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Career in Biomedical Engineering

1. Who is a Biomedical Engineer?

Biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary course which has seen a growth in the last decade. The medical field has shown a shift from traditional equipments to opting into new technologies. Biomedical engineer is one of the engineering branches in the country which deals with the study of integrated engineering principles into biomedical science. The field of biomedical engineer then applies the same into applications through healthcare service and researches.

Thus a biomedical engineer is a healthcare professionals whose job is to implement the engineering knowledge of technologies into designing, handling and understanding technological advancements in medical sciences.

2. What doesaBiomedical Engineer do?

The job of a biomedical engineer involves taking up the tasks enlisted:

  • Advance designing of equipment that can be used in medical treatments and assessments.

  • A biomedical engineer also handles the biomedical equipments such as Installation, adjustment, maintenance, repair and providingthe technical support as well.

  • They also evaluate the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of all the biomedical equipment.

  • They assist clinicians and other personnel involved in training them about handling of the equipments in a proper way.

  • They also workwith the life scientists, chemists and medical scientists in order to conduct researches.

  • They prepare procedures, technical reports, publish research papers and also make recommendations based on the conducted researches and their outcomes.

  • Biomedical engineers are also involved in the designing of electrical circuits, software to run this medical equipment, or computer simulations in order to test the new drug therapies or developing prosthetics as well.

3. Types of biomedical engineer?

Biomedical engineers can further be categorized on the basis of specialty they opt for in their master’s degree. It determines their workplace and their work activities. Some of the engineers listed can be:

  • Computational Biomedical Electronics: Biomedical Electronics leads to new and innovative biomedical and biochemical instruments and analysis systems for environmental sensing, point-of-care testing, hepatics and biosurgery, microfluidics and labs-on-a-chip, and proteomics and genomics. Engineers thus work in extensive designing for implementing the inventions into the health care services.

  • Biomaterials Biology: Biomaterials biology excels in understanding of biomaterials that can be associated with body systems and tissues.

  • Cellular, Tissue and Genetic Engineering: The engineers work with biological knowledge and help in implementing the engineering principles in the fields of genetics and tissue engineering.

  • Medical Imaging: A biomedical engineer works with diagnostic equipments and technologies such as MRI,CT or radiology equipment etc.

  • Orthopedics Bioengineering: Orthopedics bioengineer in understanding biomaterials and developing instruments , equipment or machineries that can help in replacement of body parts.

  • Bio nanotechnology: Biomedical engineer works towards applying the tools of nanotechnology to biological problems, creating specialized applications.

Specializations in Biomedical Engineering

  • Surgical Instruments and Medical Devices Engineering

  • Tissue Engineering

  • Biomaterials Engineering

  • Neural Engineering

  • Bio mechanics Engineering

  • Telehealth Communication Engineering

  • Bio signal Process Engineering

  • Medical Image

  • Computational Modeling

4. WorkingConditions

Biomedical engineers can work in different institutions or organizations. They can associate themselves in manufacturing, universities, hospitals, and research facilities of companies and educational and medical institutions. They usually work full time with work hours of 8 to 10 hours a day. Biomedical engineers usually work full time on a normal schedule. However, as with employees in almost any engineering occupation, biomedical engineers occasionally may have to work additional hours to meet the needs of patients, managers, colleagues, and clients. Some biomedical engineers work more than 40 hours per week. It again may vary depending upon the task associated to the speciality.

5. Knowledgeareasrequired

  • Maths: One needs to be good at mathematics in order to excel in the field. The engineer degree has a curriculum which integrates many fields into one.

  • Chemistry: The basic knowledge of chemistry and its principles is helpful in the field in understanding and further in implementing the applications.

  • Physics: The use of physics is a prerequisite as it deals in developing equipments for diagnostics and imaging etc.

  • Computer Programming: This is usually learned in the bachelor’s degree which helps in using medical equipments as well in developing machineries, along with studying genetic software.

  • Molecular Biology: the basic knowledge of molecular biology helps in understanding the effects of medical science and engineer.

  • Genetics: A basic knowledge is obtained in high schools through which one understands the effect of evolutionary systems.

6. Skillsrequired

The skills required by a biomedical engineer includes :

Good Verbalskills: They should be able to read and understand what is written, and a fluency in the language helps in listening to people and makes understanding easier.

Ideas and Logic: Engineers should be able to make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information. They should be able to use the existing knowledge to solve problems.

Mathematical skills: They use the basic mathematical computational skills to reason and derive solutions for problems.

Visual Understanding: They should be able to grasp patterns to understand phenomenon better.

7. Technology skills

a. Analytical or scientific software: Analytical softwares used by biomedical engineers includes Matlab, Python, C, C++, Labview.

b. Computer Aided Software: These include many softwares such as PTC Creo (formerly Pro Engineer),Solid Works,CATIA,ANSYS , AutoCAD.

c. Development environment software and designing softwares.

8. Personality

A biomedical engineer excels in a job that demands:

a. Creativity : Engineers tend to use their existing knowledge to develop new equipments. Thus, the job demands in thinking out of box to meet the demands in this field.

b. Team player : Biomedical engineering is a multi disciplinary field. Thus engineers work with diagnosticians, scientists, doctors as well as engineers. They need to cooperate well to increase the efficiency.

c. Hardworking: The working hours demands engineers to dedicate and work diligently towards the job. One who prefers to work hard tend to be productive.

d. Detail oriented: Engineers in the field should pay attention to great details as it helps in understanding complex topics .

e. Persistence: Engineers in the field tend be maintain high patience while working and thus needs one to be determined enough to work diligently for long durations.

f. Achievement oriented people looks towards achieving results with their work.

9. Education

The education qualification required for this job entails:

a. 10th Pass

b. 12th/ Intermediate in science stream from a recognized board.

c. Entrance exam- Qualifying exams with a good rank.

d. B.Tech in biomedical engineering.

e. M.Tech in Speciality

10. JobOutlook

There has been evident growth of biomedical engineers and is likely to be much faster than the average pace for all the existing occupations. The increasing growth is increasing as society and medical science is shifting to advancement in technologies.

The Average pay of a biomedical engineer is around 23000 per month. It increases with increase in experience.

The salary also increases significantly with obtaining a Master’s degree.

11. Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What careers are open to BME graduates after completion of their degree?

A. BME prepares candidates in engineering, management, medical administration, sales and regulatory practices. Such graduates also go on to study further in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, management and laws well as biomedical engineering.

Q. Can one get into medical school with a biomedical engineering degree?

A. Yes, most biomedical engineering majors will need to take related courses to be eligible for medical school.

Q. What is the eligibility criteria to take admission in Biomedical engineering for BE/BTech candidates?

A. For admission to the undergraduate degree programmes in Biomedical Engineering, a candidate should have completed their +2 education in science stream from a recognized board.

Q. What is the eligibility criteria to take admission in Biomedical engineering for MTech candidates?

A. For admission to the master's programme, candidates will have to complete their graduation in Biomedical Engineering/ Biotechnology branch from a recognized university/institute. A candidate who possesses an MBBS degree can also pursue a post-graduate course in Biomedical Engineering.

Q. What are some of the biomedical colleges in India?

A. Some of the biomedical colleges in India are:

· IIT Kanpur - Indian Institute of Technology

· SASTRA (Deemed to be University)

· CEG - College of Engineering , Guindy

· IIT Madras - Indian Institute of Technology

Q. What are the related fields?

A. Biomedical engineering is a multi disciplinary field. Thus one can work in various fields. Some can work as researchers. They can also work with Biochemical engineers, Mechanical engineers or Biotechnology engineers.

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