Education Programs

A. Contributions to Educational/Instructional Programs Development

1. Faculty of Health Sciences (UAE University)

  • Participated in setting up the Faculty of Health Sciences at UAE University, as the founding-chair of Biophysics department
  • Taught Medical Physics and Biomathematics courses
  • Infused and taught Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering topics in the Medical and Clinical Science modules

2. Biomedical Engineering (BME)

As a pioneer in this field, I have developed educational programs (and curricula) at universities, and taught a variety of courses in Biomechanics, Physiological Engineering, Orthopedic mechanics, Cardiovascular Engineering, Medical Physics, and Biomathematics.

I have published a course-oriented textbook on Applied Biomedical Engineering Mechanics (CRC Press), covering orthopedic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, diabetic and sports engineering mechanics. This book involves the disciplines of soild and fluid mechanics, dynamics and vibrations, gas diffusion and transport, control system and mathematical modeling. This book will now serve as a textbook in biomedical engineering and physciological engineering courses. Through my courses, research and text-books, I have endeavored to make the BME a healthcare professional field, having a role in medical education as well as in tertiary-care hospitals.

In my Biomedical Engineering Program curriculum, the courses are designed to address biomedical engineering in the clinical setting. The below figure delineates the role of BME in a hospital setting: (i) monitoring, signal and image processing; (ii) organ-systems modeling and functional characterization by means of BME indices; (iii) expert systems formulations, for diagnostic and interventional guidelines; for major organ-systems disorders (based on evidence-based medicine), (iv) treatment: pharmacological, surgical tissue-engineering, rehabilitation engineering; (v) design and implementation of prostheses and orthoses, drug delivery systems and artificial organs.

3. Healthcare and Hospital Engineering & Management (HCHEM)

The HCHEM Instructional program is designed to provide the relevant multidisciplinary knowledge-base in clinical and hospital engineering, economic and financial engineering, related to cost-effective operation of hospitals (represented by the below depicted three pillars of HCHEM) to hospital administrators. 

The HCHEM program can be developed as a joint program of the College of Engineering, the School of Business Administration and the Medical School, towards a career in hospital-administration, health-care policy and public health. HCHEM could in fact be an international program, interacting with WHO on cost-effective healthcare delivery in Developing countries. The figure below represents a balanced approach to an affordable public healthcare system. 

Initially at NTU, this program was offered as an optional major in Healthcare Policy and Hospital Management (HPHM) within the Public Administration program. 

HCHEM can be developed as a professional MBA program, to be jointly offered by the Faculties of Engineering and Business Administration; it can be a heavily subscribed program in its own right. Additionally, we can offer MD-MBA (HCHEM) degrees to those students admitted to the MD program who are interested in hospital and healthcare administration.

4. STEM Education Program (Curriculum and Courses)

Based on my STEM2 concept (of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine), the following courses have been developed for teaching in schools and colleges. 

  • Physics with Applications in Biology, Sports, Physiology and Medicine: Mechanics with applications to analysis of limbs to determine muscle and joint Forces, running, pole vault, ball kicking, tennis serves, figure skating, stresses in bones and ventricles; Heat with applications to metabolism and body temperature; Fluids, with applications to heart wall stress and cardiovascular  flow; Electricity with applications to electric fields in body cells and nerve axons; Sound and Light, with applications to hearing and vision; Atomic and Nuclear Physics, with applications to imaging modalities.  

  • Mathematics in Natural Sciences, Sports, Engineering and Medicine:  Mathematical modeling and analysis of: Treadmill test for fitness assessment, structural beam loading and vibration, wall stress in pressure vessels and heart chamber, RLC circuits, lung ventilation, glucose tolerance test for diabetes detection, blood flow in arteries. 

  • Physiology and Medicine:  
    Musculo-skeletal, Cardiac, Lung, Renal, Endocrine and Neuro-Physiology, with medical applications. 

  • Introduction to Mechanical Engineering: 
    Statics and Dynamics, Solid and Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Applications in Physiology and Medicine.

  • Introduction to Electrical Engineering: 
    Electrical forces, fields and po
    tentials; Electrical currents and circuits; Applications in Physiology and Medicine.

