Division of Bioengineering

Public Engagement

The Division of Bioengineering is active in public engagement through a variety of events which showcase some of the outstanding bioengineering research and teaching at Queen Mary University of London. Below are just some of the examples of our bioengineering public engagement activity. Click on the images to see more.

The Bioengineering Experience

The event encourages children to be investigators for the day and learn why scientists, doctors and engineers work together in collaborative STEM research. In the lab, the children play "tug of war" with a tendon, make biomaterials with seaweed and learn about why the tissues in the knee joint are mechanical. These exciting activities meet the National Curriculum requirements for key stage 2 (year 6) to key stage 4 (year 12). You can watch the Bioengineering Experience https://youtu.be/wIHrtoSJT08

The next Bioengineering Experience will be on Monday 27th April 2020. Please contact Dr Tina Chowdhury if your school would like to take part.

QMUL Festival of Communities

Every year, QMUL hosts a two week festival involving communities and local organisations in Tower Hamlets to celebrate the very best of health, life, STEM and the arts.

We have developed interactive shows and hands-on activities to help children (and parents) understand the challenges of real-life medical health problems and share our bioengineering research with the local community.

Last year, we invited families to our research labs and the children designed experiments with the engineers, scientists and doctors to help keep our tissues alive and healthy.

Animation explaining how nanotechnology could stop heart failure

A heart attack is one of the most common causes of heart failure and effects around 1 million people in the UK. After a heart attack, the damaged heart muscle becomes stiff and stops the heart beating efficiently. Dr Iskrastsch's lab is using nanotechnology to mimic the hearts structure with tiny pillars that can measure stiffness. The research was made into this animation and is supported by the British Heart Foundation with the aim of investigating new treatments that could one day help patients with heart failure.

Interactive bioengineering games at the Centre of the Cell

The award winning Centre of the Cell interactive science centre at Queen Mary University of London has developed a number of interactives in partnership with bioengineers. 
The interactive games have been played by many thousands of school children and explore different aspects of bioengineering including medical implants and cartilage injury and skin tissue engineering. 


Cancer Bioengineering at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition

Prof Fran Balkwill led a team consisting of bioengineers, biologists and clinicians in understanding the way cancers develop and spread and the role of the tumour microenvironment. This work has been presented at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition in London and led to the development of a new interactive app - Tumour Take Down, now available at Google Play and Apple and at the Centre of the Cell


Bioengineering on the BBC - What makes bone hard?

Dr Karin Hing is developing novel biomaterials that are just as hard and reliable as bone. The synthetic bone grafts enable the body's own cells to regenerate the bone tissue in the patient. If you would like to know more about Karin's exciting research, Dr Hing's appearance on the Big Bang show on BBC.

Working with school children to explain the importance and excitement of Bioengineering

Prof Martin Knight and Dr Tina Chowdhury have been involved in numerous public engagement activities, particular those aimed at promoting bioengineering to children of primary school age and young people at college. Examples of activities include a programme of science animation classes funded by the EPSRC, workshops at the Big Bang festival (STEM goes Global), Blue Dot festival (Staying Strong - Joints in Space), Women In Engineering festival (Fake a Knee, Science Museum).


We have also appearanced on BBC TV documentaries  (operation ouch), summer school programmes with Prof Brian Cox, industry (GSK, Airbus, Safran), charities (STEMNET, Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Academy of Engineering, Setpoint).


The YES Programme (KS2) is a series of films which explains why maths and science matters and why it is important we learn these skills needed for exciting careers in a wide range of jobs. In this film, Prof Martin Knight explains why bioengineering is a rewarding and important career.

Pint of Science 

The Pint of Science is a science festival where academics present their research and scientific developments to the public in a pub. Previous speakers include Prof Martin Knight, Prof Julia Shelton, Dr Helena Azvedo, Prof Alvaro Mata and Dr Steven Thorpe who have given multi-disciplinary talks to help people keep healthy, physically active and alive.