Biomedical Engineering

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1 Biomedical Engineering June 2007 Versie t.b.v. aanvraag accreditatie

2 Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities (QANU) Catharijnesingel 56 PO Box RA Utrecht The Netherlands Phone: +31 (0) Fax: +31 (0) Internet: QANU Text and numerical material from this publication may be reproduced in print, by photocopying or by any other means with the permission of QANU if the source is mentioned. 2 QANU / Biomedical Engineering

3 Table of contents Foreword 5 Part I General Part 7 1. Structure of the Report 9 2. General remarks 11 Part II Programme Reports The Master programme Biomedical Engineering offered by the University of Groningen The Bachelor and Master programme Biomedical Engineering offered by the University of Twente The Bachelor and Master programme Biomedical Engineering and the Master programme Medical Engineering offered by the Technical University Eindhoven 87 Appendices 131 Appendix A: Curricula vitae of the Committee members 133 Appendix B: Domain-specific reference frame 135 QANU / Biomedical Engineering 3

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5 FOREWORD This report is part of the quality assessment of university Bachelor and Master degree courses in the Netherlands. The purpose of this report is to present a reliable picture of the results of the degree courses submitted for this review, to give feedback to the internal quality assurance of the Institutes concerned, and to serve as the basis for accreditation of the degree courses by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). The Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities Foundation (QANU) aims to ensure independent, unbiased, critically constructive assessments using standardised quality criteria as far as possible, while taking specific circumstances into account. The QANU Review Committee Biomedical Engineering has fulfilled its tasks with great dedication in a period marked by the transition to the Bachelor-Master structure. The courses are evaluated in a thorough and careful manner within a clear framework. We trust the judgements and recommendations will be carefully considered by the course providers, the management of the faculties and the Boards of the Universities concerned. We thank the Chairman and members of the Review Committee for their willingness to participate in this assessment and for the dedication with which they carried out this task. We also thank the staff of the university departments concerned for their efforts and for their cooperation during the assessment. Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities Mr. Chris J. Peels Director Dr. Jan G.F. Veldhuis Chairman of the Board QANU / Biomedical Engineering 5

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7 PART I: GENERAL PART QANU / Biomedical Engineering 7

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9 1. Structure of the report In this document, the Biomedical Engineering Evaluation Committee (in this report referred to as the Committee ) reports its findings. The report consists of two parts: a general part and a part which contains the results of the evaluation and assessment of the degree course concerned. This report is based on an assessment of the period , in accordance with the assessment protocol of QANU, including a degree of extrapolation into the future by taking into account formally documented actions and adaptations. The report is structured in accordance with the accreditation criteria prescribed by the NVAO (Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders). QANU / Biomedical Engineering 9

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11 2. General remarks Task of the Committee The task of the Committee was to evaluate and assess the following degree programmes: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences & Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Groningen Master programme Biomedical Engineering (CROHO 60621) Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Twente Bachelor programme Biomedical Engineering (CROHO 56226) Master programme Biomedical Engineering (CROHO 66226) Faculty Biomedical Engineering of the Technical University Eindhoven Bachelor programme Biomedical Engineering (CROHO 56226) Master programme Biomedical Engineering (CROHO 66226) Master programme Medical Engineering (CROHO 60344) This evaluation and assessment fully comply with the accreditation requirements of the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). The composition of the Committee The Committee was constituted formally on November 1, 2006, prior to the start of the site visit and consisted of: Prof. dr. ir. A.F.W. (Ton) van der Steen, Professor and Head of Biomedical Engineering at Erasmus University Rotterdam, chairman; and as members: W. (Wouter) Beerepoot, Master student Biomechatronics at the Technical University of Delft; Prof. dr. G.A. (George) Truskey, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, USA; prof. dr. ir. P.A. (Peter) Wieringa, Professor Biomechanical Engineering and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical, Marine and Materials Engineering at the Delft Universiy of Technology; prof. dr. P.G. (Peter) Katona, former president CEO Whitaker Foundation and Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University, USA. A short curriculum vitae of each of the Committee members is included in Appendix A. N. (Nik) Heerens, QANU office, was appointed secretary of the Evaluation Committee. After he took up a new appointment abroad, the reports were written by drs. A. (Annet) Silljé and finished by drs. R. (Remco) van der Dussen. QANU / Biomedical Engineering 11

