Indigenous high school students get hands on with biomedical engineering

By Melbourne School of Engineering

The University of Melbourne’s biomedical engineering precinct will showcase some of its world-leading research to this year’s Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School (VIEWS) cohort.

The group of 17 students, who come from a mix of city and regional schools across Australia, will participate in a pig knee dissection, see a 3D printer produce hip replacements, and have a walk through Bio21 Institute’s new research wing currently under construction.

VIEWS is a partnership between RMIT, Monash University, Swinburne University and the University of Melbourne, and is the only collaborative program in the engineering space that takes Year 11 and 12 Indigenous students who have enrolled in Maths and Science to the universities over the course of a week to expand their perspective on the subject.

Professor Peter Scales, Director of Engagement at the Melbourne School of Engineering, says that while many students are interested in engineering, the field of biomedical engineering is now making a huge impact in health.

“The clinical equipment and instrumentation side of biomedical engineering that is critical to the treatment of chronic diseases needs significantly more Indigenous involvement,” says Professor Scales.

“Our biomedical engineering staff have significant overlap with our medical precinct and for the students to see that they can work in engineering and in medicine is powerful. VIEWS is about inspiring the students so that they can see themselves in careers that change things and make a difference.”

The success of the program can already be gauged by the enrollment of at least two VIEWS students from last year’s cohort. One is in an engineering discipline, having been selected as a recipient of the Vice Chancellors scholarship for 2017, while the second is now studying Arts Law.

VIEWS 2017 is sponsored by Google, Airmaster, SYPAQ, Honeywell and ARUP, with in kind support from Barpa.

The 2017 program will run from 1- 8 July. For more information on VIEWS, check out their website.