  • Sports Science and Engineering: 
    Sports Science: in Athletics, Tennis, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball and Football.  Sports Engineering: Design of Baseball bats, Football
    helmets and Tennis racquets.

5. Sports Science and Engineering Program:

Sports Science deals with the analyses and mechanisms of sports plays and maneuvers, such as soccer corner curving kicks, baseball pitching, quarterback touchdown passes, tennis serves, sprint and distance running, high jump and pole vault.  Sports Engineering deals with the design of sports equipment, such as design of sport shoes, baseball bats, hockey sticks, tennis racquets, and sports protective gear for football and ice hockey.

This Program is structured (i) to address the needs and interests of sports coaches and managers, (ii) for designing of sports equipment and to even enable us to incubate a sports equipment company.   

The Sports Science and Engineering Program covers the following domains:

  • Analyses and Mechanisms of Sports plays and Maneuvers, such as soccer corner curving kicks, baseball batting and pitching, cricket batting and bowling, tennis serves, sprint and distance running, high jump and pole vault; 
  • Biomechanics of musculo-skeletal and spinal systems, to determine the forces in the limb musculo-skeletal system and spinal structure, resulting from the sports maneuvers; 
  • Assessment of Sports Fitness Index and Conditioning by means of Treadmill Test; 
  • Biomechanics of Optimal (least tiring) Walking and Jogging Modes; 
  • Analysis of Spinning Ball Trajectories of Soccer Kicks, Football Quarterback passes and Basketball Throws. 
  • Design of Sports equipment: shoes, bats and protection gear, to enhance sports performances and prevent injuries. 

6. Community–development Engineering (CDE) for developing Functionally-sustainable Communities

This program is suitable for under-served communities, isolated communities and communities with high unemployment.

A CDE Graduate program curriculum would comprise of courses in (i) Functional sectors of a community and their inter-relationships; (ii) Cooperatively-structured medium and large scaled enterprises and privately-owned small-scale businesses; (iii) Technopreneurship for sustainable indigenous agro-industrial development, (iv) Community services: water supply, electrical power, finance and banking for indigenous enterprises, preventive and curative primary-to-tertiary healthcare delivery system, transportation system for people and freight, and primary-to-tertiary education; (v) Trade and commerce; (vi) Financial and fiscal policy; (vii) Operations research, with applications to budget development and management to make communities functionally sustainable; (viii) Formation of self-reliant economic blocs (SREB): inter and intra SREB trade and commerce and sharing of knowledge to develop a uniform standard of living; (ix) Role of universities as partners in community and regional development; (x) People-centered governance and electoral system, to efficiently administer FSCs and SEBs.

7. Neo-Humanistic Socio-Economic-Political System and Governance

This pioneering Course serves to integrate neo-humanistic social outlook and economic system, with civilian political system, and governance, towards a sustainable community development. It comprises of the following topics:

I.From Under-Development to Self-Reliance:

  1. Introduction: A Kaleidoscopic Survey of Under-Development and Its Solution;
  2. Third World Under-Development and Need for Self-Reliance;
  3. Functionally-Sustainable Communities: Socio-Economic-Political Framework;
  4. Neo-GlobalPolitical Governance Structure; Functionally-Sustainable Community (FSC)    Design;

II. From Corporatism to Cooperatism, and Power-Politics to Peace-Politics:

  1. For an Enlightened Human Society;
  2. Corporate Capitalism to Cooperative Capitalism and Social Democracy;
  3. State and Group Terrorism,Justic and Reparation;
  4. Ethics of Politics: Politician versus People Sovereignty;
  5. From United Nations to World Government;

III. Real Democracy and Neo-Humanistic Global Order:

  1. Socio-Economic Democracy: Governance, Economic and Financial Policy;
  1. Truly Democractic Electoral GovernanceSystem and Global Political Structure;
  2. Human Rights and Constitutional Guarantees; Civilian-Centered Neo-Humanistic Global Order;

IV.Towards Universal Renaissance:

  1. Neo-HumanisticUniversity System;
  2. Replacing Hypocrisy by Straightforwardness;
  3. Sustainable Global Peace with EquitableGlobalization;
  4. Strategizing the Role of the University in Society;
  5. Epilogue: Towards a Neo-Era of Peace, Security and Enlightened Living.

