Program concept and goals



This program is an interdisciplinary course of study that offers in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of natural sciences, medicine and engineering. The design of the program takes full advantage of the stimulating environment at RWTH Aachen University, one of the leading technological universities in Europe. Under the leadership of the faculty of Medicine, four different institutions have joined forces to provide this interdisciplinary high level program:

  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Natural Sciences
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology

All modules are taught in English and carried out as lectures, seminars, exercises and practical courses.

  • Degree: Biomedical Engineering (M.Sc.)
  • Duration: 4 semesters (2 years) including 120 credits ECTS
  • Starting Date: only October (winter semester)
  • Full-time (no part-time programs possible)
  • Language: English

Our goals & emphases

Biomedical Engineering is a dynamic multidisciplinary scientific field that combines Medicine, Engineering with Natural Science as Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

The goal of Biomedical Engineering is to solve human health problems through advances in

early detection, diagnosis, therapy and prevention of diseases.

The goal of this research-oriented Biomedical Engineering (BME) program is to educate students in related fields of Mathematics, Engineering, Medicine and natural sciences. Students will be trained in theoretical as well as practical knowledge and methods not only to solve technical and scientific problems, but also to question critically the conception thereof and to handle and document complex problems in research and development themselves. It will enable them to work in research or development and provides the foundation for a later PhD.

Our international academic environment enables students to get hands-on international, intercultural academic work experience, giving them the opportunity to further develop their soft skills in small groups with, in most modules, not more than 30 students.

The courses of study convey professional expertise in highly sophisticated areas with three emphases that reflect the characteristic Aachen profile in medical research and development (called “Aachener Profil”).

1. Medical Imaging:

In this track the students learn:

  • to visualize and understand biological processes in cells and humans
  • to impart understanding and knowledge of the basic physics of medical imaging
  • to impart relevant methods and medical imaging devices such as MRI, PET, SPECT, ultrasound and micro-computed tomography
  • to impart relevant methods and devices of Image Guided Therapy, Navigation & Robotics
  • to address current and future R&D trends and to foster an understanding of how to implement and conduct research projects
  • to provide an estimation of current status, to train analysis and specification of further demand in engineering solutions
  • to provide a first orientation in assessing the structures and functions of the human body by using imaging methods
  • to understand principles, importance and needs for disease specific imaging and to know theranostic concepts.

This track prepares the students later to work in the development and application of imaging techniques. The students can develop new imaging techniques that support preclinical research and enable physicians to offer their patients more effective diagnosis of human illnesses and a better treatment based on precision medicine.

2. Tissue Engieering:

In this track the students learn:

  • asics of embryology
  • origin of tissues and cells, cell and tissue harvest, growth in culture and manipulation
  • selection, processing, testing and performance of materials (including artificial components) used in biomedical applications with special emphasis upon tissue engineering
  • cell-material interactions and interfaces
  • examples of engineering tissues for replacing cartilage, bone, nerve tissue and cardiac tissue
  • algorithmic aspects of systems biology as:
    • mechanistic modeling of biological systems using stochastic and deterministic methods: concepts, model development, simulation and validation techniques.
    • methods to analyze large scale dynamics of biological systems
  • applications of systems biology as:
    • multiple cellular processes; computation examples of existing genome-scale models; modelling of genotype-phenotype relationship.
    • modelling of cellular systems, modelling of diseases using population dynamics, modelling of organs with compartment models.

This track prepares the students later to work in a research field of tissue engineering in a lab or a hospital. The students are able to produce natural tissue in the laboratory for repairing damaged tissue. They have a broad knowledge of materials science, biology, medicine and chemistry as well as the mechanical forces that act on such transplants in the human body. The track also enables the students to develop systems biology workflows as well as to solve data analysis and simulation problems on application examples in additional supervised hands-on training on computers.

3. Artifiical Organs/Devices:

In this track the students learn:

  • clinical physiology of kidney, liver, heart and lung, their pathophysiological background and clinical indication
  • the employment of heart lung assist devices for both short and long term therapies
  • the different types and functions of membrane lungs (oxygenators) and their membrane properties
  • various types of blood pumps
  • extracorporeal support systems for kidney and liver support including membrane-technology and mass-transfer procedures involved in extracorporeal circulations.
  • current devices of non-cell-based liver dialysis systems, as well as cell-based liver support therapeutic systems.

This track prepares the students to work in research and development/application of artificial organs and devices. The students receive knowledge from the molecular to the organ systems level. They can combine tissue with metal or plastic parts to develop new innovative biologic material processes or produce future devices/implants such as heart valves and stents or artificial organs. An improving health and a better patient-focused solution in rehabilitation technology can be offered.

All three tracks are simultaneously integrated into our curriculum as mandatory modules and will be offered in close cooperation with the Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering in Aachen.