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

From 29th July to 1st August, twenty-four 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).

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, August 10, 2013 --( 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 laboratory demonstrations covering topics including key hole surgery simulations, measuring and delivering, signals from the body for monitoring health and restoring activity and building devices to assist less-abled people with their daily lives. The students attended laboratory demonstrations organised by the University of Southampton teams from Health Sciences and Bioengineering, which included motion analysis, ultrasound imaging and electrical brain stimulation. Also as part of the programme, guest biomedical experts came in from Salisbury District Hospital’s Functional Electrical Stimulation group, the University of Liverpool’s Eye and Vision Sciences group and Bath Institute of Medical Engineering. As well as working on the design, build and testing element of their projects, students developed life skills including teamwork, communication, problem solving, and time and financial management.

Social activities included a quiz, a barbeque, a trip to the local bowling alley and laser quest. 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.

Dr Paul Stoodley, from the University of Southampton commented, “It was especially rewarding to see the students working together in teams to identify and solve problems, to design and test new tools, much in the same way that research scientists do here in our labs. I was amazed at the creative solutions that students came up with for their various design-and-make challenges. The high level of enthusiasm and expertise of the course facilitators and activity leaders really brought this process to life for the students, most of which left strongly considering biomedical engineering as a career pathway.”

Nick Evans, from the University of Southampton added, “This course is a really exciting and engaging way for students to interact with some of the University of Southampton’s very best research scientists. The students were really fascinated to discover that engineering is not only about nuts-and-bolts and building bridges and cars, but is also really important for designing medical technology that makes a real difference to patients.”

Spokesperson Lucy Kelly from The Smallpeice Trust also commented, “With thanks to IPEM, we have been able to offer students an insight into this fast-moving subject. Students have thought like engineers and have come up with solutions to problems faced by disabled, infirm and elderly patients. Students attending this course demonstrated a high level of enthusiasm and dedication to the subject. Judging by the students’ presentations it was clear that they had learnt a lot during their time on the course!”

The Biomedical Engineering course is run by independent charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an on-going programme of 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 20,353 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2014 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:

The University of Southampton:

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities.

With over 23,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover well in excess of £435 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres including the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Institute for Life Sciences, the Web Science Trust and Doctoral training Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute and is a partner of the National Oceanography Centre at the Southampton waterfront campus.
The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
+44(0)1926 333214