Interdisciplinary research project accepted for the World Congress on Undergraduate Research

Aimilia Kakampoura, a BEng Bioengineering student, worked with Dr Jim Chamberlain, Teaching Associate in the Department of Philosophy, for her SURE project “The effect of distance on operators of remote surgical robots' moral judgement.”

A photo of Aimilia Kakampoura standing in front of a poster of her research.

The research project explored the ethical implications of remote surgical robots and how distance affects surgeons' empathy and moral judgment. This topic is particularly relevant now, given the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the medical field and the implications that this can have for both operators and those being operated on.

Aimilia found that whilst bioethics is an important topic for engineers, it is not typically covered in great detail on her course. To address this, she did some research on bioethics and reached out to academics in her home department for input, but faced some challenges in finding a mentor for the research project.

After speaking with several members of staff and PhD students, Aimilia ended up working with Dr Jim Chamberlain in order to complete her SURE project, meeting weekly with Jim for an hour, who provided valuable guidance in navigating journal articles and conducting ethical research.

I had an amazing experience working with the Philosophy department! Their approachable and friendly nature made me feel valued and heard, despite my lack of previous experience in philosophy. Special thanks to my supervisor, Jim, for his guidance, without which this highly-successful project would not have been possible. This experience has sparked a newfound passion for philosophy in me and has significantly influenced my problem-solving approach, giving me a unique perspective and hopefully making me a more well-rounded engineer.

Aimilia Kakampoura

BEng Bioengineering

Aimilia’s research project was also submitted for the World Congress of Undergraduate Research, a three-day event that brings together undergraduate students from around the world to showcase their research projects, provide students with a unique opportunity to present their work, network with other researchers, and learn from experts in their field. This year it’s hosted at Warwick University, the first time the event will be taking place in the UK. The fact that Aimilia’s research project was selected for presentation at the World Congress of Undergraduate Research is a testament to the quality of her work and the importance of her findings.

It was a pleasure working with Aimilia on this project! The project required Aimilia to develop an understanding of some very complex aspects of moral psychology and moral theory in a relatively short time, which she did with great skill and enthusiasm. I was very impressed at her research skills and the ways in which she combined philosophical thinking with her understanding of engineering to create a thoughtful and nuanced treatment of her topic.

Dr Jim Chamberlain

Teaching Associate, Department of Philosophy

This collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and the Department of Philosophy highlights the importance of interdisciplinary research and the potential for fruitful collaborations between seemingly unrelated fields. It also emphasises the need for engineers to have a deeper understanding of bioethics and ethical implications of emerging technologies in the medical field.

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