Furthering Knowledge

Tuesday, 1st August 2017

Auryn Souness - MSc in Biomedical Device Materials

I did my MSc in UL in Biomedical Device Materials. I also did my undergraduate degree here in Biomedical Engineering. I am currently on the Abbott Ireland professional development programme, a two-year developmental programme where you undertake four six-month rotations across three business divisions. I am located in Longford in Abbott Diagnostics and I am based in Operations as a technical specialist.

I studied a number of areas within material science in the last year of my degree. It was something I did quite well in and I had a good interest in, and I wanted to continue that through further study.

There is a big gap in the industry at the moment for people who have knowledge in material science and material characterisation, so this MSc was developed to provide graduates with the expertise to fill that gap.

I also wanted to feed my interest in the area and to gain more experience, to build on from the foundations of my degree and to provide myself with the platform to get where I want to be in my career. In this programme the lectures are given by a number of experts in each field. Lectures were given in key management standards such as the ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 standards used in industry for quality management systems. We also had a module on polymer therapeutics that focused on emerging technologies in the field such as 3D printing and bioprinting with cells. This module really focuses on the cutting-edge technologies emerging in the field of material science. I also studied material processing, which included different casting techniques and various polymer moulding methods.

We had some industry experts on the course, so a lot of the characterisation techniques and instruments in MSSI that were used throughout the course have world-class researchers demonstrating how to use them. We also received some talks from the Bernal Chairs, Professors world-renowned in their fields, from UL’s Bernal Institute. I think having the opportunity to study with people like this showcases the level of academia here in UL. 

I presented my master’s thesis at the IMC33 (33rd International Manufacturing Conference) held in UL and I placed amongst the top student paper submissions. I met the Director of Research and Development for Cook Medical and the Director of Operations in Analog Devices; there were a lot of people in senior management positions there so it was a great chance for networking. There were also students from other universities there so you got to network with your peers as well.

I really love UL and I wish I could come back. The sports facilities are state-of-the-art and there are over 50 clubs and societies - everything from a tea appreciation society to a rock-climbing club. The culture is great, there is a huge international presence with loads of international students to interact with and meet.