Jerry Collins

Jerry C. Collins

Jerry Clayton Collins received the Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University in 1962, the Master of Science degree from Purdue University in 1965, and the Ph.D. from Duke University in 1970, all in electrical engineering. He and his wife Sandra are the parents of three children: Leslie and Reid, physicians, and Erin, an artist and teacher, and grandparents of Isaac, Rachel, and Silas.

Professor Collins worked at the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Silver Spring Maryland and had teaching assignments in aviation electronics at Purdue and in electrical engineering at Duke before moving to the University of Kentucky in 1968, where he worked in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. In 1977, he came to Vanderbilt as a research instructor in the Department of Medicine, moved to the Schol of Engineering in 1997, and retired in September 2007 as research associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He was an investigator and co-investigator of several large federal projects, including an NIH Specialized Center of Research award in lung vascular disease, Clinical Research Centers at Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College, a Clinical Nutrition Research Unit at Vanderbilt and an HIV/AIDS clinic at Meharry. His duties in the Department of Biomedical Engineering included classroom and special project instruction, research in engineering education through the NSF-funded VaNTH Engineering Research Center in bioengineering educational technologies, and the development of an engineering ethics component for VaNTH. He served as industrial liaison for VaNTH throughout its eight-year history. This work was complemented by the funding for a total of seven years of a Whitaker Foundation Industrial Internship Award to the Department of Biomedical Engineering; Dr. Collins was principal investigator of that project.

Dr. Collins has had a long-standing interest in student and professional employment and workforce development. From 2001 to 2004 he served on the advisory board of a reverse H-1B US Department of Labor grant to the Middle Tennessee Career Center. In 2006 he was appointed to the Implementation Team, and later to the Executive Committee, of the Valley Innovation Alliance (VIA), a workforce/education project funded by the US Department of Labor to bring 21st-century training and employment in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing to north Alabama and south central Tennessee.

Dr. Collins has been a member of: honoraries Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Alpha Eta Mu Beta; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the American Physiological Society; and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, in which he has served on numerous committees and as a member of the Board of Directors. In 1985, Dr. Collins helped form the ad hoc Mathematical Modeling in Experimental Nutrition committee sponsored by the American Society for Nutrition, and organized and chaired its national meeting in 1989. In 1999, he organized and chaired the second annual state-wide Tennessee Biomedical Engineering Consortium at Vanderbilt. Since 1990, he has organized and chaired the session "Computers in Teaching and Research" at the spring meeting of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology. Most recently, he has served as founding chair of the Ethics Committee of BMES and is currently the Ethics Committee chair. He received the Distinguished Service Award from BMES in 2001. He is president of the Tennessee Biomedical Engineering Consortium. He is co-chair of the Education Committee of the Tennessee Biotechnology Association and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the TBA. He was elected as a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 1999. He is author of more than two hundred forty scientific articles, abstracts, and communications and served as the editor of the BMES Bulletin for ten years. He is president of the Board of Directors of Christian Campus Ministries, Inc., serves on the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Education Center, and was for many years faculty advisor for the Churches of Christ Commodores for Christ and the Biomedical Engineering Society student chapter at Vanderbilt.

Since his retirement at Vanderbilt, Dr. Collins has remained active in professional activities. He is a member of the CURM (Committee on Underrepresented Minorities) of AIMBE and is on the Board of Directors of Alpha Eta Mu Beta (AEMB), the national biomedical engineering honorary society. He is adjunct professor at Lipscomb University, where he offers a course in biomedical ethics, and at Alabama A & M University, where he is principal investigator of NSF EESE Award D-0933812, "HPL-based Ethics Education for Life Science and Bioengineering Students".