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Dr Ben Hanson
Roberts Building
Torrington Place
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Dept of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL Principal Supervisor,UCL Subsidiary Supervisor

Dr. Hanson’s academic career began at the University of Leeds with a PhD in the field of mechatronics and control in 2002, concerning a "self-sensing" technique for electromagnetic motors / actuators. This was followed by postdoctoral work at Leeds on the control of biomedical devices; he was involved with the development of a heart assist device, to provide mechanical pumping power to a weakened heart. 

Dr. Hanson joined UCL as a lecturer in October 2005. He became a Chartered Engineer through the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in 2007 and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2009. In 2011 he was awarded a Provost's Teaching Award at UCL  and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2013, with the position of Departmental Tutor being bestowed shortly afterwards. In 2015 Dr Hanson became a Fellow of the IMechE. 

Research Summary

Dr. Hanson’s research involves biomedical applications of engineering, system-modelling and analysis. His research in mechatronics developed self-sensing techniques which enable force and position to be estimated from small motorised devices without the need for separate sensors.  These techniques are now being applied to create miniature devices to measure rheology (flow properties) of fluids in clinical environments, in-situ.  Dr Hanson is particularly interested in the flow properties of foods and drinks, and how they can be modified to manage disordered swallowing ("dysphagia") which can seriously impact on health and quality of life.

Dr Hanson sits on the board of an international standardisation body for foods & drinks in healthcare (www.IDDSI.org) and has created practical measurement tools which can be used in any location internationally. 

Dr Hanson applies system-modelling techniques to the cardiovascular system, in particular those physiological control systems which regulate heart rate and the electrical stability of the heart.  This research involves cardiac patients at St Thomas's Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospital and is in collaboration with cardiologists and surgeons. 

Patterns recorded from a human heart during surgery

Teaching Summary

Until June 2017 Dr. Hanson was the Departmental Tutor with responsibility for undergraduate matters in Mechanical Engineering. Enquiries should now be directed to the current post-holder at mecheng.departmental-tutor@ucl.ac.uk  

Dr Hanson is the module coordinator for 3rd year Dynamics & Control (MECH302P) and is a lecturer for MSc Applications of Biomedical Engineering (MECHGB04) where he teaches Cardiovascular Engineering. He supervises 3rd year and MSc individual projects, approx 10 per year in total. 

Academic Background
2002   Doctor of Philosophy University of Leeds
1998   Master of Engineering University of Leeds
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