At an Executive Committee meeting held on Thursday 27th January, 1994 Mr. Clive Lee sought permission to form a new Section of Bioengineering. Mr. Lee is a lecturer in the Royal College of Surgeons. They usually have four meetings a year. The Executive agreed. It was suggested Mr. Lee should hold a meeting to elect a President and Council Members for this Section.
Here follows a report published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science in 1994
The Formation of a Bioengineering Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland
D. Taylor, T. C. Lee*
Bioengineering Research Centre, Mechanical Engineering Dept., Trinity College Dublin. *Anatomy Dept., Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
We are pleased to announce the formation of a new section of the Academy, catering for those with an interest in bioengineering: the application of engineering principles in medicine. In common with other “interdisciplinary” activities, it is difficult to pidgeonhole the subject, and its practitioners come from a very diverse set of backgrounds, but they can broadly be classified as “engineers trying to understand medicine” and “medics trying to understand engineering”. We can think of the activities of bioengineers under two headings. Firstly, there is the scientific endeavour to understand how the human body works; bioengineering can contribute here by showing that in many cases, engineering principles govern the body’s structure and function. For example, the skeleton must support load and allow motion, just like any other machine or structure. Bone behaves like a composite material but one which can also repair and adapt itself. The flow of blood obeys the principles of fluid mechanics. The brain can be likened to a highly sophisticated computer, and in this respect a reverse process can operate, because many of our latest computing concepts, such as parallel processing, have arisen through studies of brain function. The second activity of bioengineers is more practical; people with different skills team up to create new devices and procedures to improve current medical practice. Notable successes here are the artificial hip joint and heart valve and, in recent years, the complex instrumentation of minimally-invasive surgery. This is truly a team activity, in which specialists from engineering and medicine must contribute; here the most difficult aspect may be to achieve an effective communication across these disciplines.
The Bioengineering Research Centre is a group based around the engineering departments of TCD and UCD, but including members from the RCSI and various medical and dental practitioners. The BRC was started by David Taylor and Brendan McCormack some nine years ago, and is now active in many areas ranging from basic, long-term research (e.g. 11’21) to work which impinges on day-to-day activities in our hospitals (e.g.t~.41). In order to improve contacts with surgeons and other clinicians, we established the Bioengineering Design Forum, to act as a meeting place for surgeons, engineers, company representatives and others. The Forum has focussed on the immediate difficulties encountered by practising clinicians, and the solution of these problems in the form of devices, instruments, etc. A number of inventions have arisen from these meetings, such as a novel design for an External Fixtor and a drill guide for intramedullary pin fixation. Recently we successfully approached the Academy with a view to forming a Section whose activities would be based on this Design Forum. In forming this Section we hope to encourage interest from a wider range of medical disciplines. To date we have attendance from those in the areas of orthopaedics, ENT, neurosurgery, general surgery and rehabilitation medicine, along with dentists and veterinary surgeons. It is always surprising to find that these diverse groups have similar problems, and can frequently benefit from each other’s advice. We look forward to the support and interest of all members of the Academy in developing this new Section.
For details of the Samuel Haughton Lecture please click here
The first Samuel Haughton Lecture was delivered by Dr. James M. Sheehan in 1995
Recipients of Bronze Medals in Section of Bioengineering Meetings
2016 Noel Reynolds (NUIG)
2015 Cathal Kearney (RCSI)
2014 Elaine Quinlan (RCSI)
2013 Caroline Curtin (RCSI)
2012 Nathan Quinlan (NUIG)
2011 James Grogan (NUIG)
2010 John Gleeson (RCSI)
2009 Kevin Matheus Moerman (TCD)
2008 Stephen Brennan (Cappagh Hospital)
2007 Paul Devereux (UL)
2006 Niamh Nowlan (TCD) & Alun Carr (UCD) – Joint Award
2005 Noel Harrison (NUIG)
2004 Nathan Quinlan (NUIG)
2003 Ciaran Simms (TCD)
2002 John Hession
2001 J. Hannan Mullett (Cappagh Hospital)
2000 Damien Lacroix (TCD)
1999 John Rice (Cappagh Hospital)
1998 David Taylor (TCD)
1997 T. Clive Lee (RCSI)
1996 S. Dudeney
1995 Richard Reilly (UCD)