Experts advise on biomedical engineering programmes

Serene Chu

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A team of experts have begun a three-day visit to provide advice to City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on establishing biomedical engineering-related programmes to further enhance professional education and research.


The meeting was initiated in response to the call of Professor Way Kuo, University President, to prepare the University to face the challenges and lead the changes in the years to come. Biomedical engineering has been identified, together with energy and environmental development, as the first constellation of disciplines the University needs to explore as part of its future education and research agenda.


The committee of experts is led by Professor Wang Lihong, Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St Louis. Other renowned scholars and professionals on the committee are Professor Walter H Hsu, Professor of Pharmacology of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Iowa State University; Professor Zhang Yantian, Programme Director of Division of Applied Science and Technology, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institute of Health, and local expert Professor Lo Yuk-lam, Director of The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong and Member of the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee.


Professor Kuo led senior management, including Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, Provost, Professor Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies, and Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Acting Vice-President (Undergraduate Education) in welcoming the committee to CityU.


The meeting, to run from 1 - 3 December, began with a welcome speech by Professor Kuo. “Biomedical engineering is a relatively new area of study in Hong Kong. We are hoping that with the benefit of the valuable advice of our expert committee, CityU’s programme will emerge as one of the best in the world,” Professor Kuo said. He then added that the University was exploring the possibility of developing a comprehensive biomedical engineering programme.


Professor Ho provided an overview of CityU to the committee, including the University’s strengths, strategic goals and the challenges ahead. Professor Lam then briefed the committee on CityU’s existing expertise in biomedical-related areas, namely biomedical materials, bioinstrumentation, bioimaging and bioinformatics, biomedical physics, biomolecular and tissue engineering and robotics-assisted biomedical engineering. He added that some faculty members at CityU are already conducting research related to biomedical engineering.


In the session that followed, Professor Georges M Halpern, Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, delivered a presentation on the biomedical engineering education landscape in Hong Kong, on the mainland and around the world. By providing an overview of the latest biomedical programmes offered by institutions in Hong Kong and other countries, Professor Halpern outlined the potential of biomedical engineering education in Hong Kong.


To better understand biomedical developments in Hong Kong from the industry perspective, the committee spent an afternoon visiting Hong Kong Science Park and Automatic Manufacturing Ltd., a company providing multi-technology design and manufacturing services for medical and healthcare devices and other electronic products.


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