Bioengineering to kick off at HKUST

Local | Ruby Cheung 4 Jul 2018

Bioengineering will be taught at one of the city's university for the first time in the coming semester, with the launch of an undergraduate program in September at the School of Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The new program aims to educate and nurture the next generation of leaders and innovators in the field of biomedical technology and big data. This comes as the government has identified biomedical technologies and artificial intelligence as the two areas of focus for Hong Kong's transformation into a technology-driven economy.

The new program is designed to prepare students for career opportunities in local and regional industries in pharmaceuticals and biomedical devices, bio sensors, healthcare analytics, biotechnology and healthcare products, as well as tackling bioengineering research initiatives in the global environment.

"We hope at least one-third of our students will engage in overseas research opportunities," said Chau Ying, associate professor and undergraduate program coordinator of the department of chemical and biological engineering.

"We have already sustained partnerships with leading bioengineering institutions in the US, Japan, South Korea as well as Singapore."

Previous programs on biomedical engineering focused on human health and understanding how the human body works, both as a whole and on a molecular level, for prevention of diseases and rehabilitation purposes.

In comparison, bioengineering focuses on improving the lives of not only humans, but also plants and animals.

The curriculum contains modules including computation, data science, statistics, biomedical product design,and pharmaceutical engineering.

Terence Wong Tze-wai, assistant professor of the department of chemical and biological engineering, is among the teaching staff for the new program.

He has conducted research on shortening time for detection of human breast cancer. His discovery of using photoacoustic imaging - the use of laser pulses and ultrasound to capture the image of human tissues - shortens the time for analyzing breast tumor imaging from a day to less than three minutes.

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