Thursday, June 2, 2016

Monash University

Today, we had a full-day tour at Monash University.
Today we had a full-day tour at Monash University, lead by professors Jean-Michel Redoute and Mehmet Yuce. We heard a lecture on their focus on biomedical and implanted electronics and various ways of sending data and energy. They had developed an interface for the latter purpose which consists of two separate apparatuses, one inside the skull and one outside, which allow for wireless communication and retrieval of data without surgery or direct access to the implant. We then went on a couple of lab tours of technologies researchers in Monash’s Biomedical Integrated Circuits and Sensors Research Laboratory (BICS).

The first tour we went on was the Monash vision group's bionic eye project. They are building a set of glasses which allow visually impaired people to see shapes using an implant of the visual cortex of the brain. The brain implantation means that it does not require the patient to have any sort of visual ability and it also does not depend on any part of the eye or visual system to still be intact. This also utilizes the technology that professors Redoute and Yuce had talked about in order to communicate data from the glasses to the brain implantation.

Next, we toured Monash’s newly built New Horizon research institute, which specializes in biotechnology, a cross-departmental field integrating biology and electronics. We learned about the interfacing between soft materials like tissues and organs and hard materials like circuits and electronics.

We went on a campus-wide tour of Monash led by a graduate student. We visited various campus buildings and research institutes and learned a little about Monash’s history and philosophy. Pictured are the chemistry building, the library, and their wind tunnel, in which they perform testing on city models and vehicles.

We also got to hear about the various clubs at Monash including the Motorsport club where they build race cars and compete all around the world. They were actually currently prepping for their next competition, which was all the way in Europe!

Finally, we met back up with Dr. Redoute and Yuce to visit their research laboratories and hear more about their current projects which included a way to measure blood pressure without the cuff. By providing a more comfortable way of measuring blood pressure, it allows the patients to monitor their BP for long periods of time such as overnight, which also provides more information about their health.