Published: 11 December 2014


The University of Surrey has today been awarded a £5 million grant from HEFCE to develop a new Engineering for Health Learning Laboratory. Added to the University’s own £5 million investment, the new project will result in a £10 million facility.

This will help drive forward Surrey’s ‘Engineering for Heath’ campaign, which looks to address the challenges on the expanding ageing population, as well as the demand for 24/7 care and its impact on the health service. The funding will help train up highly-skilled graduates, who will be able to develop technologies such as remote monitoring of patients and apply the analysis of ‘big data’ to personalised care.

Professor Vince Emery, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey said, “Between 2012 and 2020, the UK economy will require 830,000 professional scientists, engineers and technologists. The University of Surrey will deliver graduates equipped to fill this skills gap and tackle these challenges head-on.

“Changing patterns of disease and new risks emerging from globalisation and climate change require urgent new approaches to health. Through this grant, we will develop a new laboratory that will bring together students from different disciplines, and train them to drive innovation that addresses the future needs of industry and society.”

Professor Jonathan Seville (Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences) said, “Surrey’s new 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) and the world’s first 5G test-bed enable the University to respond rapidly to this challenge.”

Professor Lisa Roberts (Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) commented, “We are delighted with this award, which will further support our strategy to bring together our excellence in engineering, biosciences and health sciences to develop the health care models, workforce and technologies for the future. This development perfectly complements the previous investments from the University and Hefce in our new vet school and 5GIC.”

In 2017, Surrey will also be launching a new Engineering for Health undergraduate programme and is currently working to enhance the flexibility of existing undergraduate programmes in engineering, biosciences and health sciences by developing new shared modules and industry-led projects.

“We hope that these developments will help address the nationwide problem of attracting women to existing undergraduate engineering degree courses,” said Professor Emery.

“It is crucial to ensure that future health engineers are drawn from the whole talent pool.”

This grant is part of HEFCE’s £200 million investment to support an increase in high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics students.

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