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The Smallpeice Trust

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Students Aided in Their Understanding of Biomedical Engineering by The Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, July 13, 2014 --( From 7th to 10th July, twenty-four students from across the UK attended a Biomedical Engineering course at the University of Southampton. Sponsored by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) and organised by The Smallpeice Trust, 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 masterclasses 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, the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration and Bioengineering Sciences, which included motion analysis, ultrasound imaging and tissue engineering.

As part of the programme, guest biomedical experts came in from Salisbury District Hospital’s Functional Electrical Stimulation group, the Bath Institute of Medicine Engineering and the University of Liverpool’s Eye and Vision Sciences group. The students also visited Southampton General Hospital for a tour and to take part in LifeLab activities.

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 Nick Evans, from the University of Southampton’s Bioengineering Sciences group and Institute for Life Sciences commented, “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. It was fantastic to see the students working together in teams to solve problems and to design and test new technologies, in a very similar way to the research scientists here in our labs. The enthusiasm of the activity leaders and facilitators really helped show how exciting this area of science is, and many of the students left the course strongly considering biomedical engineering as a career pathway.”

Claire Fisher, spokesperson for 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’ feedback it was clear that they had learnt a lot during their time on the course!”

The Biomedical Engineering course is organised by independent charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an on-going programme of residential courses to help young people aged 12 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 17,495 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2015 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:

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

Over the past year, The Smallpeice Trust has engaged with 17,495 young people through 35 different subsidised residential courses, in-school STEM Days and starting up STEM Clubs. More emphasis has been put on programmes physically delivered by The Smallpeice Trust. The Smallpeice Trust has also trained 1,280 teachers to enhance their delivery of STEM in the classroom.
Contact Information
The Smallpeice Trust:
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203

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