Maria Roldan at her workstation

Maria Roldan completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering at EIA University, and her Master of Science Degree in Epidemiology at CES University, both in Medellin, Colombia.  She is now in her third year of her PhD studies at the Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering at City, University of London and is supervised by Professor Panicos Kyriacou.

Her research focuses on the development of a non-invasive, optical multimodal monitoring sensor to assess Intracranial Pressure (ICP) and cerebral oxygenation in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. This novel technology utilises both the pulsatile and non-pulsatile components of the backscattered light received from the brain, at visible and infrared wavelengths, to assess absolute measurements of intracranial pressure and cerebral oxygenation. 

Throughout her research Maria has been methodological and instrumental and has demonstrated high levels of confidence in experimental and analytical work.  A clear example of this is the novel head phantom that she has developed to mimic the head’s anatomical, cerebral physiology, and the optical properties of brain tissue.  This novel technology enabled the simulation of TBI conditions and the rigorous in vitro evaluation of developed optical sensing technology.  

Maria, from the beginning of her research was most enthusiastic and has taken a number of initiatives including engaging in collaborative talks with experts in the field, mainly neurosurgeons and industry experts in neuromonitoring.  She also played a leading role in the pilot clinical trials of this technology, in collaboration with neurosurgeons at the Royal London Hospital, the UK’s largest major trauma hospital.  Her research is nationally and internationally recognized, and this is evident by the number of publications she has managed to publish so far.  This is a clear indication of her competency, dedication and hard work. Maria is currently involved in system optimization and at the same time she is working with the research team and the University enterprise office in exploring pathways for commercialising this impactful technology.  Maria’s vision and passion is to see this technology at the bed site, where its application will contribute towards saving patients’ lives.

Sheriff-elect Andrew Marsden and Master Engineer Audrey Canning present Maria Roldan with the Mercia Medal and £1000 bursary. photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Mercia Award is made to a student for a postgraduate paper describing how engineering techniques are being used for the advancement of medical treatment and provides a medal and bursary towards the cost of a taught or research programme of postgraduate studies in Medical Engineering.

The Worshipful Company of Engineers Charitable Trust (the Engineers Trust) acknowledges excellence in engineering, supports engineering education and research, gives grants and assists in the relief of poverty.