Visit to Boston Scientific by engineering students gave one student with an implant an insight into work that goes into development of medical devices
A number of students from a range of engineering courses recently enjoyed a visit to Boston Scientific’s Co Tipperary facility.
Students got a first-hand experience of Boston Scientific’s facilities which also takes WIT engineering students on work placement and employs graduate engineers.
Lecturer with the School of Engineering Mary Doyle-Kent explains that the pharmaceutical and biomedical companies are very important to the south east region, and are very interested in graduates from WIT’s technician level mechanical and manufacturing courses (higher certificate and ordinary degree), as well as honours and masters degree graduates.
As part of the School of Engineering’s courses classes do site visits to industry, availing mostly of the wide selection in the South East Region.
"The techniques that were presented to the Students by Boston Scientific are the ones used to design, prototype and test the Implantable Cardiac Devices, and are very relevant to modules undertaken by our students.”
For student Dayne Fitzgerald the visit to a plant which prides itself on being the leading manufacturer of implantable medical devices, resonated personally, as well as getting to see application of what he is currently studying at WIT in action.
“I found the trip interesting on a personal level as the medical device that I have implanted is similar to those made at Boston Scientific. This made the experience even more enjoyable. It was fascinating to see the production and engineering side of these medical devices as I got to see how they are made and become aware of the amount of work and research that is involved in manufacturing these products. It was beneficial to see the link between my personal situation and my studies. I now have a better understanding of my own circumstances and how this company, with their cutting-edge research, are improving people’s quality of life.
Tim Rae, Technical Communications Manager, Eoin Enright, R&D, Engineer Rob Hannon and R&D Engineer JP Fitzpatrick MetLab Supervisor were on hand to show around students from BEng in Manufacturing WD032, WD085 BEng (Hons) in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering year 2, WD555 MSc in Innovative Technology Engineering (Full-Time) and WD557 MSc in Innovative Technology Engineering (Part-Time).
Doyle-Kent explains that additive manufacturing is an important technique in medical device development and students were give a 20-minute presentation on how this is currently being used to develop components and products of the future in the medical device industry.
Students were brought through testing laboratories and witnessed products being tested to establish if they met the required product specification.
“The students could relate this to material testing in our laboratories in WIT,” says Doyle-Kent.
“The importance of quality in the design and manufacture of medical devices was brought alive in the presentation given by Tim Rae when he spoke about how these devices are life saving. In WIT quality management is a very important element of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering courses. The Innovative Technology students related to every element of the tour and found the afternoon spent in Boston Scientific very relevant to their Masters Degree core content."