12 The composition of the Committee was formally approved by the QANU Board. All members of the Committee signed a declaration of independence as required by the QANU protocol to assure that: the panel members judge without bias, personal preference or personal interest, and the judgement is made without undue influence from the institute, the programme or other stakeholders. Materials presented to the Committee The faculties offering the degree courses prepared a self-evaluation report in accordance with the new NVAO accreditation criteria 1 and the QANU Protocol 2. Study guides of the programmes were provided as part of the self-evaluation report. As part of the self-evaluation report the faculty also provided lists of the Master's theses of the programme concerned. The Committee selected theses for review and assessment. Representatives of the degree programmes developed a domain-specific reference frame, given in Appendix B, and this was adopted by the committee. The reference frame was used as a guideline together with the elaborated exit qualifications for the Master's programme as defined in the self-evaluation report. Working method adopted by the Committee The Committee used the QANU protocol for the assessment of the Bachelor s and Master s programmes 2. This QANU protocol is an elaboration of the assessment criteria of the NVAO and meets all NVAO criteria. The Committee held a preparatory meeting on November 1 st, Based on study of the self-evaluation report, the Committee compiled a list of questions about the programmes concerned, in addition to the test questions specified in the QANU protocol. The first site visit took place on November 1-3 in Groningen. The second visit took place on November 5-7 in Enschede and the last visit took place on November 7-10 in Eindhoven. The visit started with a 3-hour preparatory meeting in which each of the Committee members reviewed a selection of the documentation related to the degree course. Interviews with representatives of all relevant parts of the MT organisation were held during the site visit. The programme of the site visit is included in the part of the degree courses. The Committee interviewed lecturers, students, members of Education Committee (Opleidingscommissie) and of the Examination Committee (Examencommissie), study coordinators, student coaches and members of the (support) staff. Finally, the Committee toured the facility. An informal gettogether was organized to meet representatives of the university board and the faculty management. A part of the day was reserved by the Committee for review, to summarise the observations made and to prepare for the close-out meeting. Prior to the close-out meeting, 1 Accreditation protocol for academic educational programmes, NVAO, 14 February QANU protocol for the external quality assessment of academic Bachelor's and Master's programmes for accreditation, v3.1, Jan 2004 Aug QANU / Biomedical Engineering

13 which was open to all staff and students of the faculty, a no-surprise meeting was held attended by the Dean, the manager of the faculty and the Director of Education. After the site visit a report was drafted by the Committee. The version of the draft report sent for review to the universities was approved by the Committee after in-depth discussions. This version was submitted to the Faculty for the correction of misinterpretations and factual errors. The facet scores in this report follow the scale prescribed by the NVAO and have the following meaning: Excellent means that the quality level for this facet is very good in all respects and holds its own against international benchmarking. It is an example of best practice. Good means that the quality level for this facet exceeds expectations and is the result of a well-considered policy; means that for this facet the level meets the basic standard of quality. Unsatisfactory means that the level for this facet is below the basic standard of quality. The score satisfactory means that all basic requirements for academic education are met and that nothing noteworthy has been observed, either in a positive or in a negative sense, relating to a particular facet. The subject scores are expressed on a 2-tier scale per topic: satisfactory or unsatisfactory. All assessments are based on the status at the time of the evaluation. QANU / Biomedical Engineering 13

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15 PART II: PROGRAMME REPORTS QANU / Biomedical Engineering 15

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17 1. The Master programme Biomedical Engineering offered by the University of Groningen Administrative data Master programme: Name: Biomedical Engineering CROHO number: Level: Master Orientation: Academic Study load 120 EC Grade: Master of Science Variants: Full-time Location: Groningen Expiry date of accreditation: Structure and organization of the faculty The Master's degree programme in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Groningen started as a cooperation between two faculties, Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMNS) and Medical Sciences (FMS). The idea was to create a BME programme related to market demands. During 1996 the Executive Board (EB) of RUG invited Professor A. Hoekstra (FMS) to present a proposal for a BME school. In 1997 Prof. H. Duifhuis later the first Programme Director became involved as coordinator. After consultation with several potential partners within and outside the university, in 1998 a special working group presented a plan that was accepted by the EB and the faculties involved (FMNS and FMS). The plan proposed a three-year specialization within the five-year Applied Physics programme. The BME programme started in the academic year In 2002 the University accorded with the European development towards a Bachelor/Master degree programme, and the curricula were adjusted accordingly. In the original plans three main output streams were presented: biomaterials, medical instrumentation, and medical imaging. The selection was motivated by local expertise and interest. The student intake made clear that a reduction was necessary. Therefore, the streams with the most similar basic profiles were combined, i.e., medical instrumentation and medical imaging were combined to form medical instrumentation and imaging (MI&I). The majority of students who chose to follow the BME Master had graduated as a Bachelor of Physics. The BME Master started as a specialization of Applied Physics. Nowadays, students with different Bachelor's degrees can start their BME Master. BME is currently an interfaculty programme. BME is anchored in the Life Sciences (LS, a School within FMNS) and is a guest at the FMS. There are many arguments in favour of this situation, conceptually, regarding contents, etc. Difficulties could arise, however, concerning personnel management (see Facet 12). Another potential problem is ensuring that the students have sufficient engineering content in their educational programme. QANU / Biomedical Engineering 17

