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'Sensing the Heart' Training Day at Ulster's Jordanstown campus

22 March 2013

Science teachers from across NorthernIreland got an insight to the practical application of pioneering research by University of Ulster scientists at innovative training day on the Jordanstown campus.

The University's School of Engineering hosted‘Sensing the Heart’, to highlight someof the life saving research at Ulster.Professors Jim McLaughlin, Brian Meenan and Omar Escalona gave a series of lively and informative presentations and practical demonstrations of medicalsensors showing how they can help save lives by detecting a variety of conditions such asarrhythmia, blood pressure and hypertension.

Research at Ulster’s Engineering Research Institute has strongly influenced the growth of engineering research in the University and the development of a culture of research excellence amongst staff and research students.

Professor McLaughlin's widely engaged in mentoring colleagues and supervising research students and is founder and director of spin-out companies such as Intelesensresponsive healthcare and SiSaF which deals with innovations in topical drug delivery systems.He is a member of the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel (NI Matrix) and has been a panel member of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) on several occasions.

Professor McLaughlin explained how developing STEM initiatives with Key Stage 3 Science Teachers is highly important for the School of Engineering and the Engineering Research Institute.

"This also follows various national STEM strategies and our local MATRIX recommendations.Embedded within our developing strategy is the need to form closer links with local schools to forge a two way relationship that benefits schools through a deeper understanding and context of the developing Science and mathematics curriculum.

“At the same time,the University of Ulster gets a chance to demonstrate the new and exciting career benefits of modern subjects within Engineering as an alternative pathway to more traditional routes for A Level science students," he said.

The event was organised by Dr Sally Montgomery, specialist educator in cutting edge science, in association with the Belfast Education and Library Board, the National Science Learning Centre (NSLC) and Research Councils UK.

Dr Montgomery said the feedback from the teachers was very positive.

“The training day was very useful for the teachers. It was really interesting to learn about the latest research from those actually involved and to find out about the resources that will be available for them to use with their own classes.”

Caption (l to r) Dr Sally Montgomery, John Donnelly, St Patrick’s Lisburn, Katie Parkes, RBAI, Belfast, Professor Jim McLaughlin and Professor Omar Escalona, both University of Ulster at the Sensing the Heart training day at the University's Jordanstown campus.