Appendix A (for program No 3: as an Major Elective in “Healthcare Policy & Hospital Management” in the MPA Program)

Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program

(with Majors in Economics and public policy, Healthcare policy and hospital management and Public Administration)

Program Structure

The program structure has been designed to provide high-quality professional education to students and prepare them for administrative and leadership roles in the public sector, as well as to develop a critical and analytical mind that is essential to modern management and administration. These constitute the six core subjects. Students are requires to take six other subjects from the electives of any one of the three majors: Economics and public policy, Health care policy and Hospital management, and Public administration.

Subjects of Study

The program leading to the degree of Master of Public Administration (MPA) comprises:

a. six core subject, and

b. six electives from any one of the three major fields of specialization.

Core subjects:

MPA6000 Markets and Market Failure
MPA6001 Macroeconomic Environment and Policy
MPA6003 Public Choice and Public Policy
MPA6005 Seminar in Public Policy and Management
MPA6006 Politics and Public Policy
MPA6008 Public Organizations and Management

Major in HealthCare Policy and Hospital Management (6 out of 8 subjects)

MPA6201 Health Care Organization, Policy, and Administration
MPA6204 Health Economics
MPA6202 Singapore and International Health Care Systems
MPA6203 Principles of Biostatistics
MPA6205 Operations Management and Healthcare Logistics & Strategy
MPA6206 Principles of Cost-effective Management of a Hospital and the Healthcare 
Delivery System
MPA6207 Health Laws, Ethics, and Regulations
MPA6208 Legal Environment, Health Policy and Industrial Relations

B. Courses Taught

1. Mechanical Engineering

In mechanical engineering, I have taught courses in Solid mchanics, Fluid mechanics, Dynamics and Thermodynamics. I can teach both undergraduate and high-level graduate courses (such in Elasticity, Plates and Shells and Transport processes).

2. Biomedical Engineering courses

I am providing herewith the descriptions of my courses.

Biomechanics: Involvement of the full range of Applied Mechanics disciplines in Analyses of Cardiac structures and phenomena, Cardiovascular phenomena and devices; Muscle excitation-contraction coupling and contraction force vs shortening velocity, Musculo-skeletal mechanics: structures; Orthopaedic procedures & devices and Joint prostheses.

One of the features of the course is characterization (based on analysis) of the intrinsically optimality anatomical structures (such as the spinal vertebral body as a high-strength light-weight structure).

Physiological Engineering: Engineering principles applications to analyse Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Renal, Neuronal, and Endocrine systems.

Herein, each physiological systems is characterized from an engineering viewpoint. For instance, the Heart is analysed as an electro-mechanical pump; the Kidney is analysed as an efficient mass transfer separation system (involving osmosis, passive and active system transport processes) to form urine and excrete end-products of protein metabolism, and excess (Na+, Cl-, K+) ions.; the Lung is analysed as a ventilation-perfusion gas-transfer system to oxygenate the blood and remove CO2 from it; in Neuronal engineering, concepts of ionic flows through membrane to set up currents flowing through the membrane and along the cells (along with the application of circuit theorems to an axon segment) provide the basis for studying the propagation of a nerve impulse; in Endocrine systems, we model the (i) regulation of blood sugar levels by insulin and glucagon and (ii) the thyroid-pituitary homeostatic mechanism by means of differential equations, simulate the model solution to the clinical data, determine the model parameters, and characterize the system performance in terms of the model parameters’ values.

A somewhat unique concept to engineering modeling of physiological systems is developed in the course, by characterizing each system in terms of a non-dimensional index (NDS) made up of the system-model parameters. Next, model simulation to clinical data by (parametric-identification) enables the evaluation of the system NDS. Then, the distribution of NDS over a large patient population determines the NDS ranges of the normal and impaired system.