18 1.1. Introduction of Bachelor-Master structure and phasing out of the old one-tier programme: current situation. Criterion: The deconstruction of the old one tier programme doesn t cause problems for the students. The one tier programme is not subject of assessment. Plans are being developed for a Bachelor's programme. More staff and an increase in the number of students are needed, especially for the benefit of the University Hospital UMCG. It is important to have a study programme which is dedicated to BME from the beginning of university studies. A separate BME Bachelor would have some overlap with other Bachelor's programmes, especially in the first year. An increase in diversity would take place after the first year. Shared courses with the Bachelor's programme in Life Sciences and Technology would supply students with enough time to choose the appropriate specialization. Currently, also a Bachelor in the field of Life Sciences is under development. It is not yet clear how strong BME will be within the future programme, but it is expected that it will create greater opportunities for students to prepare for the BME Master, both in qualitative and quantitative (student numbers) terms. A BME Bachelor will affect the BME Master and could change its contents, like possibly less emphasis on physics. The BME Master has obviously been set up based on existing strengths present in Applied Physics. The Committee recommends that the BME Bachelor be independent and not based upon the present structure which has to deal with three faculties. Let the structure be clear. The Committee wants to stress that with BME, RUG is sitting on gold. The setting is very beneficial for a BME programme, and the potential is considered to be high Assessment protocol Aims and objectives of the degree course F1: Domain-specific requirements The final qualifications of the degree course correspond to the requirements made to a degree course in the relevant domain (field of study/discipline and/or professional practice) by colleagues in the Netherlands and abroad and the professional practice. RUG has clarified its mission with regard to the BME Master's programme as follows: Our objective is to educate Masters of Biomedical Engineering who are able to resolve the increasing demands for more advanced equipment, for new ways of administering drugs, for products that increase the quality of medical care and decrease the cost. These engineers are specialized in solving technical problems that require knowledge of the functioning of the human body. They combine knowledge of analysis and synthesis methods from physics and chemistry, computational methods from mathematics, design and mechanics from mechanical engineering, measurement and control from electrical engineering and applied physics, with 18 QANU / Biomedical Engineering

19 adequate basic knowledge of biology and medicine, and knowledge of applicative regulations. They learn to cooperate with medical specialists, other engineers, biologists and biochemists. Programme development is mainly done by the Programme Committee. Objectives have been compared by the Committee to Dutch and foreign standards 3. Teaching staff was recruited after the objectives were defined according to their current state of expertise. Teaching staff from many disciplines are available from various faculties. A wide variety of expertise can be called upon. The domain-specific requirements are clear. They have been specified by the Universities of Groningen, Twente and Eindhoven (see Appendix B) and adequately elaborated into qualifications of the BME Programme at RUG. Specific goals of the BME specialization in Biomaterials have been formulated by RUG as follows: Specific goals After following the Biomaterials specialization students must be able to: realize restoration of body functions by designing prototypes of new, technologically innovative implants that are based on fundamental scientific research conduct scientific research on the functioning of implants, from biological, chemical and mechanical points of view and based on a modelling approach improve existing implants in relation to interaction with the body, from biological, chemical and mechanical points of view work in interdisciplinary teams follow postgraduate training in Biomedical Engineering. Specific learning outcomes Students must have knowledge of: facts and concepts of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the human body facts and concepts of cell and molecular biology facts and concepts of pathology facts and concepts of physical chemistry facts and concepts of fluid mechanics facts and concepts of implants and tissue engineering and its application biological failure mechanisms of implants materials to be used for implants and tissue engineering. Students must have an understanding of: scientific methods numerical simulation methods for the functioning of implants measuring methods for the physical functioning of implants evaluation methods for the biological functioning of implants methods for realizing restoration of function 3 Meijers, A., Overveld, C. van, Perret, J., 2005, Criteria for Academic Bachelor and Master BME curricula QANU / Biomedical Engineering 19

