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Master of science in Biomedical Engineering

  • academic year
    2019-2020
Master of science in Biomedical Engineering

This formation is taught in french.

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  • Programme title
    Master of science in Biomedical Engineering
  • Programme mnemonic
    MA-IRCB
  • Programme organised by
    • Brussels School of Engineering
  • Degree type
    Masters 120 credits
  • Tier
    2nd cycle
  • Field and branch of study
    Sciences and technics/Engineering sciences
  • Schedule type
    Daytime
  • Languages of instruction
    french
  • Theoretical programme duration
    2 years
  • Campus
    Solbosch
  • Category / Topic
    Sciences and technics - Sciences and technics
  • Jury President
    Pierre-Etienne LABEAU
  • Jury Secretary
    Simon-Pierre GORZA

Details

General information

Degree type

Masters 120 crédits

Theoretical programme duration

2 years

Learning language(s)

french

Schedule type

Daytime

Campus

Solbosch

Category(ies) - Topic(s)

Sciences and technics - Sciences and technics

Organising faculty(s) and university(ies)
Infor-études

Succeed in your studies

ULB offers a number of activities and resources that can help you develop a successful strategy before or during your studies.

You can make the transition to higher education easier by attending preparatory courses, summer classes, and information and orientation sessions, even before you start your studies at ULB.

During your studies, many people at ULB are there specifically to help you succeed: support staff in each faculty, (inter-)faculty guidance counsellors, tutors, and experts in academic methodology.

Presentation

With their unique multidisciplinary background at the crossroads of biomedicine and engineering, graduates of this programme can design and implement equipment that meets the complex combined requirements of technology and the living world. Biomedical engineers play a fundamental part in bringing together the scientific and technological approaches of the engineering and biomedical industries. This versatile Master programme is a response to the constant evolution of medical technologies in areas such as biomechanics, instruments, or biomedical imaging. This means that biomedical engineering is a promising sector, supporting the development of an innovative industry that draws from life and health sciences.

The Master in Biomedical Engineering revolves around three main components:

1. Biomechanics

2. Biomedical instruments

3. Biomedical imaging and computing

The ‘biomechanics’ component places emphasis on design, choice of materials, and production of prosthetics, micro-surgical instruments, and implants, as well as on the mechanical analysis of biological systems such as the musculoskeletal system with and without prosthetics.

The ‘biomedical instruments’ component relates to developing sensors and stimulators—essentially by using analogue and digital electronics and micro-electronics—to create implantable and non-implantable medical devices.

The ‘biomedical imaging and computing’ component deals with the acquisition, processing, validation, and interpretation of biomedical data. Classes cover the various types of modern imaging systems, and students learn to use the images produced for a variety of applications: diagnostic assistance, surgery scheduling, or surgical navigation.

In all fields of biomedical engineering, the future will belong to multidisciplinary teams. Biomedical engineers play a fundamental part in bringing together the scientific and technological approaches used in the engineering and biomedical industries.

The programme alternates between various teaching methods (from lecture classes to project-based learning), leaving much room—around half of the programme's total hours—for workshops and laboratory classes as well as visits to companies and research centres.

In order to promote the students' personal growth as well as their teamwork skills during their five years of studies, the Master in Biomedical Engineering places particular emphasis on transdisciplinary projects that involve all subjects in the programme, in both fields: biomedical and engineering.

Students work on projects in the 1st year of the Master, choosing one specific area of speciality. They can complete either a computer-aided design project related to biomechanics or biomedical instruments, or a biomedical imaging project. Alternatively, selected students may also take part in a

biomedical project on development cooperation, or a ‘team leader’ project.

In the final year, in addition to the dissertation—in which students elaborate on a topic related to their speciality—, the programme lets students complete a work placement in a hospital or a company, in Belgium or abroad; this immerses them in an environment similar to what they might experience when they start working as biomedical engineers.

This programme was created as a response for the growing demand of engineers who can understand, interpret, and provide solutions to the technical needs of the medical community; the Master in Biomedical Engineering is the most recent programme available to students, with the first graduates earning their degree in July of 2007. This high-level programme combines traditional engineering skills and cutting-edge biomedical skills.

The programme is accredited by Belgium's public authority that regulates the title of ‘Engineer’ (jointly with the agency in charge of evaluating higher education programmes), and has been awarded the EUR-ACE label.

By learning engineering and biomedicine at ULB, students ensure they receive a high-level pluridisciplinary education. Learning a variety of skills is essential in order to design and implement biomedical equipment that can meet the complex requirements of technology and the living world.

Exchanges

Students in the Master programme may also take part in an exchange programme (for one term or an entire year), such as Erasmus or another programme.

Work placement

In the 2nd year of the Master, students may complete a work placement that will immerse them in a professional environment for at least 12 weeks. This places them in direct and active contact with the professional world, earning them real-world experience and engineering skills. The work placement takes place in a company or in a hospital unit, in Belgium or abroad. It can also take place in an academic research group, but only abroad.

Examples of work placement settings

Companies: Baxter, Biocartis, Cardiatis, Cardio3, Centexbel, Cochlear, Endo Tools Therapeutics, Euranova, IBA, IMEC, Inoue, Intuitim, Johnson & Johnson Medical, Kisano, Materlialise, Medisoft, MedPole, Mobelife, Siemens, Synergia Medical, Volcano, 3Win, etc.

