Skip to main content

ES173 Biomedical Engineering

spr.jpg 15_cats.jpgModule Leader: Prof C.J.James

Co-Lecturer: Dr L. Pecchia

Links: Student Resources Reading List Staff Resources

Module Information


2015/16 -


This module is one of a suite of first year options designed to complement the engineering and business studies of Engineering Students with a broader view of the world in which they will work. The course will assume an ‘A-level’ knowledge of mathematics and Physics, but only a rudimentary knowledge of how the body works.


The principal aims of this module are to:

  • provide engineers with a fundamental introductory understanding of the structure and function of the human body;
  • provide an awareness and basic understanding of established and emerging biomedical technology for the measurement and modification of the structure and function of the human body;
  • enable the participants to investigate and communicate ideas from pioneering areas in biomedical engineering research;
  • provide an understanding of the biomedical engineering profession and the various roles of the biomedical engineer.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to...

  • Appreciate the large array of biomedical engineering fields.
  • Understand basic functions of the human body.
  • Understand the basic tenets of fundamental technologies in biomedical engineering including: biomedical imaging, biomechanics, biomedical signal processing.
  • Understand trends in technological innovations in the cardiac, neural and rehabilitation fields.
  • Understand biomedical engineering as a profession and ethical considerations.


Introduction to Biomedical Engineering and an overview of the human body – basic physiology and anatomy. The major organs and how they perform.

Biomechanics: Bones and muscles. The skeleton, and the operation of the muscular system. Statics, force loading, measurement of motion, forces and levers.

Cardiovascular systems: The heart, circulatory system, and respiration, including consideration of dimensions, flow rates and forces.

Medical Diagnostics and Medical Imaging: The role of technology in providing early diagnostics and remote monitoring. Clinical imaging technology, including MRI, PET, CT, and ultrasound.

DNA: How DNA carries the genetic code, DNA sequencing, and evolution. Nanotechnology.

Neural Engineering: The structure and function of the brain. Accessing information from the brain through bioelectric potentials: EEG & MEG. The use of neural implants such as deep brain stimulation & cochlear implants.

Biomedical Engineering as a profession: various roles of the biomedical engineer, career paths, the role of ethics in BME.

Teaching Methods

This module includes 20 hours of lectures, 4 hours of seminars, 2 hours of examples classes and 2 hours of Revision Classes

Guided independent learning: 116 hours.


  • 2 hours on Presentation Design, and
  • 6 hours of Student Group Presentations.


This module is 70% examined by a 3-hour paper:

Exam rubric information:

  • 5 Compulsory Questions

and 30% from assessment including:

  • Individual seminar report 10%
  • Oral presentation 15%
  • Individual logbook on group presentations 5%