20 methods regarding tissue engineering (such as those related to stem cell and gene therapy) ethical attitudes. Students must be able to apply: mathematical methods statistical methods design methods methods to determine biomechanical properties cell biology evaluations. Students must be able to integrate: acquired knowledge of facts and concepts and acquired methods for realizing the restoration of function. Specific goals of the specialization in Medical Instrumentation and Imaging have been formulated as follows: Specific goals After following the Medical Instrumentation and Imaging specialization, students must be able to: conduct scientific research on the functioning of medical instruments, both from biological and physical points of view and based on a modelling approach conduct scientific research on medical imaging techniques, both from biological and physical points of view and based on a modelling approach improve diagnosis by designing prototypes of new, technologically innovative medical instruments and imaging techniques that are based on fundamental scientific research work in interdisciplinary teams follow postgraduate training in biomedical engineering. Specific learning outcomes Students must have knowledge of: facts and concepts of anatomy and physiology of the human body facts and concepts of control engineering facts and concepts of mathematics facts and concepts of physics. Students must have understanding of: scientific methods methods for determining the physical functioning of measuring and control equipment methods for performing non-invasive anatomical and functional measurements ethical and social aspects of the application of biomedical engineering. 20 QANU / Biomedical Engineering

21 Students must be able to apply: mathematical methods statistical methods signal analysis methods modelling methods. Students must be able to integrate: acquired knowledge of facts and concepts in biomedical engineering, knowledge of mathematical, physical and information sciences and acquired methods from medicine and other life sciences. The programme is both science and engineering oriented. The focus in the Master lies on both the medical and industrial environment. Graduates are considered to be able to work in both industry and the medical environment after graduating. Most graduates, however, find employment in medical environments like hospitals. Graduates from the BME Master can be divided into 25% medical scientists and 75% engineers. One area for improvement is the overall view: a clear overall view of the programme should be developed, presented and shared between all the people involved. This is especially necessary as the personnel have a different background and come from different departments within the University. The Committee finds that the correspondence between the final qualifications of the degree course and the domain-specific requirements fulfil the criteria for accreditation. The score for this Facet is. F2: Level The final qualifications of the degree course correspond to general, internationally accepted descriptions of the qualifications of a Bachelor or a Master. The relation between learning outcomes of the BME Master s degree programme and the Dublin descriptors is described in the self-evaluation report as follows: QANU / Biomedical Engineering 21

22 Learning outcomes of the BME Master s degree programme Students have acquired in-depth knowledge and understanding of biomedical engineering, in a coherent set of specializations that builds on the basic knowledge acquired in the Bachelor s phase, and that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing or applying ideas in this specialization. Students have learned to apply and integrate advanced mathematics, science and engineering knowledge as well as specialized knowledge to model and solve complex biomedical problems in new and unfamiliar environments. Students have learned to make judgements by conducting scientific research in areas of biomedical engineering and technology that are relevant to the advancement of knowledge and insight into fundamental and applied aspects of health and disease. Students have the ability to make measurements of and interpret complex data from living systems, addressing the complex problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems and the ability to successfully recognize and address new problems in the field. Students have the ability to translate a complex, unclearly defined clinical or health-relevant problem or question into an experiment, system, component, or process to meet desired needs and, governed by scientific research or modelling, to advise on issues such as clinical research in biomedical engineering, diagnosis and therapy. Students have an awareness of the potential societal and ethical implications of scientific research in Biomedical Engineering and, in this context, an ability to critically evaluate the effects of the research carried out under their responsibility. Students have the capability to bridge the gap between complex fundamental and applied research in biomedical engineering and medical (life) sciences, demonstrating the ability to communicate effectively in written and verbal form in Dutch and English, conveying the knowledge and rationale (restricted scope) underpinning their conclusions, to specialist and non-specialist audiences alike and collaborating in a multidisciplinary setting, which may include clinicians, other healthcare workers and industrialists. Students have the ability to study international scientific research. Students recognize the need for and the ability to engage in ongoing learning beyond the MSc level in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous. Dublin descriptors Students have demonstrated knowledge and understanding that is founded upon and extends and/or enhances that typically associated with Bachelor s level, and that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often within a research context. Students can apply their knowledge and understanding, and problem-solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study. Students have the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgements with incomplete or limited information, but that include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements. Students can communicate their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously. Students have the learning skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous. 22 QANU / Biomedical Engineering

