Design systems and products, such as artificial internal 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
Biomedical engineers may design instruments, devices, and software; bring together knowledge from many technical sources to develop new procedures; or conduct research needed to solve clinical problems.
They often serve a coordinating function, using their background in both engineering and medicine. For example, in industry, they may create products for which an in-depth understanding of living systems and technology is essential. Also, they frequently work in research and development or in quality assurance.
Biomedical engineers design electrical circuits, software to run medical equipment, or computer simulations to test new drug therapies. They also design and build artificial body parts such as hip and knee joints. 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 to understand the signals transmitted by the brain or heart.
Some specialty areas within biomedical engineering include bioinstrumentation; biomaterials; biomechanics; cellular, tissue, and genetic engineering; clinical engineering; medical imaging; orthopedic surgery; rehabilitation engineering; and systems physiology.
Analytical skills.Biomedical engineers must be able to analyze the needs of patients and customers to design appropriate solutions.
Communication skills.Because biomedical engineers sometimes work with patients and frequently work with medical scientists or other engineers, they must be able to express themselves clearly.
Listening skills.Biomedical engineers often work in teams and gather input from patients, therapists, physicians, and business professionals. They must seek others' ideas and incorporate them into the problem-solving process.
Math skills.Biomedical engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Problem-solving skills.Biomedical engineers typically deal with and solve problems in complex biological systems.