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Study in Greece Masters of the Week: Professor Dimitris Kugiumtzis presents the MSc in BioMedical Engineering at AUTh

The web portal Study in Greece is campaigning for the promotion and international visibility of Greek Universities and the comparative educational advantages of our country. In particular, the campaign focuses on the foreign language study programmes that Greek Universities offer to Greek and international students. The initiative is supported by the General Secretariat of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In this context, a number of educational programmes and actions are presented in detail on a regular basis, such as undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, summer schools etc, to inform international students about the many foreign language options offered by Greek Universities.

Study in Greece interviewed Professor Dimitris Kugiumtzis, of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), on the interdepartmental MSc in BioMedical Engineering – BME AUTh, its profile and what it has to offer to international students.

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Dimitris Kugiumtzis is Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, AUTh, since September 2013. He is currently the Head of the Lab of Informatics at the Faculty of Engineering, AUTh and the Director of the interdepartmental MSc in BioMedical Engineering – BME AUTh. He is currently the Head of the Lab of Informatics at the Faculty of Engineering, AUTh. His main research area is time series analysis and complex systems, as well as computational statistics, data analysis and machine learning. Applications of the methodology he develops extend from neurophysiology to geophysics and finance.

Could you please tell us in a few words what the interdepartmental Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering deals with?

The aim of BME-AUTh is to give expert knowledge in the use and development of advanced applications of the technologies of biomedical engineering in health systems for prevention, diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation. The BME-AUTh targets on selecting excellent graduates from relevant Departments, national and international, and educating them on biomedical engineering to build up a human potential of high theoretical training and knowledge that meets the requirements of the rapidly developing technological evolution in biomedical engineering in Greece and abroad. The graduates of BME-AUTh will aptly cover the needs in scientific experts in the area of technology in health service.

Tell us about the collaboration with the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Informatics, Medicine and Biology.

The field of development of biomedical systems and applications and their evolution relies on the synergy of scientists of a broad knowledge spectrum and the understanding of fundamental sciences of Medicine, Biology, Engineering and Informatics. This multifaceted coexistence of scientists of different disciplines will allow for the widening, enrichment and merging of separate know-how approaches to attain high-level development health technologies and health industrial system evolution. This will definitely contribute in upgrading health care system in Greece and elsewhere.

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Given that the programme is taught in English, please tell us why this Master aims to attract international students, and which are the benefits for them?

The BME-AUTh is supported by many internationally well-known labs and scientists within AUTh that have the potential to attract international students through the reputation of the labs and scientists as well as their contacts abroad. The contribution of the participating labs and scientists comes along with well-equipped labs with state-of-the-art technology in many cases, so that the BME-AUTh can competitively offer to international students a high level of expert knowledge and practice on the different fields of biomedical engineering. The appropriate scientific framework for MSc studies is smoothly combined with a warm hosting and socially rich environment in the Departments, the University campus, and the city of Thessaloniki overall.

What does Thessaloniki have to offer to international students? Which aspects make the city an attractive destination for studies?

Thessaloniki is known for a strongly social lifestyle affected significantly by the relatively large number of students living in the city. On the other hand, in the recent years, Thessaloniki has welcomed and supported various business activities in information technology and technology in general. Important international companies, also in medicine, have initialised branch activities in Thessaloniki, as in the case of Pfizer establishing very recently a digital hub in the city. Thus, international students can pursue MSc studies in an lively and friendly environment and have also open possibilities to make practice during the MSc programme and start their career even in well-established companies in Thessaloniki. Certainly, the MSc BME-AUTh in Thessaloniki may allow them to start a career abroad as this applies also to the Greek students choosing this MSc programme.

Are you satisfied from the output so far? Have foreign students expressed interest in the programme?

The MSc BME-AUTh runs for the first time in October 2021. As the formal founding of the MSc programme took place only a month ago, there have not been enough time and resources to publicise it abroad. So, for the first year the MSc programme focuses on Greek students. It is the strong intension of the organisers of the MSc to make every effort to publicise the MSc for international students for the next academic year 2022-23.

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Tell us about the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki– its history, its spirit and its efforts to adapt to the world of contemporary innovation.

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), founded in 1925, is the largest University in Greece covering all disciplines. It is widely recognised as a vibrant centre of learning, which draws its inspiration from a long tradition of academic achievement. it prides itself in its international role in the fields of science, art, divinity, medicine and technology. The University has been actively participating in the Erasmus Programme since 1987, accounting approximately one fourth of the total Erasmus mobility in Greece in the frame of Student for Studies Mobilities as well as Staff for Teaching Mobilities. Nevertheless, mindful of rapid change and progress, AUTh aims to improve its strategy, policies and everyday practices, in order to meet contemporary local and global demands. More information on AUTh’s international profile, vision, mission and strategic objectives can be found on AUTh’s official website.

Taking into consideration that we live in a rapidly changing world, do you believe that Greece has evolved in those scientific fields within the last few years?

There are increased efforts to promote outwards-looking strategy and innovation and furthermore to strengthen links between University education & research and the private and industrial sector in Greece and in Europe, in order to advance good quality of living and to drive sustainable growth. We believe we greatly support and serve these national and European targets within this MSc Programme.

N.M. (Images taken from the BME-AUTh official website)

The interview was published in Greek News Agenda (GNA) – the online English language platform, issued by the Secretariat General for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad (Ministry of Foreign Affairs): https://www.greeknewsagenda.gr/interviews/innovative-greece-2/7565-biomedical-engineering

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