Career as a Biomedical Engineer


Summary

A Biomedical Engineer is someone who analyzes and designs solutions to problems in biology and medicine, with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of patient care. They work in manufacturing, universities, hospitals, research facilities of companies and educational and medical institutions, teaching, and government regulatory agencies. Biomedical engineers work with medical professionals to investigate research and design ways to improve health care and medical services. They apply scientific and engineering knowledge and methods to find solutions to problems in the treatment and prevention of human disease. Biomedical engineers work with doctors and medical scientists to research new medical technology, develop and improve medical equipment, such as dialysis machines, or robotic surgical equipment, or design or modify rehabilitation equipment that may improve the quality of life for people living with a disability.

A Biomedical Engineer may design instruments, devices, and software, bringing together knowledge from many technical sources to develop new procedures, or conducting research needed to solve clinical problems. They often serve a coordinating function, using their background in both engineering and medicine. In industry, they may create products where an in-depth understanding of living systems and technology is essential. They frequently work in research and development or in quality assurance. Some biomedical engineers design electrical circuits, software to run medical equipment, or computer simulations to test new drug therapies. Some also design and build artificial body parts to replace injured limbs. In some cases, they develop the materials needed to make the replacement body parts. They also design rehabilitative exercise equipment.

Work Environment

A Biomedical Engineer can work in a variety of settings, depending on what they do. Biomedical engineers usually work for hospitals, and may be required to travel between hospitals to manage and maintain medical equipment. Still others work in manufacturing settings where they design biomedical engineering products. Additionally, these engineers also work in commercial offices where they make or support business decisions. Biomedical engineers work with patients and in teams with other professionals. Thus, where and how they work is often determined by others’ specific needs. They may be required to work shift work, including weekends and public holidays. They may be required to be on-call in case of an emergency.

Biomedical Engineers may also work for laboratories, research facilities, universities or manufacturing companies. If the engineer finds a way to improve the device, the engineer might have to then return to the manufacturer to help alter the manufacturing process to improve the design.

Entry Level Education

Bachelor Degree/ Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering, Medical Engineering/ Medical Technology.

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