What Does a Biomedical Engineer do?

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A biomedical engineer will typically do the following:

Design systems and products, such as artificial organs, artificial devices that replace body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems.

Install, adjust, maintain, repair, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment.

Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment.

Train clinicians and other personnel on the proper use of equipment.

Work with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists to research the engineering aspects of biological systems of humans and animals.

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.

The work of these engineers spans many professional fields. For example, although their expertise is based in engineering and biology, they often design computer software to run complicated instruments, such as three-dimensional x-ray machines. Alternatively, many of these engineers use their knowledge of chemistry and biology to develop new drug therapies. Others draw heavily on mathematics and statistics to build models, in order to understand the signals transmitted by the brain or heart. Some specialty areas within biomedical engineering include bio-instrumentation, biomaterials, biomechanics, cellular, tissue, and genetic engineering, clinical engineering, medical imaging, orthopedic surgery, rehabilitation engineering, and systems physiology. Some people with training in biomedical engineering become professors.

Role of Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical Engineering has huge responsibilities to improve the health facilities available and develop new ones for human use; hence potential in this study discipline is very high. Though this is a newly emerging field but many institutes across the globe offer courses in biomedical engineering to fulfill the growing social industrial needs of biomedical engineers.

To sum up a biomedical engineer do the following activities – 

  1. Designing machines for medical diagnostics artificial limbs for organ transplants
  2. Technical support for biomedical instruments and biomedical machinery like installation and troubleshoot etc.
  3. Testing of biomedical equipment for safety and efficiency
  4. Training to other clinicians on use of biomedical machinery
  5. Work with researchers

Skills required to be Biomedical Engineer

Academic Requirement for Biomedical Engineer

Minimum a bachelor’s degree is required to start a career as a biomedical engineer. One can choose this field after completion of 12years of school education with sciences and mathematics. Generally, the course duration is 4years during which subjects like fluid and solid mechanics, computer programming, circuit design, and biomaterials etc. are taught. At the end of program degree in biomedical engineering BE/B.Tech/BS is awarded. Further candidates can go for higher studies like MS or start working with government / private organizations. To be successful as a biomedical engineer one need to possess communication abilities, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and analytical skills.

Personal Skills 

To study engineering one needs sound knowledge in mathematics and sciences which are ultimate to solve highly technical problems. In the field of biomedical engineering, you need to be able to correlate the biological sciences and medicine necessary to solve problems in a highly complex environment of biomedical engineering.
Biomedical Engineering is interdisciplinary study field and not a traditional study discipline. You must be able to apply knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computers, medicine and information sciences together to find the solution to a problem during course work as well as in industry.