What does it mean to learn at PolyU BME?
The transition between adolescence to adulthood can be a daunting process. During this stage, people often have to change from prioritizing acquiring knowledge for oneself to thinking about how they can use their own skills and knowledge to help the community. At PolyU BME, one of our mission statements is to nurture future leaders in prosthetics and orthotics, clinical engineering, medical instrumentation and sensors, and biological engineering by imparting interdisciplinary knowledge, innovative ideas, critical thinking and practical skills. Through conducting an interview with Dr. Hin Chung Lau, our Programme Leader (BSc in BME) here at PolyU BME, we learn how he envisions to nurture his students to transition from solely focusing on academics to becoming more aware of how to help the community.
The importance of purpose
The process of learning is something that is self-driven. It can be especially dull for certain students if they fail to understand the significance of the task. In turn, students may lack the ambition to motivate oneself to perform at their best. When asked about how Dr. Lau keeps his students interested in the subjects that he teaches, he stated “As BME is so broad. Some students may only be interested in a particular area, for example, chemistry or biomedical sensors. The subjects that I teach are more related to physics, like electronics and medical equipment. Not every student will be too keen in studying such things. It is therefore important for the students to know what they are learning and the implications of the knowledge in their future careers.”
In order to allow students to recognize the significance of their study and project work, Dr. Lau has been organizing territory-wide student project competition in Hong Kong since 2018 to promote the role of biomedical engineering in enhancing the quality of living in the community. “Many people understand that the ageing population and COVID-19 present new challenges to the society.” claims Dr. Lau, “We must work directly and together with the stakeholders to achieve meaningful impact. The competition that I organize relates to STEM education and require students to work closely with the stakeholders to design products or services to fulfil their needs. I hope to change how students, not only within PolyU BME, understand how they can apply their knowledge to enable us to live healthier and more comfortably. This is the reason why I organize such competitions, and of course to promote BME to the general public as well.”