HB18 MEng Medical Engineering for 2011/12
Medical engineering is the link between traditional engineering disciplines and biological, medical sciences, surgery and other clinical subjects. Also known as biomedical engineering or clinical engineering, it is a challenging and highly exciting profession. At Queen Mary, Medical Engineering is taught within the Engineering Department, which has a reputation for excellent research involving collaboration with industrial and university partners all over the world.
The research activities in the department interact closely with the teaching throughout the course. In the fourth year undergraduate students undertake a large group project of industrial and clinical relevance. The objective of the Medical Engineering programme is to provide graduates with the fundamental training needed to become a professional engineer along with the specialist expertise in medical engineering needed to take advantage of extensive career opportunities in the healthcare industry.
The medical engineering programme is based around four key themes, which reflect the research interests within the department and the cutting edge areas within the emerging medical engineering industry. The themes are:
Hard and soft tissue implants
Rehabilitation and sports engineering
Medical imaging and instrumentation
The first two years of the programme include courses fundamental to all branches of engineering while providing an essential insight into process engineering, design and computing, as well as providing specialized medical engineering courses. The fundamental courses will cover topics such as fluid mechanics, structural analysis, thermodynamics, mathematics, electrical technology and control systems. In addition to this, engineers require managerial skills, the ability to communicate effectively, a good measure of human understanding and an awareness of the economic, environmental and social implications of their activity. Our courses are designed to provide excellent training in all those areas.
During the first and second years you will study specialist medical engineering courses, which are taught around a focused topic. In year one the topic is the knee and in year two the spine. An important component of the second year is a group design activity during which students design, build and test a simple device relevant to medical engineering, such as a system for remotely grabbing a cup.
During the third and fourth years you have the opportunity to take an increasing number of advanced specialist medical engineering courses which expand on the four core themes. Examples include Robotics, Sports/Rehabilitation Engineering, Tissue Engineering and Medical Imaging. In addition you take a course in Management, which will provide key transferable skills and will include aspects of medical ethics and law.
A popular feature of this programme is the individual project, which runs throughout the third year. This may be a detailed design study, an experimental and/or theoretical investigation, or a critical review of some topic in medical engineering. You will have the opportunity to interact with members of the Department's various research teams, working alongside experienced researchers on highly relevant and exciting projects.
During the fourth year you undertake a group project during which you have the opportunity to manage a research and development project from initial concept through to completion. This task requires you to utilize the core engineering skills, specialist engineering skills and management skills obtained during the first three years. Many of the projects will be associated with industry, either through sponsorship or by interactive visits to the relevant industries.
Examples of recent projects include the design and building of a prototype total ankle joint replacement, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, the development of a system to measure the quality of cartilage in a joint, and the design of a novel mattress for the prevention of pressure ulcers.
The course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which means that you can qualify as a professional engineer once you have some work experience.
Career OpportunitiesThe medical engineering industry is currently valued at approximately £50 billion worldwide and it is growing. It offers the ideal opportunity for graduates with entrepreneurial ideas to carve out lucrative careers. Training medical engineers as professionals is a recent idea. Traditionally the discipline progressed through the dedication of enthusiastic individuals such as Sir John Charnley, an orthopaedic surgeon, who pioneered a total hip replacement, which is still in use 40 years later. Now the crucial role medical engineering plays in academia, industry and the National Health Service is clearly recognised.
Career paths after study are extensive and varied: students go on to work in hospitals, the academic community or the healthcare industries. However many students will find that the education they receive on medical engineering programmes provides an exciting approach to the more conventional forms of engineering, such as mechanical, control, electronic and manufacturing, and that careers open up in these areas too. Students with enthusiasm and a sound engineering background can use medical engineering to make a difference to healthcare.
Career prospects are excellent for students graduating with a degree in Engineering from Queen Mary, University of London. The thorough grounding in basic engineering coupled with other subjects, provides graduates with considerable employment and career flexibility. As an engineer you will develop numerous transferable skills, which include computer literacy, numerical skills and problem solving capabilities, which will be of huge value whatever career path you choose to take. There are opportunities for well qualified engineering graduates within small and medium sized industries.
Overall employment prospects for Engineers are extremely good, with more than 98 per cent employed six months after graduation. Recent graduates who have started work in the Engineering industry started on annual salaries in the region of £19,000. You might expect, as a successful Engineer to be earning £30,000 to £35,000 between five and ten years after graduation.