Dr Ben Hanson is an Associate Professor (part-time) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London. Since 2019 he works remotely from his home in Scotland. His research involves biomedical applications of engineering, system-modelling and analysis. While based in London 2005-2019 he had Affiliate status in UCL’s Division of Medicine and worked with Cardiologists at St Thomas’ Hospital and St Bart’s as an Honorary Research Associate. He worked in operating theatres and clinical labs using computers to analyse electrical signals from patients’ hearts, and his investigations & analysis reveal the effect of breathing, stress and emotion on their hearts.
Dr Hanson currently 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 practical consistency test using a syringe to measure the consistency of liquids, 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 has supervised PhD students, MSc students and many undergraduate projects. He currently teaches Dynamics and Control to 3rd year undergraduates and runs classes in Cardiovascular Engineering at Masters-level. 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).