International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Meet Our IEA Alumni: Hera Shams Khan

Department: Bioengineering

Course: MEng Biomedical Engineering 

Nationality: Pakistan

What was your favourite subject at school?
It would not be fair if I named only one; I liked Physics and Biology both, equally.
How did you decide which degree course to take?
I wanted to do contribute to healthcare but not in a clinical environment. I chose my degree so that I can help reduce all the pain the patients have to go through while diagnosis and treatment- but 21st century style. I wanted to create machines for them that would be cheaper, faster, more efficient and robust so that for instance, they do not always have to keep coming back to hospitals for their numerous tests and then their reports.
What advice would you give to people about to choose a university course?One should be extremely cautious while choosing a university course. It is the decision you make now which is going to be the centrepiece of your professional career all your life. It is crucial to research extensively and then to think about the subject that you think you can work on all your life.
What inspired you/Who inspired you to follow this route?Coming from a family of doctors, my visits to hospitals were quite frequent and the unnecessary suffering of patients while diagnosis and treatment used to bother me, so I decided to do a degree that would enable me to reduce it.
What do you particularly enjoy and why?
The diversity of my course baffles me at times but if I think about it that is exactly what makes it so interesting. Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary course, I have to do core engineering modules with Electrical, Mechanical and Control engineers and then I have to do modules where I have to work on cadavers and learn about Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Musculoskeletal System. The transition is hard to get used to but then one starts to correlate the mechanisms in the body to any normal engineering concept.
Best job/most fun/most fulfilling/challenges.
One of the best things I like about University is the Union. There are always hundreds of events happening all year round through the Union, which you can get involved in.
One of the events I took part in this year was the International Language Festival. The idea was to teach your native language to the visitors at the Festival. I taught Urdu at it. The Festival gave me an opportunity to learn more about my language, meet new people and make friends! It was indeed a remarkable experience and one that I will always have fond memories about.
How is studying your subject or methods of learning different at university than at school?
Studying at University is quite different from school. Although, the structure of the course is similar to school like we have assessment/quizzes during the term and an exam at the end of the term but one does not feel pressured at University. The lecturers would neither be displeased with you for doing badly in a quiz or compliment you for doing well in it, the results are kept anonymous in most cases and you can judge yourself accordingly.
What are your plans for the future/dreams/goals?
I wish to work as a Clinical/Biomedical Engineer in a firm that is involved in making medical instrumentation (eg. Philips Healthcare, Dräger, etc).

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