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Organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), this international competition receives hundreds of applications from regional heats.  Diana will be asked to present on an engineering related topic to a jury panel from various fields.

DIANA CRUZ

Originally from Portugal, Diana, was always interested in Maths and Sciences growing up and wanted to explore how these could be applied with mechanics to solve biomedical problems. She is a member of the IMechE and submitted an abstract after receiving an email from them about the competition.

Speaking about her experience so far Diana said, “I feel the University provides a lot of chances and opportunities to get involved with outreach and public engagement. There are a lot of chances here and the University is an amazing place’”.
At the competitions Diana will be judged on how well she can present her research and how well she can engage with a non-scientific audience, as public engagement is high priority for the IMechE.

Speaking of her experience of getting involved, Diana said, “I submitted an abstract on my area of choice to participate in the Regional competition (West Midlands). I competed against three other regional finalists and won the West Midlands heat. I then, went to the IMechE in London to participate in the UK final and I was awarded second place. The national winner was not able to attend the World Final (which will happen in New Delhi, India, on the 4 April), so I will represent the UK instead and compete against winners from other countries”.

When asked about her preparation for the final in India, Diana spoke about her presentation that summarises her research at the Biomedical Engineering Lab, she said, “concerning my PhD project, it is about the computational study of the mitral valve, one of our heart valves which has a complex structure. My goal is to see how changes in the structure/shape of this valve can lead to diseased cases and what biomechanical alterations do they cause on the valve.” This is related to her area of research - cardiovascular modelling. “Basically, I give an overview of the state-of-the-art of cardiovascular modelling; give advice on which computational tools are useful to study cardiovascular behaviour; explain how they can be applied to study complex cardiac/vascular diseases and advise on how they can aid in the development of biomedical prototypes like stents.”

We wish Diana the best of luck for the IMechE Competition in India in April!