Biomedical engineering bridges the gap between medicine and science. It has been the producer of many life saving treatments and medical products and organs.
Biomedical engineers generally work around 37.5 – 40 hours a week as the regular schedule is normally 9-5. There may also be the opportunity to travel while your work can range from being in an office to a workshop to working in clinics.
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What is biomedical engineering?
Biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary field that combines biology with engineering for healthcare purposes. It is a broad field and widely linked to the everyday utilization of machinery and technology in many aspects of life.
This combination of biology and engineering has contributed to the development of life-saving concepts. For example, artificial organs, kidney dialysis and pharmaceutical drugs.
What does a biomedical engineer do?
The day to day duties of a biomedical engineer may differ depending on the particular job or research at hand. Duties include:
- Design, test and implement new medical procedures
- Design equipment and devices
- Develop and test equipment and devices and make improvements and changes where necessary
- Liaise with other professionals such as scientists, engineers and medical staff
- Train staff to use equipment
- Carry out research, write reports, keep documentation
- Maintain equipment and make sure they reach health and safety standards
There are many courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses offer the option of studying part time or full time. There may also be Covid-19 restrictions in particular universities. Examples of courses available include:
Those who study a postgraduate degree in biomedical engineering will look at topics such as incorporating predictive modelling, signal processing, electronics, communication, software, hardware, systems thinking and machine intelligence. Students will gain in-depth knowledge and skills needed to work in the industry.
Advanced Biomedical Engineering
These courses focus on cutting edge advances in medicine, engineering and applied biological sciences. Students will gain the necessary skills and experience to work in healthcare science, technology, engineering principles and manufacturing. You will also gain experience in managing various industry standard medical devices.
Postgraduate courses in biomedical technology will allow students to gain knowledge and understanding of biomedical technology and its application within the industry. Key focuses include regulatory quality management, biomaterials and biosensors. In these courses there is also the opportunity to complete placement.
Many postgraduate courses in medical engineering will allow students to develop their knowledge in their chosen field of research. Key focuses in the majority of these courses include looking at human physiology, developing advanced diagnostic techniques as well as optimizing the design of medical devices.
Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering courses are also an option as well as Biomedical Genetics and Tissue Engineering and Biomedical, Biomechanics and Bioelectronics Engineering, among others.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course and university to university. In most cases, you will be required to have a 2.1 honours degree in a relevant field in engineering or science. Some courses may accept a 2.2 honours degree. It is important to research your particular course to make sure you meet specific requirements. All information can be found on course overviews and on university websites.
Employers of biomedical engineers may include:
- Medical equipment manufacturers
- Research organisations
- Diagnostic manufacturers
The salary expectation of a biomedical engineer can differ depending on if you;re working for the NHS or in the private sector. They can range between £21,000 to £45,000 annually. Experience is also another factor in a biomedical scientists salary. Location can also be a factor.
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements that are helpful, and often necessary, in this field:
- Interest in engineering and medical industries
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong research skills
- Ability to interpret data
- Attention to detail
- IT skills and computer literacy
- The ability to combine creativity with technical knowledge
- Strong problem solving skills
- Ability to work under pressure
- Commercial awareness
- Teamwork skills
- Careful with measurements