargas, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Project Director, Associate Principal, EYP

Dr. Michael Moreno, PhD
Director of Innovation for Engineering Medicine, Texas A&M

Dr. Moreno is an Associate Professor and J. Mike Walker ’66 Faculty Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and serves as Director of Innovation for Engineering Medicine (EnMed). In addition, he has joint appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Education, Small Animal Clinical Sciences, and Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Moreno has over 20 years of experience developing enabling technologies in experimental biomechanics and biomechanical engineering across multiple scales, including cell, tissue, organ, and whole-body systems. His work has culminated in developing therapeutic medical technologies and testing systems for medical technologies, including implantable medical devices and tissue-engineered regenerative therapies. He currently holds 8 patents with two companies, CorInnova Inc and TA Instruments, currently marketing his intellectual property. In addition, he has 2 active provisional patents related to COVID technologies. In the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he is director of the Biomechanical Environments Laboratory, which operates under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Quality System Regulation (QSR). In addition, Dr. Moreno is a key curriculum and course content developer for the EnMed Program, including the Introduction to Engineering Innovation in Medicine, Innovation Immersion Experiences, and the Innovation in Clerkships courses. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and Industry sponsors.

With participation from three Texas A&M students, including Hannah Bass, Shourya Kumar, and Robby Loving.