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Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Acoustic Processing for Cell and Gene Therapy Concentration

College of Engineering

This exclusive offering by Western New England University gives you an unprecedented opportunity to be a part of novel research in the emerging field of Acoustic Processing for Cell and Gene Therapy. This concentration is offered as part of the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program which is directed toward both full-time and part-time students with a special emphasis on providing training and experience in performing independent research.

Why Choose Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Acoustic Processing for Cell and Gene Therapy Concentration?

Cell and gene therapy are the future of medicine, enabling us to treat and prevent illness as never before. Through research led by Dr. Bart Lipkens, Western New England University has helped to pioneer the use of acoustic filtration across a variety of applications from water filtration to cardiac surgery. Today, Dr. Lipkens leads the research efforts of MilliporeSigma to develop platforms to streamline and automate the manufacturing of cell and gene therapies. By gaining more advanced skills, you will learn how to effectively study and implement the techniques and innovations that will transform personalized medicine and other bioprocessing applications in the next decades. View our current tuition rates.

What Will You Study?

To satisfy requirements for an advanced degree in mechanical engineering, you will take five core courses in Design of Experiments, Acoustics, Advanced Fluid Mechanics, Piezo-electricity and Transducers, and Acoustics and Bioprocessing Instrumentation and Measurement. Your choices include an all-course option; a project option, which includes advanced coursework and a final presented project; and a thesis option, that involved advanced coursework and a thesis with a presentation.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose The Acoustic Processing for Cell and Gene Therapy Concentration

  1. Work at the center of breakthrough technology–This highly specialized concentration, among the first of its kind in the country, provides opportunities to participate in combined industry/academia/hospital research programs on cells, columns, beads, edge effect, and label free cell selection. 

  2. Attract Grant Funding—Acoustic processing has the potential to develop novel platforms for use in cell and gene therapy, as well as applications both in and out of bioprocessing. This offers great potential to acquire grants to fund research.

  3. Be In-Demand in an Emerging TechnologyExpertise you gain in this concentration positions you on the cutting edge of an emerging technology.

  4. Opportunities for Mentorship and Cross-disciplinary Research–You’ll have the opportunity to work with Dr. Bart Lipkens, a pioneer in the field of acoustic processing, as well as collaborate with classmates and faculty across disciplines, including WNE’s engineering and pharmacy programs.

  5. Accelerated Study at Your Own Pace–Whether you are interested in full-time study or you are a working professional pursuing your degree part-time, our year-round, four-term structure will allow you to accelerate your studies. Finish in as little as 18 months studying part-time. Classes are held on-campus in the evening with some online course offerings.

What is Acoustic Processing for Cell and Gene Therapy?

Personalized medicine uses the transplantation of cells into a patient while gene therapy used the application of genetic material (DNA) in the manipulation of cells to treat disease. Acoustic Cell Processing is a new tool that enables the critical transition from manual, open manufacturing operations to a scalable, integrated, Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) commercial process, enabling more patients to benefit from life-saving or life-changing medical interventions. 

The platforms currently in development for this technology are unique and revolve around an intricate interaction between acoustic radiation forces generated by ultrasonic waves, fluid drag forces, gravitational/buoyancy forces, and particle-laden flows.

Acoustic radiation forces are steady forces acting on suspended particles through a nonlinear interaction between the wave and the particles. Low Reynolds number flow generated by viscosity drives the fluid streams in the platforms. The presence of particles in the flow significantly impacts the flow field through particle-flow interactions. Piezo-electricity is the mechanism used to generate ultrasonic waves. The piezo-electric behavior of thin elastic plates is the mechanism to generate multi-dimensional acoustic standing waves. These same platforms are new, novel, and have numerous applications both in and out of bioprocessing.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education in mechanical engineering. Other related disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  2. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required for admission. Candidates with a lower GPA may be considered for conditional admittance or non-degree status.

  3. Candidates with an undergraduate degree not accredited by ABET are encouraged to submit a GRE score from the past five years.

  4. It is strongly recommended that applicants have taken a fluids course. If not, they may be asked to take one as part of the MS program.
Admissions Process

How are Courses Offered?

Course Delivery: In-class
Total Credits: 30

Mechanical Engineering courses are held primarily on campus, with some offered online. You will have access to our modern facilities that include a machine shop and specialized computer and equipment laboratories.


You’ll learn from our experienced faculty who are dedicated to your success. They will guide you not only through coursework, but also through projects, outside research, career opportunities, and internships. The personal attention and support you’ll receive is unparalleled. All members of the full-time faculty have doctoral degrees with research expertise in areas such as acoustics, mechatronics, control systems, manufacturing, fuel cells, materials & composites, fluid mechanics, alternative energy systems, sensor design, and data acquisition.

This unique opportunity for leading-edge specialization features instruction by WNE faculty and the following professors from FloDesign/MilliporeSigma.

  • Dr. Bart Lipkens, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Western New England University

  • Dr. Walter Presz Jr., Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at Western New England University

  • Dr. Ronald Musiak, Professor Emeritus Electrical Engineering at Western New England University

  • Dr. Rui Tostoes, PhD, Bioprocessing Engineering, five years post-doctoral experience, Head of Acoustic Bioprocessing, MilliporeSigma

  • Dr. Krishna Kumar, PhD Mechanical Engineering, Senior R&D Engineer, Milliporesigma

  • Dr. Kevin Cushing, PhD Bioengineering, three years Post-Doc experience, Senior R&D Engineer, MilliporeSigma