NUI Galway Launches Europe’s First Dual Medicine-Engineering Programme

From left, Physicianeer programme directors, Professor Derek O’Keeffe, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Dr Ted Vaughan, School of Biomedical Engineering, NUI Galway.
Oct 20 2020 Posted: 12:44 IST

NUI Galway has launched a unique dual Medicine-Engineering, or Physicianeer, programme. The new dual programme will allow students to pursue a specialised Engineering stream in their Undergraduate Medical degree programme, awarding the student with both a Medical and Biomedical Engineering degree (MB, BCh, BAO, BE) upon completion.

Developed by NUI Galway’s Professor Derek O’Keeffe and Dr Ted Vaughan, this is the first European dual Medicine-Engineering academic degree track which is currently only available in select institutions worldwide including the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences Technology programme USA and the National University of Singapore.

This world class dual Medicine–Engineering programme will only be available to a stellar cohort of less than five students, who will be selected to the Physicianeer programme based on aptitude, academic merit and interview.

Professor Derek O’Keeffe, Professor of Medical Device Technology NUI Galway and Consultant Physician at University Hospital Galway, said: “Physicians working in the healthcare environment regularly identify clinical problems that need to be solved and Engineers have the skillset to achieve this. This combined Physicianeer programme offers an interdisciplinary learning environment and will allow the development of technology, systems and solutions encompassing the full innovation cycle from bedside to bench to bedside.

“The Physicianeer programme at NUI Galway represents a new paradigm in medical education by integrating Engineering training to produce patient centred innovation. We are looking for students with a strong track record of academic excellence, the best of the best to take part in this pioneering programme to improve patient lives.”

Dr Ted Vaughan, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “This programme will build upon the strong links between Biomedical Engineering and Medicine at NUI Galway and will deliver a breadth of knowledge across both disciplines, placing a significant emphasis on problem-solving skills that will produce future innovators for the med-tech sector.”

Dr Vaughan continued: “Ireland is uniquely placed to develop a dual Medicine–Engineering Undergraduate degree as we have a leading role in the global medical technology sector. We currently have 450 medical technology companies in Ireland of which 50% are indigenous and eight of the top 10 global medical technology companies are represented here in Galway.

“Over 29,000 people are employed in this sector, the highest per capita proportion of workforce than any country in Europe. Ireland is currently the world leader in the production of drug eluting stents and produces half of the world’s hospital ventilators and a third of all contact lenses globally. We are currently the second largest exporter of medical technology products in Europe valued at €12.6 billion.”

Dr Sinead Keogh, Director of Med-Tech and Engineering at IBEC, welcomed the announcement saying: “This innovative Physicianeer programme will produce graduates ideally placed to contribute to and grow the medical technology sector as well as improving patient care.”

The first student intake of the Physicianeer programme will be in September 2021. For more information visit:


Marketing and Communications Office


Featured Stories