After 12 and a bit weeks, all classes have finally come to their conclusion (yay), and us students are studying hard for our exams (not yay). Well, most students anyway – instead I thought it would be a good time to share with you the happenings of our final few weeks as Part II Biomedical Engineers.
Presentations and Projects 🙁
As with all group projects, BIOMENG 241 is no different in the fact that you will spend the first 10 weeks doing the square root of bugger all, and then the final two weeks cramming to finish a whole project. Unfortunately alongside the project itself, you also have to worry about the dreaded workbook documentation, report writing and then a 15-minute presentation. Fortunately, we got through it, and each of the teams had a nearly functioning Hand-held Colour meter at the end of it all.
You can see our device here with its cylindrical handle and a rather lovely rectangular slot where we stick in our Printed Circuit Board (PCB if you’re fancy). Our device worked brilliantly for about 30 seconds, but we soon learnt of the fragility and delicate nature of a little component called a MOSFET. Basically, it is the stuff of nightmares, and 10 MOSFETS later our device would have been more useful in the bedroom than in the hospital.
Overall, the BIOMENG 241 course essentially flowed around this whole project; teaching us electrical, computer and design skills that we will hopefully need a little bit of when we get paid to do this stuff. The order in which we learnt these skills was a bit suspect, leaving us students confused most of the time, but somehow it all comes together at the end.
Another presentation that you can look forward to – and this goes for all specialisations – is the ENGGEN 204 speech. At a pleasant 5 minutes speaking time, this may be one of the easier presentations you will have to give, and it helps when you can talk about practically anything that interests you. There is proof though that Engineering teaches/assesses us students on our ability to speak in front of people 😮
With those final weeks also came the second MEDSCI 142 test, including topics such as the Musculoskeletal, Respiratory and Renal system. Most of us BME’s were relatively busy with our 241 Group Project, so there was not too much time to prepare well, but the concepts themselves aren’t excessively complex. My advice for future students would be just to keep attending the lectures so that everything is vaguely familiar when you come to cram a couple of days before.
The last week or so of classes in our BIOMENG papers focus predominantly on Ethics, which is fair enough seeing that as a BME you will be designing and implementing technology that will directly have an impact on the welfare of its users.
BIOMENG 241 delves into a case study on chemotherapy machines that ended up irradiating patients, which you can read more about here if it interests you.
BIOMENG 261 involves a lot of discussion on the definition and different historical views of ethics. It is very interesting to take a step back and consider how we set up our moral attitudes, beginning in the first lecture with the Trolley Problem, where you look at where it becomes right to kill 5 people instead of 1 or 1 instead of 5. Link here.
So, as always things are very busy and I should probably go study for exams. I look forward to writing for you again one last time in the next post.