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Leading the future of biomedical engineering

Newcastle University is launching the first major biomedical engineering facility in the North of England thanks to a £1.1 million grant from the Wolfson Foundation.

19 July 2022

We are launching the first major biomedical engineering facility in the North of England thanks to a £1.1 million grant from the Wolfson Foundation.

The new facility will create the space for researchers and industry professionals to work together to solve the engineering problems of the future and transform lives. This includes engineering innovative designs for prosthetic limbs and developing bioelectronic medicine to restore vision and prevent seizures.

The 733m2 laboratory space will be the first of its kind in the North of England and will be housed in the redeveloped Stephenson Building at the heart of Newcastle University’s School of Engineering.

Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President at Newcastle University, said:

“Biomedical Engineering combines medical and engineering areas of excellence. Of all the disciplines, few have the ability to transform lives quite so dramatically. It is a new, evolving, technology-driven subject with many facets - from tissue engineering and medical devices to biomaterials and biomanufacturing.

“Newcastle University’s biomedical engineers have already seen significant successes, particularly in the fields of medical devices, biomaterials and tissue engineering. The new facility will act as a catalyst for further growth in this, making new technologies available to patients, as well as enabling us to pursue novel and exciting research areas.”

In recent years, medical practice has become much more technology-based and there is a real demand for biomedical engineers to lead the sector in this new direction. In this new facility, current and future generations of Newcastle students will gain valuable real-life experience, co-working with industry professionals, setting them up to become the innovators of the future, and Newcastle University academics will be at the forefront of the UK’s biomedical engineering agenda.

The laboratory space will be part of the larger Centre for Research Excellence in Biomedical Engineering at Newcastle University, bringing together researchers from a range of cross-faculty disciplines for the first time. Equipment provided with the Wolfson Foundation grant will allow Newcastle researchers to explore new areas of biomedical engineering, including bioelectronic medicine and mechanical structures to restore vision, prevent seizures in epileptic patients and offer alternatives to existing prosthetics. Together with leading industry professionals, they will research stem cell delivery systems and 3D tissue printing and reconstruction, and develop new underlying technologies to help tackle the medical challenges of the future.

The generous grant from the Wolfson Foundation is the first major award made to the University since the launch of the Campaign for Newcastle University in June 2022, an ambitious 10-year campaign inspiring support for future students, future research and a future of positive change in our city and around the world.

About the Stephenson redevelopment

The Stephenson Building opened in 1951 to train the engineers needed to rebuild post-war Britain. Since then, the building has been at the heart of engineering at Newcastle University and the home of over 25,000 students, producing successful graduates who have filled some of the engineering sector’s highest positions.

The ongoing redevelopment of the engineering quarter of campus will provide the capacity for future generations of interdisciplinary engineering, with the infrastructure needed for new types of teaching, research and partnerships. The Stephenson Building will be a catalyst for exceptional research and innovation that expands knowledge, addresses societal and global needs, supports sustainable economic growth and promotes health and wellbeing.


About the Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity with a focus on research and education. Its aim is to support civil society by investing in excellent projects in science, health, heritage, humanities and the arts.

Since it was established in 1955, some £1 billion (£2 billion in real terms) has been awarded to more than 12,000 projects throughout the UK, all on the basis of expert review.

Twitter: @wolfsonfdn