New degree will engineer future healthcare solutions

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A new degree created by the University of Newcastle (UON) will provide students with the skills and expertise needed to address future healthcare problems.

Robotic hand

The Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours) will be offered from 2018 and is the first degree of its kind available in New South Wales.

UON’s Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brett Ninness, said that an ageing population and advancements in technology are driving a need for engineers with specialised medical skills.

“Our population is ageing and new technology is saving the lives of people with challenging illnesses or injuries who require sophisticated therapy and care. At the same time, technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence are rapidly changing the way we live and work,” Professor Ninness said.

“Students who choose to study Medical Engineering with us will be developing technology, from artificial organs and prosthetics to cloud storage of medical records, that can potentially benefit millions of people,” he added.

The degree will offer four majors including medical biomechanics, medical computing, medical devices and, signal and imaging processing.

While the undergraduate degree will be an entirely new offering, research in the Medical Engineering field is already being undertaken at UON.

Third year Electrical Engineering student, Rebecca Sykes, took part in a summer research project that focused on Type 1 diabetes and ways to overcome the issue of blood glucose regulation.

“Combining engineering and medicine is exciting as it provides a new and unique perspective in the area of health,” she said.

“Through this project, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of how the human body works and apply engineering solutions to a current health issue,” she added.

A launch event is being held on Tuesday 22 August from 5.30pm at the University Gallery for the general public and prospective students to learn more about the degree.

Study Medical Engineering

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.