Q&A with Paul McBryde, an alumnus of UNSW’s Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering and now Software Manager at Nanosonics.
What are your memories of studying here at the School?
There are a few specific memories that come to mind. I remember studying cardiovascular dynamics. The teacher was giving us a really hard assignment that no one could work out. Even after working together! We were all shocked when the teacher put the same question in our final exam! I also remember the great social life at university, specifically a really fun trivia night with the Biomed staff and students.
Another really important memory I have is from my graduation; Albert Avolio gave a speech. He asked if anyone really understood MRI. He said not to worry because no one really does, yet we still passed! This is because the main point of university is learning how to learn.
What biomed-type contributions to the world are you most proud of?
One of the biomedical contributions that I believe was really important was the creation of software to calculate heart rate variability from ECG waves. Another that comes to mind, is the Ccreation of a customer software product from scratch. This software is used to generate disinfection reports from a medical device.
In terms of your career, what would adviceadvise would you give your younger self?
Going back in time I think I would have done Software/Biomedical Engineering instead of Electrical/Biomedical Engineering. I thought of switching after first year because I was much more interested in software, but a teacher convinced me that Electrical would be more useful for medical devices. In hindsight, I should have studied what interested me and software is quickly replacing electronics in medical devices.
What are your biggest hopes and dreams for the future of Biomedical Engineering?
I hope that we can extend our current understanding of the brain and the way it works. This will allows us to be able to help individuals with mental illnesses.