23 The Committee notes that the relation between the learning outcomes of the BME Master's degree programme and the Dublin descriptors is clearly specified. The Committee finds that the correspondence between the final objectives of the degree course and the Dublin descriptors for the Master's degree level fulfils the criteria for accreditation. The score for this Facet is. F3: Orientation The final qualifications of the degree course correspond to the following descriptions of a Bachelor and a Master at universities: The final qualifications are based on requirements made by the academic discipline, the international academic practice and, if applicable to the course, the relevant practice in the prospective professional field. A University (WO) bachelor possesses the qualifications that allow access to a minimum of one further University (WO) degree course at master s level as well as the option to enter the labour market. A University (WO) master possesses the qualifications to conduct independent academic research or to solve multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary questions in a professional practice for which a University (WO) degree is required or useful. Since the learning outcomes for students include the ability to conduct scientific research in areas of BME and technology, including: performing measurements and interpreting data, including addressing the complex problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems, translating a complex clinical or health-relevant problem or question into an experiment, system, component, or process to meet the attained targets, the awareness of potential societal and ethical implications, critical evaluation of the effects of the research carried out under their responsibility, students are considered by the BME staff to be prepared for a third cycle of graduate study (PhD programme level) and for comparable research activities. The Master s degree programme also includes a research project of 40 EC, to be undertaken at one of the research departments involved in the BME Master s degree programme at RUG. This will bring the student into daily contact with the practice of scientific research. The student has to work in a multidisciplinary team and will be trained to undertake scientific research. The research project is concluded by giving an oral presentation to an audience with ample expertise in the subject of study, followed by a discussion. Students learn how to do research adequately in practical lab settings and multidisciplinary projects. The committee finds that the end objectives of the Master degree course fulfil the criteria as required for accreditation. The score for this Facet is Assessment of Subject Aims and objectives of the degree course The Committee concludes that the overall score for the Subject Aims and objectives of the degree course is QANU / Biomedical Engineering 23

24 Programme F4: Requirements for university degree courses: The programme meets the following criteria applicable to a degree programme at a University (WO): The students acquire knowledge on the interface between teaching and academic research within the relevant disciplines; The programme follows the developments in the relevant academic discipline(s), as it is demonstrated that it incorporates current academic theories; The programme ensures the development of skills in the field of academic research; For those courses for which this is applicable, the course programme has clear links with the current professional practice in the relevant professions. All lecturers are active in one of the areas of BME research. Because they integrate the results of their own current research into the courses that they provide, their students are aware of recent developments in the relevant scientific fields. When undertaking their internship and thesis project, students have a direct link with daily practice in relevant professions, both at university (Master s thesis project) and in a hospital or industry (internship). The Master s degree programme aims at students acquiring fundamental scientific skills. In addition to the training given in the technical execution of BME research subjects, the programme also provides compulsory training in a number of relevant public-oriented subjects such as technology and ethics, and the multidisciplinary project. By integrating modules that focus on professional aspects of the three areas of BME (biomaterials, medical instrumentation and imaging), the programme prepares students for professions in these fields. In general, the BME Master adequately links the teaching programmes to current developments in the scientific field. Attention should be paid to the appropriate level of some subjects: it seems that there is not much interest in engineering in the Master's programme. In the current programme two courses are organized on biomaterials. However, more attention could be given to the subject of modelling and design in addition to eventual basic designing courses in some Bachelor's programmes at the FMNS and FMS. A reason given during the site visit that there are no hardware engineering courses in the BME Master's projects and also not in the staff's research topics is that this is not a technical university. It is recommended, however, to evaluate whether some action in this field (science vs. engineering) is necessary. The focus should not just be on science, though focus on the basics of engineering could also partly be organized in the new Bachelor's programme. There are no courses on statistics in the Master's programme. There is a mandatory basic course in statistics in the Bachelor in Life Science and Technology. An advanced course is available as an elective. It is recommended to evaluate whether courses in statistics are needed for BME Master students. Nowadays, the hospital (UMCG) is much more involved in the programme than before. The BME Master's programme in Groningen is highly geared towards creating a strong connection with the medical field. Most of the teachers come from this practical field. They are primarily technicians (clinical physicists). Most of them are doing research besides working with patients. 24 QANU / Biomedical Engineering

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