Cardiovascular Engineering: The course theme is ‘Engineering of cardiology practice, including monitoring methods and diagnostic indices and procedures. This course deals with: Cardiac filling, pressure-generation &ejection mechanisms and contractility indices; Theory of ECG generation and determination of the heart vector; Arterial (pulsatile) blood flow, arteriolar and capillary flows.

Biological Systems Modeling: This course deals with molecular and cellular biophysics: (i) Molecular and ionic interactions as the basis of the formation of biological structures, (ii) Cell structures and membranes, how cells interact and adhere, (iii) Polymerization of actin and myosin and the motor proteins associated with them, and (iv) Ion transport in cell membranes, electrical fields in cells, conducting properties of neurons and action-potential generation.

Sports Science and Engineering: This course deals with (i) the engineering-mechanics of athletic and sports events, involving running and jumping, tennis ball serving, kicking curving soccer ball trajectories, pitching curve balls and optimal batting styles, (ii) Optimal jogging and running modes, requiring minimal energy expenditure, (iii) Fitness analysis in terms of heart-rate and oxygen-consumption responses to work-load on the treadmill in the form of differential equations, and characterization of a nondimensional fitness index in terms of the model parameters, (iv) Capacity for load handling in terms of muscle contractile force vs shortening velocity and muscle contractile power-index, (v) Articular joint functional-mechanics and degeneration.

Engineering Foundations of Biomedical Engineering: This course is meant for biology and medical students in the biomedical engineering program. It (i) provides an introduction to the basic engineering concepts, principles and phenomena, and (ii) demonstrates their applications in biomedical group.

The engineering disciplines covered are solid and fluid mechanics, dynamics and vibrations, heat and mass transport processes, electrostatics and electrodynamics, and control systems.

The course is problem-based, in that these engineering disciplines are taught in relation to anatomical structures, physiological processes, and organ functions, monitoring and diagnostic procedures.  

3. Healthcare Delivery System

The intent of the course is to develop a quantifiable methodology for cost-effective healthcare delivery. This course deals with (i) Engineering analysis of a multi-tiered healthcare delivery system: healthcare demand and supply, healthcare coverage, relationship of medical care to health, healthcare economics, (ii) Tertiary-care hospital operations, cost-effectiveness analyses of hospital units, and Constrained optimization problem of budget distribution and resource allocation such that all the hospital units operate at specified cost-effective index levels.

This course combines biomedical engineering methods, economics analyses, and operations research methods.

4. Courses taught in the Medical and Health Sciences Faculty

Mathematics with applications in medicine
Medical Physics
Biophysics of Organ systems (in Organ System Modules)
C. Supervision of Graduate Students, Post-doctoral Fellows and Mentorship
  • Supervised 15 Master Degree Students, 14 Ph.D Students, 12 Post-doctoral fellows. Menored 5 visiting professors
  • At NTU, I have given courses on “Teaching Effectiveness and Research Supervision” for the Center for Educational Development

D. Teaching Philosophy and Effectiveness (based on class evaluation)

1. Teaching Philosophy

I consider teaching to be my primary academic role. This is because, for me, teaching and research go hand-in-hand. Throughout my academic career, I have infused relevant aspects of my research into my courses. However, conversely, every time I teach a course I come up with a couple of new ideas for research. Thus, quite frequently my graduate students’ research is based on topics covered in class. This gives them an initial momentum for deeper development of these topics.

Thus, my courses are evolving all the time (as the subject evolves) both in content and rigor. Biomedical engineering involves engineering formulation of biomedical phenomena, processes, procedures and devices. Hence, two types of expansions are possible in biomedical engineering courses. One realm is in the range of biomedical topics covered, while the other realm is in engineering rigor entailed in formulation of the biomedical topics. I take pains to address both these needs, according to the level of the course.

In a typical course taught by me, I will first give an overview of the course, so that the students have an initial panoramic view of the course. Then I cover each topic within the course in a problem-based approach. I first introduce the biomedical subject and its relevance. Next, I develop its engineering formulation, using engineering theory and principles suited to the level of the students. After that, I cover some numerical examples to explain the application of the theory. Finally, I bring attention to how the problem results have bearing on its biomedical purport.

