Sarah I. Rooney,

Sarah I. Rooney, Associate Professor

Sarah Rooney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

102D Spencer Lab
Newark, DE 19716


  • Ph.D. in Bioengineering, 2015, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering, 2010, University of Michigan
  • B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, 2009, University of Michigan


  • Engineering Education
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Engineering Design and Innovation
  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
  • Exercise Physiology


As a teaching-focused faculty member and Director of Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Rooney’s efforts center around developing and teaching courses in the undergraduate BME curriculum and facilitating continuous improvement of the program. She teaches biomechanics, medical devices and design courses spanning sophomore to senior years, and a technical elective course that bridges engineering and exercise physiology. Dr. Rooney is PI of an NIH R25 grant to develop a sophomore medical devices course that integrates industry and clinical connections. She has been nationally recognized for her teaching with the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Biomedical Engineering Teaching Award (2018) and locally with the University of Delaware College of Engineering Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2022).

Dr. Rooney’s current scholarly activities are divided into three categories:

  1. Engineering education: developing and assessing instructional methods to prepare the next generation of biomedical engineers
  2. Diversity, equity, and inclusion: recruitment of, retention of, and developing an inclusive environment for groups that are traditionally underrepresented in engineering, with emphasis on inclusive pedagogy
  3. Engineering design and innovation: designing solutions that address unmet clinical needs, in collaboration with engineering students and clinicians

Dr. Rooney’s doctoral training focused on musculoskeletal injury mechanisms and the beneficial and detrimental adaptations of tissue to load. In particular, she studied how muscle and tendon respond biologically and mechanically to exercise and the effects of the commonly used pharmaceuticals ibuprofen and doxycycline on these tissues.



Rooney SI, Scott RA. Promoting Effective Student Teamwork Through Deliberate Instruction, Documentation, Accountability, and Assessment. Biomedical Engineering Education, 2021; 1(1):221-227. doi: 10.1007/s43683-020-00038-5

Rooney SI, Enszer JA, Maresca JA, Shah SI, Hewlett SA, Buckley JM. Faculty Development Mini-Modules on Evidence-Based Inclusive Teaching and Mentoring Practices in Engineering. 127th Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, 2020. (ASEE Faculty Development Division Best Diversity Paper Award and ASEE Best Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Paper Award Finalist)

Reuther KE, Rooney SI. Rotator Cuff Repair: Bridging the Gap Through Engineering Innovation [case study]. New York City, NY: McGraw Hill Education; 2020.

Rooney SI, Stephens-Epps JS. Incorporating Engineering Standards Throughout the Biomedical Engineering Curriculum. 126th Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, Tampa, FL, 2019.

Rooney SI, Sariano PA, Sexton ZA, Stewart WG, Guidry KR, Gleghorn JP. Connecting Theoretical Concepts to Physical Phenomena Using 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices. 125th Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, Salt Lake City, UT, 2018.

Stephens JS, Rooney SI, Arch ES, Higginson JS. Bridging Courses: Unmet Clinical Needs to Capstone Design (Work in Progress). 123rd Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, New Orleans, LA, 2016.

Rooney SI, McGurk JS, Elliott ER, Dourte Segan LM. Facilitating the Transition of a Traditional Engineering Course to a Structured, Active, In-Class Learning Environment as a Teaching Assistant. 122nd Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, Seattle, WA, 2015. (Best Student Paper Award)


Rooney SI, Torino DJ, Baskin R, Vafa RP, Khandekar PS, Kuntz AF, Soslowsky LJ. Doxycycline Improves Cage Activity, but not Exercised, Supraspinatus Tendon and Muscle in a Rat Model. Journal of Biomechanics, 2018; 80:79-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2018.08.027

Rooney SI, Torino DJ, Baskin R, Vafa RP, Kuntz AF, Soslowsky LJ. Rat Supraspinatus Tendon Responds Acutely and Chronically to Exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2017 Oct; 123(4):757-763. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00368.2017

Rooney SI, Baskin R, Torino DJ, Vafa RP, Khandekar PS, Kuntz AF, Soslowsky LJ. Ibuprofen Differentially Affects Supraspinatus Muscle and Tendon Adaptations to Exercise in a Rat Model. Am J Sports Med, 2016 Sep; 44(9):2237-45. doi: 10.1177/0363546516646377

Rooney SI, Tobias JW, Bhatt PR, Kuntz AF, Soslowsky LJ. Genetic Response of Rat Supraspinatus Tendon and Muscle to Exercise. PloS one, 2015 Oct; 10(10):e0139880. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139880

Rooney SI, Loro E, Sarver JJ, Peltz CD, Hast MW, Tseng W-J, Kuntz AF, Liu XS, Khurana TS, Soslowsky LJ. Exercise Protocol Induces Muscle, Tendon, and Bone Adaptations in the Rat Shoulder. Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal, 2015; 4(4):413-419.