The Institute for Human Centered Engineering under new management
18.01.2022 Thomas Niederhauser has taken over from Marcel Jacomet as head of the Institute for Human Centered Engineering HuCE at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH in January 2022. With a focus on medical technology and industrial automation, the institute combines new research findings from various disciplines and uses them to develop innovative products and solutions in close collaboration with industry and hospitals. In the future, Thomas Niederhauser plans to continue building on the broad technological expertise and personal network of the professors at HuCE and promote the rapid transfer of knowledge to industry and teaching.
Medical technology is a major focus of Bern University of Applied Sciences that will be further strengthened by the new management of the Institute for Human Centered Engineering HuCE . Thomas Niederhauser studied electrical engineering and communications technologies at BFH before completing the master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering offered jointly by BFH and the University of Bern. After completing his doctorate at the University of Bern, he returned to BFH in 2014 and has been a professor for Biomedical Signal Processing and Control since 2018. “Thomas Niederhauser is very familiar with the institute’s application-oriented research and is currently working on several interdisciplinary projects with university institutes and hospitals as well as medtech suppliers and distributors. These include, for example, Dyconex AG, EMS Electro MEdical Systems, sitem-insel or the University of Bern,” says Lukas Rohr, head of BFH’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. “He has a very good network with various players in the Swiss healthcare system, which is important for the strategic development of the institute.”
Bringing innovations to market quickly – through cooperation
he Institute HuCE distinguishes itself through the broad technological competence of its professors as well as its excellent infrastructure, such as the clean room for the industrial production of medical products at the Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne. "We want to make use of these in order to advance Bern as a medical hub," Niederhauser affirms. The HuCE is also certified according to the ISO-13485 quality standard, which facilitates collaboration with medtech companies and hospitals. “We speak the same language as our technology buyers and users, which, among other things, enables us to jointly conduct clinical trials to analyse the efficacy and safety of a medical device,” says Thomas Niederhauser.
He is convinced that technological innovation and its successful implementation on the market can only take place rapidly as a cooperative effort between research and industry partners. Therefore, he plans to expand the existing network of the institute’s professors, through increased communication of research results in professional journals and digital media and targeted promotion of the institute’s own young talents. “Our aim is to contribute to BFH’s social mission in the best possible way: in addition to the transfer of knowledge and in cooperation with the divisions, we ensure the practice-oriented training of future specialists for industry. This leads to sustainable innovation,” says Thomas Niederhauser. However, he is aware that medical technology is facing increasing pricing pressure in the healthcare sector and ever more stringent regulatory requirements. “Innovation is not limited to a novel product but can also encompass the design and manufacture of existing products, for example through the use of collaborative robots in manufacturing,” Thomas Niederhauser explains. His goal is to unite medical technology and industrial automation in the long term, with the HuCE Institute acting as a research and development partner with a broad range of technological solutions.