In April 2021, Charlotte Pradel received the Young Talent Award for her bachelor thesis on image processing supporting tissue engineering. Now she is in the midst of pursuing her (M.Sc.) Master’s degree in Health and Medical Data Analytics at the FAU. Read on to find out more about her motivation and unique journey.
I never expected to fall in love with programming. Like most MedTech students, I originally wanted to be a doctor, but I didn’t really feel the need to examine people or work in a hospital. For family reasons, I have always been very interested in prostheses and their further development towards robotics. To combine both worlds, I decided to study medical engineering at the FAU in Erlangen in 2016. Due to the diverse range of courses offered in the first two semesters, I learned about computer science, electrical engineering, and materials science for the first time. After long considerations, I decided to continue my studies in the field of computer science and electrical engineering, and I have not regretted it a single day.
To further proceed with my interdisciplinary studies after my Bachelor’s, I found the FAU’s “Health and Medical Data Analytics and Entrepreneurship” Master supported by EIT Health most suitable for me. In my first two semesters, I enjoyed participating in a variety of projects from the school of engineering and the school of economics the most. Among other things, I improved my presentation and debating skills in these courses, which helped me during the pitch and the later discussion at the MedtecLIVE & SUMMIT fair.
Interdisciplinarity is key
The MedtecLIVE & SUMMIT are the annual starting event for the European medical technology scene, from suppliers and developers to manufacturers and researchers. This year, students got the opportunity to present their Bachelor and Master thesis to the MedTech community for the first time. I was greatly honoured when I found out that the jury had chosen me to present my Bachelor thesis in front of such a high-ranking audience. The diverse selection of exhibitors and topics of the presented theses impressed and delighted me since this interdisciplinarity had been the main reason for me to study medical engineering.
It was also the reason why I chose to conduct my thesis at the chair of medical biotechnology at the FAU. Under the topic “3D Reconstruction of an M. gastrocnemius medialis during perfusion-decellularisation” I designed an optical platform to document and validate the decellularisation process of a rat muscle and to measure the muscle’s length and volume in real-time.
As a next step, I am looking forward to going to Grenoble (France) at the beginning of September. This experience is part of the MSc HMDA study programme and enables me to get to know a second European university during my studies. There, I hope to extend my technical and business-driven mindset and to expand my MedTech network over the borders of Germany.
After my exchange, I am excited to conduct my Master thesis under the supervision of a professor at the FAU, who approached me after my pitch at the fair.
I can only encourage everyone to take chances and participate in an interdisciplinary and multi-cultural study program. These experiences I make as a HMDA student make me feel more prepared for the professional world, which I was able to get a taste of during my pitch at the fair.
Feeling connected while being apart
At this point, I would like to thank the organisers for giving us a stage to share our achievements with the community, especially during Covid-19. Due to this pandemic, we all pretty much worked on our own and were not able to exchange experiences with others, as we normally would have done in between lectures or at the lab. This fair enabled us to get to know other great projects from people who are in the same situation as we are. It was a great experience, and I am looking forward to participating (in presence, I hope) in the next MedtecLIVE & SUMMIT.
The M.Sc. in Health and Medical Data Analytics (HMDA) programme is supported by EIT Health and is jointly offered at the FAU (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität) Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA), France, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Spain, and Instituto Superior Técnico (Universidade de Lisboa), Portugal, each with its own area of specialisation.