Dr Rowan Brown Associate Professor Medical Engineering



We asked Dr. Rowan Brown, our Associate Professor in Medical Engineering, some frequently asked question:

What is Medical Engineering?

Combining the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical sciences, this field of study seeks to advance health care treatment, including diagnosis, monitoring and therapy. 

As a Medical Engineering student at Swansea University, you will gain the skills of engineering, with the added knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and the ability to communicate with clinicians.

What is the course at Swansea famous for?

As well as having close links with Morriston Hospital, which is an academic hospital involved in the latest research combining medicine and engineering, we have mock-up wards which are excellent for learning the social aspect of Medical Engineering and incorporating as much life science as possible. Our outstanding facilities halfway between the university and a real hospital include the use of equipment that the NHS use, such as MRI and CT scanners, and our strength in numerical aspects helps us in designing the next generation of medical devices.

How do I know if it's right for me?

Although medical engineering is a new discipline, it still involves all the traditional subjects such as maths, materials, electronics, numerical analysis, physics and optics. A medical engineer must be able to deconstruct information in ways that everyone in the medical arena can understand. They are academics as well as device technicians. If you are a committed person and a team worker who has the skill to converse in various different areas, then medical engineering is right for you.

What will the course look like?

Year 1 involves a lot of Maths and how to programme applications to Medical Engineering—helping to design the next generation of medical devices for patient care. In Year 2, there is a big focus on just how complicated the human body is. Finally, Year 3 is your research project which we encourage students to develop as their own and tailor to their own interest. 

Although it varies, you can expect to have approximately 22 hours of contact time per week. This is around 15 hours of lectures, 3 hours of lab work, mentor sessions and tutor chats. You are also expected to do independent study and make good use of the Maths Café and Simulation Café to achieve your best on the course.

What jobs can I do when I graduate?

Some of our graduates have gone on to work in the NHS Fellowships, biotech companies, Ministry of Defence, PALL (Fortune 1000 company), Renishaw, GE Healthcare, DTR Medical and more. Some graduates go on to become GPs, Patent Officers, Advisors and Consultants to legal firms or Physicians Assistants, which is in between a GP/Doctor and a Nurse as they take the pressure off GPs and earn £40,000 salaries.

Medical Engineering is an exciting and varied role where there are opportunities to utilise one’s expertise in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering to undertake tasks like modifying or constructing equipment. It’s a hands-on role, encountering a wide range of equipment in the hospital environment or the chance to specialise in certain types.