Grad BMES was founded in May 2012 by Yanfen Li, Bioengineering graduate student at Illinois, and Wendy Evans, then the Academic Programs Coordinator for the graduate program. Their goal was to establish a collaborative community of bioengineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Grad BMES hosted professional development activities, social events, speaker exchanges and info sessions for undergraduate students, and provided mentorship opportunities for undergraduate students and first-year graduate students.
Grad BMES aims to expand the biomedical engineering community across the University of Illinois Graduate College. The organization seeks to build a close-knit and collaborative community of graduate students interested in bioengineering through activities designed to promote collaboration, communicate recent advances, and promote educational and professional development.