Young people learn about GIFT-Surg research at Westminster Enterprise Week

Dec 22, 2021 | News, Public engagement

Students from Westminster Kingsway College learned about GIFT-Surg research on fetal growth and challenges in ultrasound imaging at a public engagement event as part of Westminster Enterprise Week on 10 November.

The Finding a Fetus with Ultrasound workshop was led by Dr Miguel Xochicale, Research Associate in Real-time AI Ultrasound Imaging at the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King’s College London, with the support of PhD student Tareen Dawood and final year undergraduate student Guilherme Gomes de Figueiredo. It was delivered to a group of young people aged between 16-18, who took part in a range of interactive tasks. Throughout the day, they learnt to guess the age of the fetus, understood the benefits of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Computational Tomography and ultrasound in assessing fetal growth and found out about the applications of ultrasound in various areas, such as developing phantoms using 3D printing techniques, or software and hardware to track needles. The event ended with a pop-quiz, where three winners were awarded sets of 3D printed models depicting five gestural ages of the fetus.

Dr Miguel Xochicale said: “The event was part of the plan of my one-year grant for public engagement 2021. My aim was to raise awareness among young people of what biomedical engineers do and the impact they have on society. Attendees also gained a better understanding of the diversity of jobs in healthcare, which could help further their interest in STEM areas.”

Tareen Dawood said: “At the workshop, we shared insights into each of our own journeys towards becoming biomedical engineers, the skillsets required to move into the field, applications, and work we are often involved with. Personally, it was an extremely humbling experience and gave me a chance to give back to young, aspiring students, who showed us their immense potential to one day be a part of our team and contribute to science and medicine.”

The event received highly positive feedback, with several participants highlighting the activities with 3D-printed fetuses as their favourite part of the day. All workshop material has been made openly accessible to the public, with the aim to allow anyone to replicate the work, inspire future generations of engineers and spark collaboration between academia, industry and society.

Dr Xochicale is now planning a similar event, with an additional focus on AI tools in ultrasound, which will be part of the Westminster STEAM Week between 14-18 March 2022.