From the beginning of my academic career, when I taught some of the earliest courses in bioengineering and when bioengineering was still evolving as a field, I have taken pains to orient my courses to biomedical applications and clinical professional needs. I have also advocated this to my colleagues. This is because we want our students to be capable of contributing to biomedical engineering in industrial and healthcare settings as well as to biomedical engineering departments in hospitals that are intimately involved in day-to-day medical care.

For biomedical engineering to be recognized as a healthcare profession, it needs to be an intrinsic department of a hospital and its biomedical engineering staff need to be involved in clinical care (in diagnostics, intervention, surgery and decision making). A hospital hence needs to be able to justify billing for these services. In other words, we need to have billing codes for biomedical engineering services. This is one of the remits of my new field of Healthcare engineering and Management (HCEM), which will in fact make it possible for employment of our biomedical engineering graduates in hospitals. The other and broader impetus for me to develop this new field stems from an awareness of inadequacy of MBA degree-holding hospital administrators to adequately appreciate the intricacies of tertiary clinical-care and the resources needed for it. There is hence a need for the field of Healthcare (and Hospital) Engineering and Management (HCEM), so as to educate and train hospital administrators to properly address cost-effective medical care in healthcare delivery.

2. Teaching Effectiveness (and course evaluation by students)

I take teaching very seriously and also find it very rewarding. After every course, I get the pleasure of some students wanting to do research under me. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of anyone’s teaching can best be adjudged from the students’ feedback and how they are motivated for further studies or to do research or to incorporate what is taught into their work.

Herein, Appendix B provides the students’ feedback to my teaching in the Biological Systems (BI-6122)course, as relayed by the class representative (Lam Ah Wah) to Dr. Kwoh Chee Keong (the coordinator of MSc Bioinformatics program).

Appendix B

Students’ Feedback to my Biological Systems course

BI6122 course in the MSc (Bioinformatics) Program

From: #LAM AH WAH#
Sent: Monday, August 02, 2004 4:57 PM
To: Kwoh Chee Keong (Assoc Prof)
Subject: RE: Further feedbacks on BI6122, (MSc, Bioinformatics)

Hi A/P Kwok,

Since I have gathered feedbacks on the teaching by Prof Ghista, I would like to extract them (in verbatim) for your information:

  1. Prof Ghista is very patient in explaining things.  He does not assume that we know the background.  He is also a good mentor and very generous and sincere in his advice.
  1. Prof Ghista obviously knew the subject well and I liked his teaching style.  I learnt quite a lot and enjoyed the lectures.
  2. Given the limited time, he has tried to cover as much as possible and unfortunately had to skip some.  He went into sufficient depth for the ones he covered.
  3. The presentation is class was quite good and he was enthusiatic.  He was very good in explanation and has indepth knowledge.  He could relate the theory to practical applications.
  4. The course has provided an insightful perspectives on biological systems because it combines many areas of knowledge.  The characterization of the biological systems and its linkage with genome/protein are necessary to advance our scientific knowledge and database.
  5. The course has laid the the foundation for further study on bioengineering and biomedical engineering such as lung function, respiration system model, nerve cell model, membrane model, red blood cell model, etc.  The functional models of human organs and tissues are increasing more important for pharmaceutical companies and in future for the direct delivery of drugs to the affected cells.
  6. Overall, the course has given us a good understanding of biological systems.  It has helped much in future research where systems models and genome/protein sequences are required for further development in bioscience and bioengineering.

Thanks,Lam Ah Wah


Biomedical Engineering

Research and Development Programs

STEM Model of Medicine

Hospital & Healthcare Management

Biomedical & Healthcare Technologies

Yoga and Meditation

Sports & Fitness Science

STEM Education Program

Cognitive Science

Socio-Economic Democracy Globilization

Sustainable Communities & Regional Development

Role of University in Society

International Relations, Peace & Globalization

Cardiology Science and Technology

Biomedical Science, Engineering and Technology

Socio-Economic Democracy & World Government

Applied Biomedical Engineering Mechanics

Cardiac Perfusion and Pumping Engineering