Medical Physics & Bioengineering

Mission

The Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department’s mission is to provide and develop excellent scientific, technical and educational services in the areas of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering to the Hospital and other institutions to which it provides services.

Service Delivery

The Department is staffed by about 30 scientific and technical staff, nearly all with a recognised postgraduate qualification in the area.  The breadth and depth of services provided is unique for a Department of its type in this country.  The Department has a strong bias towards action and contribution, with staff involved in problem solving and service delivery right across the Hospital.  The culture is strongly non-hierarchical, with staff at all grades and backgrounds contributing to the scientific, managerial, administrative and technical life of the Department, matching the skills available to the tasks in hand at any given time.

Assets managed by the Department across all clinical specialties exceed €40m, including: imaging systems, endoscopic systems, anaesthetic and critical care equipment, lasers, physiological monitoring systems and ventilator systems.

In addition to the services provided within St. James’s, the Department provides radiological protection, quality assurance, equipment management and consultancy services to over 40 hospitals and 200 dental practices, as well as to a number of international clients, through a dedicated Departmental group.
 
Staff members are positioned close to the point of care, both in a simple physical sense, with staff distributed throughout the Hospital, and more particularly through close liaison with the care providers.   

Education

Education underpins the mission of the Department. As education providers, the Department supports St. James’s in its role as a teaching hospital.  With physicists, engineers and technicians positioned at the point of care, the Department is uniquely placed to teach and train at the interface between clinical practice and medical technology/science. 

The Department has designed and implemented Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering postgraduate courses including:

  • MSc in Physical Sciences in Medicine (TCD)
  • Post. Grad. Diploma in Clinical Engineering (TCD)

In parallel with these courses, the Department also provides training programmes designed to provide the necessary practical exposure for trainee medical physicists/clinical engineers.  Over 150 medical physics and clinical engineering staff now working in the health services have trained in St. James’s. 

The Department has contributed to the start up and running of a range of postgraduate course for other professions, particularly in imaging. Staff hold appointments as Professor, senior lecturers, lecturers and clinical teachers. The department has also developed very strong links with a number of institutions for the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as fellowship training programmes. These include:

  • Faculty of Radiologists at RCSI,
  • Trinity College Dublin,
  • Dublin City University
  • University College Dublin
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
  • International Atomic Energy Agency. 

Research

Research, development and innovation at the Department have grown primarily from Departmental activities at the clinical/technical/scientific interfaces. Approximately fifteen successful PhD students have been supervised either directly or in collaboration with other departments.

In the last five years members of the Department have contributed fourteen first author, nineteen contributing author and over fifty conference papers to the literature. The Department has held twenty European Research Contracts and has been Coordinator/Project manager in about five of these.

In addition it has been involved in a series of collaborations with many industrial, international and public service bodies.  Opportunities exist to expand the Department’s research in line with the Hospital’s objectives and to co-operate with other Departments and institutions to align activities along a translational axis from basic research through to clinical application.