Biomedical Engineer

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    Biomedical engineers are specialists who help to develop advanced healthcare technology. Biomedical engineers apply engineering principles and materials technology to healthcare.

    In this role, you’ll research, design and develop medical products, such as joint replacements or robotic surgical instruments, design or modify equipment for clients with special needs in a rehabilitation setting, or manage the use of clinical equipment in hospitals and the community.

     

    Types of Biomedical Engineers

    • bioengineer;
    • design engineer;
    • clinical engineer or scientist

     

    Employers of Biomedical Engineers

    • Hospitals
    • Universities
    • Research organizations
    • Diagnostic/medical instrumentation manufacturers
    • Charities

     

    Duties

    • using computer software and mathematical models to design, develop and test new materials, devices and equipment. This can involve programming electronics, building and evaluating prototypes, troubleshooting problems, and rethinking the design until it works correctly;
    • liaising with technicians and manufacturers to ensure the feasibility of a product in terms of design and economic viability;
    • conducting research to solve clinical problems using a variety of means to collate the necessary information, including questionnaires, interviews and group conferences;
    • working closely with other medical professionals, such as doctors and therapists as well as with end-users (patients and their carers);
    • discussing and solving problems with manufacturing, quality, purchasing and marketing departments;
    • assessing the potential wider market for products or modifications suggested by health professionals or others;
    • arranging clinical trials of medical products;
    • approaching marketing and other industry companies to sell the product;
    • writing reports and attending conferences and exhibitions to present your work and latest designs to a range of technical and non-technical audiences;
    • meeting with senior health service staff or other managers to exchange findings;
    • dealing with technical queries from hospitals and GPs and giving advice on new equipment;
    • testing and maintaining clinical equipment;
    • training technical or clinical staff;
    • investigating safety-related incidents;
    • keeping up to date with new developments in the field, nationally and internationally.

     

    Qualifications

    You need a degree to become in any of the following subjects to become a biomedical engineer:

    • biomedical science or engineering;
    • electrical or electronic engineering;
    • mechanical engineering;
    • physics.

     

    Skills

    • a strong interest in the integration of engineering and medicine;
    • excellent communication skills in order to liaise with a variety of people;
    • good attention to detail;
    • spatial awareness, three-dimensional conceptual ability and computer literacy (particularly for design engineers);
    • the capacity to combine a high degree of technical knowledge with creativity;
    • the ability to design products that are effective and practical as well as cost effective and aesthetic;
    • commercial awareness, in order to appreciate a product’s marketability;
    • excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to work under pressure.

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