Students Are Aided in Their Understanding of Biomedical Engineering by the Smallpeice Trust

From 12th to 15th July, twenty-two students from across the UK, attended a Biomedical Engineering course at the University of Southampton and gained an understanding about the captivating world of biomedical engineering.

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, July 21, 2011 --( From 12th to 15th July, twenty-two students from across the UK, attended a Biomedical Engineering course at the University of Southampton developed by The Smallpeice Trust, and generously sponsored by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).

The four-day residential programme provided 15 and 16 year old students with an understanding about the captivating world of biomedical engineering and encouraged them to take up careers in this sector.

Over the duration of the course, students took part in a series of master classes and “design and make projects” covering topics including implants, dental biofilms and sleep signals. They attended laboratory demonstrations organized by the University of Southampton teams from Health Sciences and Bioengineering which included motion analysis, ultrasound imaging and joint torque analysis. Also as part of the programme, guest biomedical experts came in from Salisbury District Hospital’s Functional Electrical Stimulation group and the University of Liverpool’s Eye and Vision Sciences group.

During the course a design-and-make challenge was set for the students. Working in teams they had to design a device to assist less-abled people with their daily lives. As well as working on the design, build and testing element of the project, students developed life skills including teamwork, communication, problem solving, time and financial management.

Social activities included a BBQ, film evening and a trip to the local bowling alley. On the final night, The Smallpeice Trust hosted a conference style dinner and disco, where students and supervisors had the opportunity to socialise and share their experiences of the week.

Spokesperson Claire Fisher from the Trust commented, “With thanks to IPEM, we have been able to offer students an insight into this fast paced and ever changing subject. Students have thought like engineers and have come up with solutions to problems faced by disabled, infirm and elderly patients. It has been encouraging to see their dedication and enthusiasm, resulting in some outstanding devices.”

Dr. Paul Stoodley, from the University of Southampton commented, “This is an extremely popular course and for the majority of students this is the first time that they can see directly how biomedical engineering can make such a crucially important impact on peoples lives. The enthusiasm and expertise of the course facilitators and their creative interactive sessions really brought the many aspects of biomedical engineering to life, ranging all the way from problem solving, creative planning and design, to building and testing. And on top of all the hard work there was time make new friends and have some fun!”

The Biomedical Engineering course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of subsidised residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 17,677 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2012 will be launched in the Autumn school term. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.


Notes to editors:

Word count: 492

About The Smallpeice Trust:

The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career, primarily through the provision of residential courses for young people aged 13 to 18.

The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby Smallpeice, a pioneering engineer and inventor of the Smallpeice Lathe. Following the stock market flotation of his company Martonair, Dr Smallpeice invested his energy and part of his personal fortune to set up the Trust to ensure that British industry could continuously benefit from his proven design and engineering philosophies: “Simplicity in design, economy in production.”

The Trust is now governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies.

In 2009/10, The Smallpeice Trust ran 30 residential courses for 1,700 school-aged students at universities across the country, with girls accounting for 38%. In addition, 15,977 students attended a Smallpeice in-school STEM masterclass.

A strong interface is maintained with industry, education and professional bodies that help to support, promote and develop the courses. For more information about The Smallpeice Trust and the training they provide, please visit
The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
+44(0)1926 333214
or contact:
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203