Published: 08 March 2016

MSc student wins prestigious IET award

For the fourth year running, a Surrey student has won the IET Dennis Hill Award, highlighting the University’s exceptional teaching in the emerging field of engineering for health.

The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Dennis Hill Award is given to an MEng or MSc student with the best final year project dissertation in the field of Biomedical Engineering.

William Hawkes, who graduated from the University’s MSc in Biomedical Engineering last year, has been recognised for his project, which focused on brain activity in people with Alzheimer’s disease. By applying advanced signal processing algorithms, William was able to characterise the background brain activity in patients with Alzheimer’s compared with control subjects, achieving accuracy of up to 95 per cent.

William has followed in the footsteps of Surrey’s previous winners of the IET Dennis Hill Award over the past four years. The University’s MSc in Biomedical Engineering is the longest running programmes of its kind in the world, and one of a number of courses – at both undergraduate and postgraduate level – in the field of future healthcare technologies.

Williams said, “It feels amazing to receive the Dennis Hill Award from the IET and it is a great honour for them to recognise my work. To have won within such a competitive category amongst the other candidates, all of whom were incredibly strong, is a big achievement for me. I feel truly privileged to represent the University of Surrey and I am proud to receive this award based on my work there. Since graduating from Surrey, I have started a PhD at UCL and am looking into the role of cell and molecular mechanics in healthy functioning and pathology.”

Dr Daniel Abasolo, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering and the project's supervisor commented, “To say that I am incredibly proud of Will winning this award would be a massive understatement. He did a fantastic job in a challenging research topic that was completely new to him at the start of the project. His results show that the methods applied outperform others previously published and suggest that they could be potentially useful for the detection of pathological electroencephalogram rhythms in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

“The fact that this is the fourth year in a row this prestigious award has gone to a medical/biomedical engineering student from the University of Surrey working under my supervision demonstrates the excellent quality of our students and how research in biomedical signal processing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences is at the forefront nationally."

Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering Professor Julie Yeomans said, “As Head of School, not only am I immensely proud of our students, I would also like to acknowledge the role of Dr Abasolo in facilitating these achievements. He provides the intellectual environment in which students can flourish and encourages them to reach their full potential. His support of the students is exemplary.”


Discover our programmes in mechanical engineering, including our BEng/MEng Biomedical Engineering

Share what you've read?