On June 4, 2023, the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Duhok's College of Engineering, celebrated the graduation ceremony of the first class of students, in partnership with the German University of Applied Sciences of Mittelhessen (THM) at UOD's Convention Center, in addition to holding a symposium named: "Biomedical Engineers' Contribution to the Health Sector", as well as a discussion panel.
UOD President, and Vice Presidents, College of Engineering's Dean and teachers, the former UOD President, Duhok District Surrogate, representatives of the Ministries of Higher Education and Health, THM educators from Germany, Public and Private Sectors' representatives and the families of the students to be graduated, all attended this remarkable event at which the graduate students held the double degree provided by the UOD and the THM.
This event commenced with the symposium of “Biomedical Engineers' Contribution to the Health Sector”. Dr, Dawood Sulaiman Atrushi, the President of the UOD, gave a speech in which he highlighted the significance of opening the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the UOD. He mentioned: “This project has a special role as it relies in combining between the fields of biology and engineering to produce biomedical graduates who serve the Health Sector. “Announcing a place to graduate students specialized in biomedical engineering was a challenge for the Kurdistan Region Government, but it managed it.” He went on: “The recent statistics show that the urgent need in the Health Sector for Biomedical Engineers is increasing. The graduates will have big responsibilities over their shoulders to meet the needs at the hospitals and address their challenges.”
After that Dr, Sabah Waisi, the Representative of the Ministry of Higher Education declared in his speech that the Ministry has assigned a specialized body in order to create and allocate jobs for the graduates in the Private Sector. Then, Dr. Salih Mustafa Salim, the former Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Martin Fiebich, from THM, Dr. Thomas Schanze, from THM, also delivered presentations on (current status of the Biomedical Engineering at the UOD), (the role and duties of biomedical engineers in the Health Sector), and (why is biomedical engineering becoming increasingly important?) in a row. Dr. Salih showed that according to the agreement between the THM and UOD, the number of students enrolled in each course should not be more than 25 students. He hoped and emphasized on designating the top-5 graduate students at the Department of BME due to the absence of any teaching assistant specialized in biomedical engineering in the department, as support from the Ministry of Higher Education.
While Dr. Thomas clarified that according to WHO, there are 1 billion of disabled people identified; 20%of whom live with great functional difficulties in the day-to-day life. Hopefully, he mentioned that biomedical engineers contribute to society by developing drugs, machines and devices that help doctors to diagnose and treat patients’ diseases, injuries and disabilities. They will contribute to help to reduce the costs of medical and nursing costs. Consequently, biomedical engineering is becoming increasingly important – for life and society.
This symposium was followed by a discussion panel in which the Director of Health of the Governorate of Duhok, Dr. Afrasiab Musa, the current Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Yasser Fadhel, professors from THM, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Martin, and the graduate, Aya Firas, engaged. In addition to Mr. Sergey Biniaminov, the Director of HS Analysis Company in Germany who participated too, via the Internet. The panel included serious discussions regarding the role and the future of biomedical engineering in Kurdistan particularly, and in the world, generally, along with the most important aspirations of the BME Department in the future.
After the panel, the graduation ceremonies started. The students were successfully certified with a double degree; one from the UOD and one from the THM, and thus, were announced as biomedical engineers. Knowing that this is the first time in Iraq where graduates receive double degrees.
The BME Department at the UOD was found in 2018 after an agreement between the UOD and THM during the era of the former UOD President, Dr. Muslih Duhoki. Currently, it has 100 students: 11 in the first year, 23 in the second year, 24 in the third year, and 21 in the fourth year. 19 students graduated and celebrated at this graduation party as the first batch of 2021-2022. The second batch, consisted of 21 students, is currently in Germany\THM to accomplish internship and bachelor thesis. The department aims at enhancing the healthcare through innovations in diagnosis, treatment and patient care. It encompasses advanced technologies such as prosthetics, medical imaging, artificial organs, drug delivery, biomaterials and tissue engineering. As part of the students’ learning journey at the Department of BME, they are required to join the internship in Germany to gain experiences and benefit from the Germany’s advanced technology in healthcare industry. This provides ideal setting for applying their knowledge in practical contexts. The graduates paid a 9-month visit to Germany as part of their bachelor studies. It is worth mentioning that the double degree program between the UOD and THM was continuously supported by DAAD Organization.
THE UNIVERSITY OF DUHOK
The University of Duhok (UOD) is a public university in the city of Duhok city, which is about 150 km northwest of Erbil (Arbil, Hewlér), the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan Region (KRI). The city is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by high mountains. The university campus is a large green area in the city's west side that provides an exciting view of the city and surrounding nature. UOD was founded in October 1992 with only two colleges to meet the region's growing demand for graduate professionals. Today, the UOD has a 19-college with 67 departments, nearly 24000 students, and over 4000 academic and administrative staff. Students thrive in one of the best regional academic communities, studying in programs such as Agriculture, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Linguistics, Basic Education, and Economics as well as Spatial Planning. UOD has strong engagement through its International Relations with many Higher Education institutions and centres of excellence worldwide, such as Purdue University, Indiana University (IU), New York University (NYU), The University of Noter Dame (ND), The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA), BridgeWater State University in the USA, The University of Warsaw - Poland, The University of Glasgow - Scotland, The University of Twente - The Netherlands, Leipzig University, LLC University, University of Oldenburg, The University of Vechta, Europa-Universität Flensburg, TU Dortmund university, THM Giessen University in Germany, The University of Tuscia, The university of Pavia, Sapienza Università di Roma in Italy, The University of Deusto, The University of Barcelona, The University of Granada (UGR) in Spain, Lund University - Sweden, The University of Sussex in the UK, Tampere University - Finland, and so many more. The University of Duhok is an active member of the International Association of Universities (IAU), The UNIMED, the Mediterranean Universities Union, and The Association of Arab Universities (AARU).
UOD Media; June 11, 2023
Photo Credits: Mohammed Abdulkareem, Ali Banki, Harman Jangeer