One of the advantages of studying Biomedical Engineering at King’s is having exposure to the breadth of research that King’s staff are involved in. It is actually one of the larger departments in terms of research! Many researchers also lecture or teach, and even more of them are willing to take on students for internships. Thus, most of my friends have done summer internships at King’s to gain some work experience.
For my summer internship during my second year, I did a King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the King’s “labs” in a building across of St. Thomas’ Hospital. As my internship was a machine learning internship, the labs were computer labs, with a few really impressive (and powerful) computers that are shared for research (one of the reasons King’s has these computers is due to its partnership with NVIDIA). In my internship I tried to predict gestational age from brain volume MRI scans of babies, and experienced working in a shared and open office space. I often saw and sometimes worked with students from other years, or other staff I knew. Although I was quite independent for this project, the PhD students around were very helpful as well whenever I had questions.
Work for my research project during my third year was based at the Centre for the Developing Brain in the Perinatal Unit of St. Thomas’. Thus, for my project days I had a designated desk within the workspace. My project used biophysical modelling and machine learning to learn signatures of MRI data of healthy brains in order to help in determining brain tissue parameters. During the project, I also had the opportunity to see a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of a baby that suffers from congenital heart disease. The scan and image processing allow doctors to determine what is the best surgery to help the baby’s quality of life. Additionally, there are also frequent talks held at the unit by external speakers on many different topics, and on Mondays I attended clinical team meetings with the Perinatal Unit, to review the clinical cases they have seen.
My work experiences at King’s have been very exciting, as the laboratories and clinical imaging areas I have been involved with are where lots of meaningful research happens on a daily basis. Researchers are also very friendly and are happy to explain their research if you ask. Overall, working in a clinical setting has been invaluable in reminding me that what I am working on (as frustrating as debugging code can get) will help change lives someday.
Find out more about King’s School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences