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Engineering your success: 4 Schools that will get you to the top

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There’s a reason millennials are dubbed the “Giving Generation”. They want jobs that promote health and wellness for consumers; as such, careers they seek should ideally centre around a sense of purpose for solving mankind’s biggest social challenges.

Scoring a job that not only pays well, but also gets your creative juices flowing while making the world a better place is every millennial’s dream!

There are many fields you can study to achieve this, but only one gives you bragging rights over the extremely cool capability to grow replacement organs: Biomedical Engineering.

The combination of medicine and engineering in this relatively new field, exploring the potential of science and technology in transforming the role of medicine, harnessing it to solve major global healthcare issues. By designing and building engines, machines and structures, biomedical engineers apply engineering knowledge and skills to benefit complex human biology.

Universities approach this field with a multidisciplinary view, bringing in many elements of other subjects such as mathematics, biology and physics. This is combined further with engineering sub-fields such as electronic and electrical engineering, as well as mechanical engineering.

From regenerating tissue cells to developing medical devices, biomedical students then graduate to a world of options in terms of career choice. If he or she is inclined towards research, they can work for the industry’s impactful research and development teams. For those craving a more human side of work, there are therapeutic and rehabilitation centres, on top of hospital trusts.

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Biomedical engineering is today one of the fastest-growing industries. From 2016 to 2026, the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that as many as 1,500 biomedical engineering jobs will be created, spurred by the demand for biomedical advances coming from aging baby boomers.

In the United Kingdom, the medical technology sector has seen rapid growth over recent years – most demonstrably through observed increases in the number of medical technologies opening in the UK and the growth in medical technology jobs.

An analysis by McKinsey and Company found that by 2030, up to 800 million jobs will be replaced by robots. Jobs that are predictable and physical, relying on the collecting and processing of data will be the most automatable, whereas those that require management and expertise will be the least susceptible.

As career options based on biomedical engineering degrees typically place huge emphasis on human interaction and/or development of technology, graduates can rest assured their careers will be future-proof.

If using ground-breaking knowledge and technology to change people’s lives is what you see for yourself, read on to find out about the top four universities we feel will prepare you for this:

DEPARTMENT OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Rich in its history of teaching and brimming with innovation, the University of Strathclyde is the place to go for useful learning. This institution has won the Times Higher Education Awards seven times, and holds a five-star Overall Rating in the QS Stars University Ratings. And with over 50 years of experience, the department has established close links with industry, government, the third sector and the clinical community.

At Strathclyde’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, students, researchers and lecturers work together in a dynamic effort to engineer solutions to global healthcare challenges. Hosting some of the best facilities in Scotland and Europe, this is where high-quality research and teaching for medical devices, diagnostics, rehabilitation engineering, cell, tissue and organ engineering and Prosthetics and Orthotics takes place. The department gives students the chance to connect with specialists from related fields, as well as the UK’s National Health Service to innovate tomorrow’s most ground-breaking technologies.

University of Strathclyde

Students are offered several different ways to study, from full- time undergraduate and postgraduate courses to short courses and distance learning for professionals looking to develop their careers.

Here, teachers get creative with their methods –Including, for example, utilising  the Lego® Serious Play® consulting method  for problem solving.

Our students also benefit from real life industrial experiences by getting closely involved with industry and other professional healthcare providers during the project phase of their courses. In addition our P&O students have essential hands on training and interaction with patients during their studies.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering is truly a centre of useful learning, situated in the centre of the City of Glasgow with all of its amenities, but is only 30 minutes from the beautiful Scottish countryside

SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING & IMAGING SCIENCES, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON (KCL)

The School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at KCL is where dedicated physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians and clinicians work together in a cross-disciplinary way.

Consisting of five academic departments, staff and students here commit themselves to the development, clinical translation and clinical application of medical imaging and computational modelling technologies.

The highly regarded undergraduate and postgraduate courses – ranked 50th in ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017 – are taught by academic and clinical researchers at the forefront of their field.

Getting a foot in industry would not be a problem here as the department boosts strong links with large imaging equipment manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as small and medium-sized businesses and university start-ups that develop devices and computational methods.

Together with King’s Health Partners and NHS trusts (Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley), KCL works to foster translational research and improve patient care is greatly strengthened.

King’s College London

DIVISION OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

The newcomer to the scene is the University of Glasgow’s Division of Biomedical Engineering. Here, four crucial research themes are brought together – Advanced Medical Diagnostics, Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technologies, Biomaterials and Synthetic Biology.

There is an extensive array of facilities available for research, including the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre @ Glasgow, where more than £32 million of nanofabrication tools in a 1350 m2 clean room are run as a pseudo-industrial operation.

Currently, 35 PhD candidates call the division home, pursuing their postgraduate qualification in fields as diverse as infectious disease diagnostics for the developing world, brain-computer interfaces, stem cell differentiation using nanotechnology, robots as orthotic aids, and the creation of artificial cells.

Recently, one PhD student Arslan Khalid, was awarded £30,000 for his start-up idea iVisco, based on his research that focussed on low-cost and field-portable point-of-care diagnostic devices using acoustic waves and lens-free imaging. In addition to this product concept, Arslan’s research is in the midst of three patent applications and two journal papers publications.

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL

One of the three faculties that make up the University of Liverpool – a Russell Group member – the Faculty of Science and Engineering houses the research-led School of Engineering which offers taught degrees and MSc programmes in this field.

Here at Liverpool, state-of-the-art facilities are integral to student success. From having ‘Active Learning Labs’ (one of the largest and best equipped in Europe) to the Harold Cohen Library, these facilities help students access the requisite teaching and knowledge. For biomedical engineering, specific facilities include new tissue engineering and biomaterials laboratories.

Nick Turner, who is studying for his Master’s in Biomedical Engineering, was able to develop a practical technique for producing a biomimetic tympanic membrane (ear drum) for his summer project. Describing it as a “great experience,” Turner spoke about how it was something he thought he would never have had the opportunity to do.

“Studying an accredited course, such as Biomedical Engineering MSc (Eng) at The University of Liverpool, places you in a very strong professional standing upon completion.  For me, the course was a direct link to industry and allowed me step into the profession I aspired to be in,” Turner said.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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