I scored 80% in High School and thereafter I joined SRM University in Chennai in 2013 for my Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering. SRM University is among the Top Engineering Universities in India and offered me the best of faculties in my field of study and gave me hands on experience in state of the art laboratories.
I underwent various internships gaining practical knowledge in different fields of Biomedical Engineering. An internship at Thiruvalla Medical Mission Hospital provided me with an in depth understanding of Biomedical Engineering. I followed this up with a month-long internship at Imperial College of London Diabetes Centre in Al Ain, UAE. Here I gained experience in the periodic maintenance of the various analytical machineries in the Pathology Laboratory.
During the course of my studies, I began to be interested in the field of Medical Imaging. I got an insight of imaging marvels such as MRI, CT and Mammogram at the refurbishing unit of Cura Healthcare in Chennai. This continued when I further did an Internship at Tawam Molecular Imaging Centre in Al Ain, UAE.Here, I worked with the one of a kind PET-CT imager of Siemens along with a cyclotron under a single hood. I also learnt about its internal architecture during its monthly maintenance.
To gain further industrial exposure, I joined as a trainee at Ibis Medical Equipment and Systems, an emerging Neonatal Biomedical Equipment company in Cochin. My interest and knowledge helped me work on the design of a prototype vein viewer, which used bright red LED lamps, to a real-time vein viewer using near Infrared light.
I was also a part of a three-member team who completed a project designing a Mobile ECG Analyzer. We designed a System on Chip (SoC) to receive the bio signal from the body and display the ECG signal along with other parameters of the heart. This helps in the analysis of abnormalities through an application on a smartphone with a Bluetooth connection.
A major personal achievement was securing a five-month long placement as a Research Trainee in the world renowned Harvard Institute of Medicine, Boston. Here I carried out protocols of Western Blotting and RT-PCR from mice tissues having a lot of research value. I also stained and imaged the tissue sections for fibrosis in the latest Confocal and Bright Field microscopes.
The University of Sheffield was recommended to me by Alumni who I discussed my options with and online reviews and blogs increased my interest in Sheffield. My quest to learn in one of the most highly ranked universities where international students from every part of the world learn, as the motto says ‘We Are International’, made me more committed to study my field of interest of Biomedical Engineering in Sheffield.
I chose the MSc Bioengineering: Imaging and Sensing offered by The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering as I feel that it offers a balanced combination of hardware and software. My perception on imaging was that it is basically a hardware course on imaging and machinery. Bioengineering bridges the medical and engineering fields offering vast scope in both the arenas. With my fervor for research and the University of Sheffield’s facilities, I am confident of working on some of the greatest innovations in the domain of Medical Imaging for the future.
- It is multi-disciplinary - it allows you to choose modules from other Departments like Mechanical Engineering , Automatic Control Systems and Psychology.
- It concentrates on the core of the imaging techniques
- It creates a platform for the future by incorporating areas like deep and machine learning in the software development module.
- Each module is assisted by a hands-on lab sessions which enhances the understanding of the theoretical lectures
- The module is crafted into two years which gives immense benefit for scope in research for a period of 15 months.
Benefits for students considering to take the course:
- This course will lay a solid foundation to the interest in Medical Imaging and Sensing domain.
- Will give an insight of all the major imaging modalities and their present use and scenario in healthcare
- The collaboration and understanding Sheffield has with various industrial groups and universities offers varied exposure.
- The curriculum is research oriented where you become a part of the team researching and offers multiple areas to excel.
- It will help you develop software algorithms and computing tools in analysing medical images.
- The option of variety of choice from various departments helps to concentrate on one’s area of interest
- Various labs to choose from in various departments, to enhance your research experience during your coursework.
- The extra year of the course can be exploited, carrying out a internship at a industrial level to get an in-depth knowledge of the scenario or lay a solid ground to your research fervor.
- The mentors are very helpful in being a friend, philosopher and guide. It was my mentor who showed me the right path and help me acquire a year long internship in a top-notch research lab in FAU Erlangen who work in close collaboration with the research group here, he had helped me with various other opportunities such as Siemens lab in Princeton University, which is one amongst the top universities in the world.
Coming to study in the UK opens door for many such opportunities within the country and with its neighbours which can be enjoyed in a great way.
There are also other ever helping hands in the form of PhD students who are researching at Sheffield. These teaching assistants belong to different background and experience and bring a wealth of expertise.
I strongly believe that India and all other developing countries are in need for a medical structure, which is affordable and accessible. Currently, we can see a large gap in the healthcare system between urban and rural areas. One of the causes of imbalance in distribution of population among regions is due to a lack of healthcare resources and infrastructure in the rural region.
The Indian healthcare sector is currently growing towards strengthening its coverage, services by increased expenditure among public as well private players. The majority of Indian population is still in the rural areas lacking accessibility to basic medical facilities. This makes them rely on alternative medicine and government programs in rural health clinics. My interest is to study a subject, which will give me an opportunity to learn the latest technology and innovate them for economical accessibility to all in the society.
Research, assisted by the competent faculty in this field will add to my knowledge and wisdom for the industry in a better way. The strong student union at Sheffield has won laurels continuously as the best among universities which made me feel sure that this is what I was looking for. The infrastructure will positively open new areas of interest, growth avenues and aid the ever-growing demand of research in Bio-Medical industry.
The blend of countryside and the city life in Sheffield is definitely an advantage. The Peak District National Park near Sheffield where nature is at its best and the city of London is just 150 miles away, offering me the best of both.
Professor of Biomedical Image Computing, from The University of Sheffield, Alex Frangi adds “The course was designed to equip our students with relevant knowledge across relevant engineering disciplines and to expose them to working closely with clinicians and biologists through the Seminar series and the year-long MSc project”.
Sai's experiences and insights were also featured in the Engineering Section of The Times of India on the 2nd April 2018.
For more information on this programme please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/eee/pgt/bioengineering or email firstname.lastname@example.org.