Reporter 418, 6 April 1998


Beckett honours implant researchers

A multi-disciplinary research group based within the School of Mechanical Engineering has been awarded a President's Partnership Prize. Second prize in the engineering section went to the Biomedical Engineering Group, which investigates the engineering and biological aspects of medical implants. The group is currently researching synthetic heart valves and artificial hip joints.

The national prizes are designed to signal the need for research scientists and engineers within Higher Education to work more closely with industry.

Presenting the prize of £15,000, Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, said: "Today's prize winners ably demonstrate that forging partnerships with industry need not be done at the expense of universities' core activities. On the contrary, new links with industry enhance universities' research and teaching dynamism."

Bringing together experts from Medical Engineering, Microbiology, Orthopaedic Surgery and Cardiac Surgery, the group has developed fruitful partnerships with a number of major private sector companies, including 3M Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson Orthopaedics, and DePuy. Its work is supported by an external income of more than £2 million.

Its future work will become even more important, as Medical Engineering Professor John Fisher explains: "As we move into the next Millennium and the elderly population live longer, advances in biomechanical and biological research in the field of medical implants will be important factors in improving their quality of life."

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