Hospitals: Erasme hospital, Brugmann hospital, Jules Bordet institute

Abroad (in companies, hospitals, or academic research groups): Brain Innovation (Maastricht, Netherlands), Withings (Paris, France), Image Guided Therapy (Pessac, France), Alfred Hospital (Melbourne, Australia), Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital (Paris, France), Harvard University (Cambridge, USA), University College London (London, UK)

Partnerships

A strong partnership exists between the Master in Biomedical Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine as well as ULB's network of partner hospitals, who have cutting-edge equipment. A number of professors in the Faculty of Medicine also give specific classes on biomedicine as part of this Master programme.

In addition, the programme has formed partnerships with other Belgian universities (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Catholique de Louvain, Université de Liège), which creates opportunities for more courses. Other opportunities include students taking part in 3 events (5 credits): the Biomedical Days (three days of talks hosted by a panel of speakers from the industrial sector, organised jointly with UCL and ULg), the National Day on Biomedical Engineering—including a biomedical job fair—, and the European Course on Laparoscopic Surgery.

Access conditions

Programme

The programme is based on the standard three-year format: the third year of the Bachelor programme, followed by two years of a Master programme. Courses are given on the three following main subjects: biomechanics, biomedical instruments, and biomedical imaging. The 3rd year of the Bachelor programme provides basic knowledge in biomedicine and engineering. Then, the 1st year of the Master programme covers the basic material for all three main subjects, while the 2nd year has students choose a series of courses that align more closely with their interests in one of these subjects. Students may also choose to specialise in courses required to become an expert in medical radiophysics; this speciality will give them insight into the use and impact of ionising radiation (radiotherapy, scanners etc.) on living tissue.

Bachelor – Year 3

In addition to a common core of courses, 30 credits are specific to biomedical engineering: these specialised courses provide basic knowledge in biomedicine (biology, physiology, biochemistry, anatomy) and engineering (instruments, computing, and automation), later developed in the Master programme.

Master – Year 1

Courses are centred around a ‘biomedicine’ module (25 credits) and an ‘engineering’ module (30 credits), which cover the basics of the programme’s three core subjects (biomechanics, instruments, imaging) in order to help students choose a specialisation in year 2 based on their personal interests.

The programme is completed by a specific project related to biomedical engineering (5 credits), which can take the form of a biomedical imaging project or a biomechanics project. Alternatively, selected students may complete one of two other types of projects: a biomedical project on development cooperation (see www.ulb.ac.be/facs/polytech/cooperation-Mission.html to learn more about these projects), and a ‘team leader’ project, where they will supervise a group of 1st-year Bachelor students for their own final project.

Master – Year 2

For the final year, the programme includes a dissertation, which counts for 20 credits, and three series of classes (modules), each of which is specialised in one of the three main subjects (biomechanics, instrumentation, imaging). By choosing at least 20 credits’ worth of courses in two of the three modules, students can align their studies with their interests. Another possibility is to specialise in medical radiophysics, in order to prepare for additional training as an expert in this medical radiophysics.

Students may also complete a work placement (10 credits) in a company or a hospital, in Belgium or abroad, with an additional module and a free module, totalling at least 60 credits. In addition, students take part in 3 events (5 credits): the Biomedical Days (three days of talks hosted by a panel of speakers from the industrial sector, organised jointly with UCL and ULg), the National Day on Biomedical Engineering—including a biomedical job fair—, and the European Course on Laparoscopic Surgery.

Some courses are given in English (the actual number of hours depends on each student's choice of electives).

What's next ?

Prospects

Biomedical engineering is among the industries with the highest growth rates, and more jobs are created each year—especially in the field of innovation. In 2013, over 10,000 patent applications were filed with the European Patent Office in the area of medical technologies, which is more than in any other technical area. Among these applications, 41% were filed by EU countries and 39% by the USA. Innovation is happening at such a rapid pace that new medical technologies are replaced by improved versions 18 to 24 months after their introduction. This means that graduates of this programme can naturally work as experts, project managers, or even project leaders, in R&D departments, consulting firms, and academic research units, where they can design, develop, and optimise any number of medical devices for clinical or research use.

Nearly 25,000 companies are active in medical technology in Europe, totalling over 575,000 employees, while the industry employs 520,000 in the USA. As for the pharmaceutical industry, it employs 675,000 people in Europe. This makes for a high level of demand for workers with advanced qualifications in the medical technology industry in general, and in our countries in particular. The Master in Biomedical Engineering was created in response to this high demand.

Graduates can apply to large companies with a long history in developing and producing medical equipment, but also—and especially—to SMEs. Making up 95% of the medical technology industry in Europe, SMEs are boosted by the considerable size of the market for medical technologies. This market is estimated at 100 billion euros in the Europe, while the region has a positive trade balance of 15,2 billion euros. Imports/exports by country are presented below, with Belgium among the top exporters.

Our country offers many job opportunities for biomedical engineers. For instance, Belgium's medical equipment industry employs some 18,000 people for a total turnover of 3.4 billion euros; the industry is growing at a rate of 4% (2010), and Belgium has over 380 companies specialised in medical devices, 70% of which are SMEs.

This Master programme is versatile enough that graduates have a wealth of professional opportunities, including in other areas than biomedical engineering. Depending on their choice of specialisation—each of which provides advanced technical training—, graduates of the Master in Biomedical Engineering can also work in other, more traditional areas such as mechanical engineering, electronics, or computer science. Lastly, as the programme is firmly rooted in applied medicine, biomedical engineers can also work in hospitals, including in managerial positions.