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BioDesign Innovation (BMEN90030)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 50On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeBMEN90030
Year Long
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


BioDesign Innovation is a “real world” course in creating successful medical devices. The course is given over two semesters of one academic year and is composed of frontal lectures, practical training, and a guided project. The first semester focusses on identifying clinical needs, brainstorming and concept creation. The second semester focusses on concept development and business implementation. Teams of 2-3 students from engineering disciplines will team up with business students and with people from medical and law backgrounds to conceive and design an innovative medical device, taking it through all steps of development. The students in the teams will complete assessment items together, each member primarily contributing according to their specialisation. The teams will create an engineering prototype of their invention, draft a provisional patent application, and compose a detailed business plan. BioDesign Innovation is taught by a combination of academics, medical device entrepreneurs, corporate executives, intellectual property attorneys and venture capitalists. As such, it provides a unique opportunity to gain real world experience while still in an academic environment.

Intended learning outcomes


Having completed this unit the student should be able to:

1 - work as part of an interdisciplinary team to complete a technical project;
2 - search, analyse and document clinical practice, engineering science and relevant literature in order to determine the need for further research and development in a chosen clinical area;
3 - devise a methodology of investigation to research and apply established theories to an interdisciplinary body of knowledge and practice;
4 - collect and analyse a range of data (both qualitative and quantitative) to analyse critically, reflect on and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in a chosen topic;
5 - build a device or write software that helps to technologically address a clinical need;
6 - develop a business plan, including market overview, regulation and reimbursement strategies and intellectual property (IP) strategies;
7 - write a project report that follows good engineering science practice;
8 - present oral presentations of the findings of the investigation to an specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following skills:

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance.
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, with the capacity to be a leader or manager as well as an effective team member.
  • Understanding of the principles of sustainable design and development.
  • Understanding of the principles of research and development.
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning.
  • Openness to new ideas and unconventional critiques of received wisdom.

Eligibility and requirements


Entry into one of the following degrees: MC-ENG Master of Engineering (Biochemical), (Biomedical), (Chemical), (Civil), (Electrical), (Environmental), (Mechanical), (Software), (Spatial), (Structural).

Completion of at least four level 9 Engineering subjects.

Students must be within 125 points of completion of their degree, and enrolment in this subject requires approval of the subject coordinator.

Students are required to have achieved a H2B average or better in their course.

There is an application process, which includes IP considerations, for this subject.



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • One team-based written assignment on a clinical need of approximately 2000 words per student, due in Week 7 of the first semester (approximately 50 hours of work). ILOs 1,2,3,4,7 are assessed in this written assignment. Due in week 7 of first semester (10%)
  • One team-based written assignment on the medical device of approximately 2000 words per student, due in Week 10 of the first semester (approximately 50 hours of work per student). ILOs 1,2,3,4,7 are assessed in this written assignment. Due in week 12 of first semester (10%)
  • One team-based oral presentation comprising 15 minutes per student during Week 1 of the second semester (approximately 100 hours of work per student). This presentation should provide a detailed description from the team of a clinical problem, a broad market review, an engineering concept of 3-4 solutions, regulation and reimbursement strategies, and IP challenges. ILOs 1,2,3,4,6,8 are assessed in this presentation. Due in week 1 of second semester (20%).
  • A technical oral examination of no more than 30 minutes duration per student. Technical oral examination includes a formal presentation of 15 minutes per student followed by questions from an academic supervisor and academic examiner. ILOs 1,2,3,4,5,6,8 are assessed in this examination. Due in weeks 10-11 of second semester (10%).
  • A lay person oral examination of no more than 15 minutes duration, supported by static display materials (e.g. poster, computer demonstration, prototype). ILOs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 are assessed in this examination. Due in weeks 11-12 of second semester (10%)
  • A professional research report of 5,000 words per student, excluding appendices or supporting material that can include diagrams, tables, computations and computer code/output, requiring approximately 200 hours of work due in week 12 of the second semester. ILOs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 are assessed in this report. Due in week 12 of second semester (40%).

Dates & times

  • Year Long
    Principal coordinatorDavid Grayden
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours72 hours
    Total time commitment800 hours
    Teaching period27 February 2017 to 22 October 2017
    Last self-enrol date10 March 2017
    Census date31 May 2017
    Last date to withdraw without fail22 September 2017
    Assessment period ends17 November 2017

    Year Long contact information

Time commitment details

800 hours

Further information

Last updated: 23 January 2019