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Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

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Zihua Su

13 August 2018

Vice President, Beijiing Aerospace Changfeng Co Ltd
Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering PhD (2008)

I was always fascinated by the science of image processing, and how it can help people, especially patients. I chose to study Medical Physics because I believed it would provide me with the kinds of skills employers prize. You learn to solve, and manage healthcare-related challenges from a multidisciplinary perspective and the competencies you acquire give you a definite career advantage.

I chose UCL because it is one of the world’s top universities, and the Medical Physics Department is one of the longest established in the world, with an excellent reputation for its research and teaching. It was definitely the right decision. I was taught by the very best in the field. My first supervisor was Andrew Todd Pokropek, who made the first PET scanner in Europe, and my second supervisor, Tryphon Lambrou, became my best friend in the lab. I really enjoyed mixing with people from different cultures and backgrounds. UCL is great for that.

After I got my PhD, I did a short internship at Siemens Research Princeton, before returning to China where I took up research positions at Mindray and Siemens. After that, I moved to GE to pursue a marketing position with some extra science and clinical applications. Now I am Vice President of a stock listed company with two medical businesses directly reporting to me.

Medical Physics is not easy. But it not only equips you with new knowledge, but the tools, techniques and confidence to apply that knowledge to a wide range of problems. Life is full of challenges, unhappiness, and negative stuff. But you have to get through it, be strong, and prepare yourself for the future. A degree in Medical Physics gives you the resilience you need when the going gets tough.