25 July 2008

Elite Secondary School Students Explore Biomedical Engineering at CUHK



Close to a hundred elite secondary science students had their first taste of the broad field of biomedical engineering when they attended the Summer Engineering Academy 2008, a two-week camp held from 14 to 25 July. The camp was jointly organized by the Faculty of Engineering of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, the Gifted Education Section of the Education Bureau of the HKSAR Government and the Innovation and Technology Commission.

Among the participants, some 70 Secondary 5 and 6 local students had been nominated by school principals from over 57 local schools, the Gifted Education Section of the Education Bureau, and the Innovation and Technology Commission. Another 10 mainland students, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hong Kong Island West, had been nominated by the Ministries of Education in Guangzhou and Shenzhen to attend the academy.

Now in its second year, the camp adopted biomedical engineering as its theme. Students not only received university-style lectures given by professors from the CUHK Faculty of Engineering that kept them abreast of topics related to biomedical engineering, such as medical and surgical robotics, medical use of nanotechnologies and virtual anatomy, they also visited the CUHK Jockey Club Minimally Invasive Surgical Skills Centre and The Orthopaedic Learning Centre (OLC) of the CUHK Faculty of Medicine at the Prince of Wales Hospital to learn about the many contributions of biomedical engineering in advancing medical technologies. Other activities of the programme included Chinese medicine and DNA workshops. The academy concluded with a visit to the production plant of the Automatic Manufacturing Limited (AML) in Dongguan, China, which gave students an idea of the latest technological developments in the field of biomedical engineering.

“Engineering is in everyday life. It is also the key to the advancement of medical technologies. The research in this area has become a fast-growing multi-disciplinary programme known as biomedical engineering. It aims to apply engineering technologies to resolve the detection, diagnosis, treatment, management and other issues in medicine. The contributions of the discipline range from a simple blood pressure meter to sophisticated surgical robots,” said Prof. Aaron Ho, Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering, CUHK.

One of the participants, Ma Sin-Kwan from Carmel Secondary School, said the academy had been an eye-opening experience, “I now realize that besides doctors, biomedical engineers also play an important role in the advancement of medical technologies.”

In 2006, the Faculty of Engineering of CUHK was one of the first local institutions to offer a master of science programme in biomedical engineering. The Faculty is also actively planning for an undergraduate programme in biomedical engineering, which is expected to be offered in 2009 or 2010.

Close to 100 elite students take part in the Summer Engineering Academy 2008
Close to 100 elite students take part in the Summer Engineering Academy 2008

Students receive university-style lectures given by professors from the CUHK Faculty of Engineering
Students receive university-style lectures given by professors from the CUHK Faculty of Engineering

Prof. Aaron Ho, Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering, CUHK, shares with the participants the contributions of biomedical engineering to society
Prof. Aaron Ho, Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering, CUHK, shares with the participants the contributions of biomedical engineering to society

Students experience a virtual roller coaster game using tele-immersion technology at the Virtual Reality Visualization and Imaging Research Centre of CUHK
Students experience a virtual roller coaster game using tele-immersion technology at the Virtual Reality Visualization and Imaging Research Centre of CUHK