BioMedEng19 Plenary Speakers

Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci

University of Oxford

Title: Engineering meets medicine: the impact of digital technologies on healthcare




Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci is a world-leading expert in the application of signal processing and machine learning to healthcare, with a strong track record in translation to clinical medicine. His work has had a major impact on the identification of deterioration in acute care and on the management of chronic disease. The system which he designed for patient monitoring in critical care was the first machine learning system to gain FDA approval (in 2008).

Prior to that, Professor Tarassenko had been closely involved in the development of some of the jet engine monitoring software at the core of the Rolls-Royce TotalCare® package. This won him the Rolls-Royce Chairman's Award for Technical Innovation in 2001 and the Sir Henry Royce High Value Patent Award in 2008. 


Professor Tarassenko received the BA in Engineering Science in 1978 and the DPhil in medical electronics in 1985, both from the University of Oxford. After a period in industry, he was appointed University Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow in Oxford (St Hugh’s College) in 1988. He was elected to the Chair of Electrical Engineering and to a Professorial Fellowship at St John’s College, also at the University of Oxford in 1997. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) which he directed from its opening in April 2008 to October 2012. Under his leadership, the IBME grew from 110 to 220 academic researchers, and it was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in 2015 for “new collaborations between engineering and medicine delivering benefit to patients”. 


Professor Tarassenko was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2000, and to a Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2013. Professor Tarassenko is the author of 230 journal papers, 210 conference papers, 3 books and 32 granted patents. He is a director of the University’s wholly-owned technology transfer company, Oxford University Innovation, and has founded four University spin-out companies. He has been the Head of the Department of Engineering Science (Dean of Engineering) since 1st September 2014.



Digital technologies are making a huge impact on most sectors which affect our daily lives, from communications and entertainment to transport and aerospace, but much less so on health and well-being (so far).

In this plenary lecture, I will show how recent developments in wearables, webcams, smartphones, machine learning and big data analytics provide us with the opportunity to apply the benefits of digital technologies to healthcare, and improve patient outcomes.

Details of our other keynote speakers will be published soon