The last stop on my US tour was the inspirational California Institute of Technology. Based in Pasadena, Caltech has been reported as the top university in the world for the last three years in the Times Higher Education University Global Rankings. Although these rankings usually focus on a particular area I would agree that there is something pretty special about Caltech. The Caltech outlook was epitomized for me by Professor Frances Arnold who said they are not just training students to become scientists or engineers, they are training them to become Nobel Prize winners.
With that ambition laid on the table it was refreshing to hear such a senior academic speak so enthusiastically about her research and the development of her research over time from her mechanical & aerospace engineering roots through chemical engineering to her current research on protein engineering.
Monday February 24th marked the first day of my two week tour of US bioengineering institutions and a fascinating start it has been.
I began my day at MIT where Professor Doug Lauffenburger had arranged a comprehensive schedule of meetings for me to gain an insight about bioengineering at MIT.
At MIT they approach bioengineering from the biological angle, as Professor Lauffenburger described to me in the morning each engineering discipline has a scientific knowledge base with a range of applications. However bioengineering has traditionally approached it differently with a broad foundation in a range of disciplines including maths, physics, chemistry and biology but with one primary application area of healthcare/ medicine.
Welcome to the Imperial Bioengineering Blog. This blog will evolve to cover a whole range of bioengineering, so if you are interested in finding out more about the research, innovations and generally cool stuff that is going on in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London and the discipline more globally then this is the blog for you.
But why, you may wonder has the Department decided to start a blog now? There is a very good reason for this, which I will dedicate the rest of this first blog to answering.
Bioengineering is the fastest growing discipline of engineering.