Engineering student Harvard-bound

Thursday 27 April 2017

From one world-class university to another, aspiring biomedical engineer Oliver Johnson will be rubbing shoulders with the best in the business at the 2017 Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Summer Institute.   

The fourth year Bachelor of Engineering (Research and Development) and Bachelor of Science student will be joining students from across the world for the program, which is held over nine weeks during the American Summer. 

It provides students with the opportunity to undertake research for cutting-edge projects at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, under the mentorship of Harvard faculty members.  

 “I applied for the program because I like applied research with the potential to improve people's quality of life. This program will allow me to apply my engineering, physics and maths skills to biomedical problems, which is aligned with where I want to work in the future.”

Oliver will be spending his days at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, based at the Hospital. There, he will be working in the area of Biomedical Optics - the use of lasers and light to develop new applications and modes of treatment in the areas of medicine and biology.

“Researchers at the Wellman Center have been using optical techniques to image the body, which I will be using to model the light-tissue interaction in cardiac tissue. An application of this might be to detect the various stages of a heart attack.” 

With just over a month until he leaves for the US, Oliver is looking forward to knuckling-down in the lab, and meeting fellow engineering students from across the globe. 

“This is an incredible opportunity to undertake research in a world class lab. I’m really looking forward to working in a lab every day, as well as networking and collaborating with other academics and students.  Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve a lot whilst I’m there.” 

Oliver is the third ANU engineering student to take part in this program, thanks to a competitive scholarship provided by the ANU Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering. 

For more information about the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Summer Institute, click here, or contact Dr Steve Lee, the coordinator of the Harvard-ANU Summer Scholarship Exchange Program. 

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