Carnegie Mellon University

Conrad Zapanta

Dr. Conrad M. Zapanta

Teaching Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Biomedical Engineering

Ansys 232
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering (Option in Biomedical Engineering), Carnegie Mellon University, 1991
  • Ph.D., Bioengineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 1997


Conrad Zapanta earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (option in biomedical engineering) at Carnegie Mellon University in 1991 and earned his doctorate in bioengineering at Penn State University in 1997.

Zapanta was a visiting professor of engineering at Hope College (Holland, MI) and Austin Community College (Austin, TX). He was a faculty member at Penn State, where his research focused on cardiac assist devices for smaller adults and children. Zapanta also worked for Sulzer Carbomedics in the research and development of prosthetic heart valves. He has taught laboratory and design classes since joining the CMU engineering faculty in 2006. He served as associate department head for education in the Biomedical Engineering department from 2009-2022, where he supervised all phases of the biomedical engineering curriculum. His research interests are in cardiovascular medical devices and biomedical engineering education.

He has served in leadership roles for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the American Society of Artificial and Internal Organs (ASAIO), on NIH panels, and is a biomedical engineering program evaluator for ABET. He is a Fellow for the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Zapanta received the 2016 ASEE Biomedical Engineering Division’s Theo Pilkington Award, for his significant contributions to biomedical engineering education as evidenced by the development of successful teaching programs, curricula, and publications.

Zapanta is currently a teaching professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Engineering.


Dr. Zapanta’s research interests are in developing medical devices to treat cardiovascular disease, focusing on the areas of cardiac assist devices and prosthetic heart valves. Dr. Zapanta is an active member in the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He is a reviewer for several biomedical engineering journals. Dr. Zapanta also serves as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Cardiovascular Sciences Small Business Special Emphasis Panel and as an ABET Program Evaluator (PEV) for Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering programs.

Research Interests: biomedical engineering; undergraduate education; biomedical engineering design; prosthetic heart valves; cardiac assist devices

Awards and Recognition

  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2021
  • Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society, 2020
  • University/Post-Secondary Educator Award (Honorable Mention), Carnegie Science Center, 2017


  • Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, 2016
  • Tau Beta Pi (Eminent Engineer), Carnegie Mellon University, 2016

  • Theo Pilkington Award, American Society for Engineering Education, Biomedical Engineering Division, 2016