You’ve heard enough about sem 1 courses.
You’ve heard enough about sem 2 courses.
You’ve heard enough about internships.
So, what have you not heard enough about yet?
There are a few things to know before choosing this specialisation so you are not completely surprised next year, should you take it.
Medicine. In second year, we do BIOSCI 107 and MEDSCI 142. As mentioned, these take up a lot of brain power and time. You can expect more FMHS in third or fourth year, so if you think it gets hard in second year, then think about your future in BME. These are perhaps the most content heavy courses out of the bunch and getting behind in these is almost a death wish (that is, for your grades).
Group work. Expect tons of these. In the first year of engineering, you would get a taste of this from ENGGEN 115 and ENGGEN 121, but that’s pretty much it. Whether you end up with a bad or good group is irrelevant, since you can kinda carry the group work if needs be. However, in part II, you cannot. Working in a group is essential and the assignments are designed such that everyone needs to pull their own weight. You will see this in ENGSCI 233 for the microbit lab, BIOMENG 241 for the color meter, ENGGEN 204 for kinda everything and in BIOMENG 261 for one of your labs (the reaction kinetics one). These group projects can be weighted upto 30% and make up most of your grade (upto 60% in ENGGEN 204).
Coding. Yes, in BME you need to code. A lot. If you fear ENGGEN 131, I’ll just say, life does not get any better in BME. You’ve already heard about ENGSCI 233, where you can spend upto 10 hours on your code. Being able to code well broadens the companies you can apply to and allows you to advertise yourself to roles that are more inclined to engineering scientists or software students.
Mathematics. This is arguably expected in any specialisation, and if you are doing engineering, chances are you love math. In BIOMENG 261, BIOMENG 221 and ENGSCI 211 you do a lot of it, with modelling of reaction kinetics, stress/strain analysis and so on. These courses are certainly worth turning upto every lecture as who doesn’t love doing math?
Engsci trip. While this should not be the only motivation for choosing this spec, it is certainly a bonus. Here you are introduced to a myriad of companies that are relevant to BME. This is an excellent time to meet your cohort and have bonding time with some ENGSCI/BME students. For our trip, we were lucky enough to be introduced to several ABI companies in the morning at the ABI building. Then we visited the Fisher and Paykel campus, where they introduced us to what they do and what they look for in potential internship candidates. You also get to visit a geothermal site at Lake Taupo, with a lot of spare time to do other fun activities of your choice.
These are the main things you can expect from BME. It helps to know what you will get yourself into for every specialisation, and sometimes looking at the course descriptions online does not provide enough. I hope with this, you’ve gotten more insight about what BME entails, particularly in second year.
Thank you for reading this far, I wish nothing but the best for your future spec choice :))