“I feel like my study and job pathway is still undefined,” says first year University of Newcastle student, Elliot Thomas. But don’t assume he’s lacking direction; Elliot’s taking advantage of every available opportunity during his studies to test out his interests and turn them into a successful career.
Bachelor of Medical Engineering at the University of Newcastle
A Pro Vice-Chancellor’s scholar, Elliot is studying the newly minted Bachelor of Medical Engineering degree at the University of Newcastle. Though he’s only completed one semester, Elliot’s already immersing himself in what engineering careers have to offer.
“I’m learning about programming, human biology, useful maths and what being an engineer really means on a deeper level,” he says.
One of his first semester projects included building an electrocardiography (ECG) machine, like the ones used in hospitals to detect and diagnose major abnormalities or diseases of the heart.
“It was an incredibly ambitious project,” says Elliot. “We had no former coding or programming experience, with limited time to finish the project.”
As one of the most exciting projects of his year so far, it also had major practical relevance; demonstrating real-world applications of medical engineering instead of just theorising about them.
“You could see where the engineering concepts and medical diagnostic principles blend, closing the gap between engineering and medicine.”
Medical engineering in the real world
To supplement his real-world medical engineering experience, Elliot’s also tackling an internship with world-class medical research facility, Hunter Medical Research Institute.
“So far my main task is labelling test tubes,” laughs Elliot. “But being able to observe and interact with research scientists is an exciting and valuable experience.”
Mentoring with expertise
As part of his scholarship, Elliot’s is being mentored by the Pro Vice-Chancellor himself, Professor Brett Ninness. With a background in electrical engineering and research expertise that has seen him publish over 100 papers, Professor Ninness has been a major influence in clarifying Elliot’s career dreams for the future. And he has high aims.
The big picture goal
“My big picture goal is to help as many people as I can. I’d love to work with prosthetics or artificial organs,” says Elliot.
Luckily for him, these are the exact kind of real-world integrated projects that University of Newcastle Medical Engineering students get to work on.
Students who choose to study Medical Engineering with the University of Newcastle will be developing technology, from artificial organs and prosthetics to cloud storage of medical records, that can potentially benefit millions of people, says Professor Ninness.
To get there, study a Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours) at the University of Newcastle.
Produced by Careers with STEM in partnership with the University of Newcastle.
Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.