Biography / CV
Dr Ben Hanson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London (since 2005), where he researches biomedical applications of engineering, system-modelling and analysis. He has Affiliate status in UCL’s Division of Medicine and he works with Cardiologists at St Thomas’ Hospital and St Bart’s as an Honorary Research Associate. He works in operating theatres and clinical labs using computers to analyse electrical signals from patients’ hearts, and his investigations & analysis have revealed the effect of breathing, stress and emotion on their hearts.
Dr Hanson researches biomechanics involved in eating & drinking, particularly where people have difficulties managing regular foods and drinks: “dysphagia”. He is one of the directors of an international not-for-profit organisation IDDSI.org which has designed classifications and mechanical tests to standardise consistency of medical food & drinks. Dr Hanson created a “syringe test” to measure the consistency of liquids from water to a semi-solid pudding consistency which enables anyone around the world to standardise dysphagia therapy according to international standards. In this capacity Dr Hanson uses his theoretical and experimental capabilities in rheology (measuring flow and deformation properties of fluids and soft solids) to characterise and design texture-modified food and drinks for people with dysphagia.
At UCL, Dr Hanson supervises PhD students, MSc students and many undergraduate projects as well as teaching classes in Cardiovascular Engineering at Masters-level and teaching Dynamics and Control to 3rd year undergraduates. Dr Hanson is regularly invited to provide training and guest lecture presentations in the UK and internationally to healthcare professionals and to multi-national food and pharmaceutical companies.
Dr Hanson, PhD, is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and Chartered Engineer (CEng).