UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Spotlight on Dr Rui Loureiro

We're excited to have innovators and world leaders in the healthcare engineering field join our new Management Board. Over the upcoming weeks, we will be introducing you to the full team.


Alongside his team at Aspire CREATe, the Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology, Rui works to develop pioneering technologies in areas such as spinal cord injuries, amputations, muscular dystrophy and age-related mobility issues. 

The experimental and novel techniques being developed are pushing the boundaries of what is perceived possible within rehabilitative and assistive technology. By taking a holistic approach and working closely with clinicians and physiotherapists, Rui's research often has an immediate and measurably transformative impact on patients' lives. 

Rui’s work with Aspire CREATe has been integral to the Institute of Healthcare Engineering’s success and journey since the start. Aspire CREATe is a collaborative research venture between UCL, the Aspire Charity and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.

What is the highlight of your career so far?

A difficult one… but nothing beats seeing the sparkle in a patient’s eyes as they use one of my robots to relearn how to move again or ‘feel’ an object for the first time after amputation.

Where do you see your field of research in 10 years, in terms of scientific developments and advances?

I would hope we would have made strides towards assistive technologies that are usable in the real-world and widely available to those that need them.

What is the patient impact of your research / how does your research work towards helping society?

For the first time in my career, I am no longer the engineer developing a cool piece of technology trying to convince clinicians of its possible use for a specific patient population. I am fortunate enough to be now developing solutions to unmet clinical needs alongside our clinicians and surgeons at RNOH and wider UCL Partners. The solutions we are co-developing with our clinical partners have a direct impact on clinical delivery.

It is incredibly exciting to see our technologies being translated into clinical practice and benefiting our clinical teams and the patients they treat. We aim to speed up the process of adoption of such innovative patient treatments into the NHS. The impact of such innovations in the NHS is not just about the immediate cost economics but of the long-term benefits to the patients, their families and wider society.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt during your career?

Never ever give up, great things take time!