Purdue BME alumnus making great strides

Aaron Kyle is a PhD alumnus of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.
Aaron Kyle is a PhD alumnus of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.
Aaron Kyle, a PhD alumnus of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, was named a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), while being a professor at Duke University and director of the Outreach Design Education Program.

Kyle, a member of the 2023 BMES Grade of Fellow Class, was honored for “his dedication to improving the field through high quality, design-centered instruction, STEM outreach and purposeful inclusion of DEI into engineering education and practice as an engineering educator.” Kyle is now on the 2023-2026 BMES Board of Directors. He was also inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2020 for “outstanding teaching and training in STEM, outreach to underserved communities and the development of low-cost solutions for global health.”

Kyle co-founded HYPOTHEkids Maker Lab in collaboration with Columbia University in 2014 for underprivileged minority high school students in New York City. The purpose of the program was to expose the students to the design process.

When Kyle was hired by Duke, he replicated the HYPOTHEkids Maker Lab program for middle and high school students near Duke University, which is called the Outreach Design Education Program. He is now the program’s director.

“[The Outreach Design Education Program] is a set of interconnected activities that revolve around the hypothesis that engineering design is a great way to get underrepresented students excited about getting engaged in STEM learning,” said Kyle.

Kyle received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University in 2002. In 2007, he received his PhD in biomedical engineering from Purdue University.

As a graduate student, Kyle’s co-advisors were George Wodicka, the Vincent P. Reilly Professor of biomedical engineering, and J. Stuart Bolton, a professor of mechanical engineering.

“I was fortunate that I got to work with Professor Wodicka as well as Professor Bolton, who was my co-advisor in mechanical engineering,” Kyle said. “That combination of influences along with my committee members really put me into a position to succeed as a graduate student.”

During his graduate studies, Kyle focused on developing algorithms to measure how sound waves change as they travel through liquid-filled tubes.

“During my time at Purdue, I learned how to do research. More importantly for my career right now, I learned how passionate I was about being in the classroom with students, how to teach and how to direct training as an engineering researcher.”

Kyle was heavily involved in extracurricular activities during his time at Purdue. He was a founding member of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student Association. He was also a member of the Purdue University Black Graduate Student Association and spent time volunteering in the surrounding communities.

After receiving his PhD from Purdue, Kyle conducted postdoctoral research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Then, in 2010, he joined Columbia University as a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering.

In 2022, Kyle joined Duke University where he is currently a Professor of the Practice in Biomedical Engineering. He currently teaches First Year Design, Senior Design and Bioinstrumentation.

Although Kyle has earned many prestigious accolades and held various roles as an educator and researcher, his joy comes from helping his students succeed.

“I get really proud and excited when my students win awards. That’s one of the things I found out that I really enjoy as an educator overall,” Kyle explained.