Live the life of a researcher for a summer: apply now
As they approached their final year of uni, the time had come for Lisa Tan (BMechEng(Hons)/BBiomedSc) and Kar Ying Thum (BMechEng) to explore the world of research. And so they applied for a Summer Research Program scholarship, enabling them to work alongside a Monash academic for 12 weeks over summer break.
Both students took part in the pioneering work on ‘artificial hearts’ at the Cardio-Respiratory Engineering And TEchnology laboratory (CREATElab). Under the guidance of Dr Shaun Gregory, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash, they helped advance mechanical circulatory support systems for patients with heart and/or lung failure.
Lisa devoted her time to Veno-arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VA ECMO), where blood is pumped out of the body and oxygenated before returning to the body. With an aim of reducing the associated risk of blood clots, she helped design a mock circulation loop to evaluate fluid flow. In another team, Kar Ying examined ways to non-invasively detect blood clots in the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device (HVAD), a mechanical pump implanted in the left ventricle of the heart.
“Working in CREATElab allowed me to experience the life of a typical researcher and learn some of the skills crucial to the role,” says Lisa. “It definitely opened my eyes to the boundless opportunities that research can offer and broadened my range of skills.”
“Before I participated in the Summer Research Program, I had not previously considered getting into research,” adds Kar Ying. “I found that I enjoyed my time in the lab and working alongside academics. If you’re planning to do a PhD, this hands-on experience gives you a real advantage.”
The Summer Research Program also offered a window into the power of research to improve lives.
“I had the invaluable opportunity to visit a patient placed on ECMO support in the Alfred Hospital,” shares Lisa. “This rare glimpse showed me how continuous and sometimes gruelling research comes to actually help those in need.”
Now open for applications, the 2019-2020 Summer Research Program offers a choice of over 80 engineering research projects to eligible students in or entering the final year of a relevant undergraduate or coursework master’s degree.
Applications close Friday 26 July.
If you have any questions, please contact the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Research Office:
T: 03 9905 5222