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Engineering Career Resources


Biomedical Engineer Job Description

Biomedical Engineer Job Description

Biomedical engineers use the principles of design and engineering and they operate in the field of biology and medicine. They typically research, design, or modify medical equipment and products. Biomedical engineers' job is to improve diagnostics and treatment processes and to reduce safety hazards. They typically specialise in one of the subdisciplines of biomedical engineering, which include medical imaging, clinical engineering, neural engineering, biomechanics, bionics, bioinstrumentation, and orthopaedic bioengineering, among others.

Skills

Biomedical engineers must have excellent knowledge of materials technology and medical products, as well as of various mathematical models, principles of engineering, and anything else that helps them create and test specific medical products and equipment.

They must have strong communication skills as they frequently collaborate with manufacturers and technical staff when assessing a product's feasibility. Analytical skills are a strong asset, as biomedical engineers typically use data obtained through research, interviews, and questionnaires to find solutions to clinical problems.

Biomedical engineers are often in charge of arranging clinical trials of various products and equipment, so they must also have strong organisational skills. Commercial awareness and marketing and business skills are a definite plus for engineers whose jobs entail approaching businesses to sell the finished product.

Qualifications

Biomedical engineers usually have a degree in biomedical engineering, biomedical science, physics, mechanical engineering, or electronic engineering. They can also enter the field with degrees in mathematics or applied science, but not with an HND only.

The qualifications will depend on the field of specialty. For instance, biochemical and biomaterials engineers can enter the field with a degree in chemical engineering, biomechanics engineers frequently have a degree in mechanical engineering, while neural engineers and those specialising in biomedical imaging have qualifications in electrical engineering.

Biomedical engineers who want to earn the status of chartered engineer (CEng) need a good honours degree. Those who pursue emploment in the National Health Service typically start out as trainee clinical engineers or scientists, which provides them with the right training, one that includes obtaining a postgraduate degree accredited by the relevant professional body. This career route usually leads to obtaining the diploma from the Institute of Physics and Engineering (DiplPEM).

Biomedical engineers working toward chartered status must have engineering degrees accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering, Institution of Engineering and Technology, or the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. If they do not, they can obtain chartered status after they have taken further exams and gained experience in the field.

Work

Biomedical engineers mostly work on research and development of clinical and medical equipment and products related to diagnosis, therapy and monitoring. They develop and improve medical devices, tools, implants, and clinical and imaging equipment among other things. Their jobs can entail programming and installing electronic equipment, designing prototypes, testing and evaluating designs, and modifying them when necessary.

When they are not designing clinical equipment, biomedical engineers frequently provide advice on medical equipment and the application of instrumentation to hospitals, attend conferences and present their products, or provide support and help with equipment maintenance. They can also be in charge of investigating medical equipment failures, training health service staff, and exchanging findings of their research with experts in related fields.