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Biomedical Engineering

The Breakdown

We’ve long benefitted from the incredible marriage of science and technology.  From pacemakers to artificial limbs, the combination of the two has allowed us to live longer, healthier, more productive lives.  The people we have to thank for such devices are biomedical engineers, individuals who are continually striving to innovate, create and implement additional medical breakthroughs. 

If you pursue biomedical engineering, you will learn how to integrate engineering practices and technologies with biology, physiology and the practice of medicine.  Interdisciplinary in nature, biomedical engineering will require you to take a range of classes, from Calculus and chemistry to engineering courses in systems, fluid dynamics and the science of materials.  Through such classes, you’ll ultimately learn how to design and evaluate medical devices.  In addition to the hard sciences, you might also be required to take a class in medical ethics or healthcare administration.  Finally, we must make mention that it’s not wholly uncommon to take five years to complete a biomedical engineering degree.

As a biomedical engineering student, you’ll quickly discover that at the heart of all successful majors is a problem solver.  Indeed, the most talented undergrads retain a curiosity for how various items work and are often scheming ways to improve them.  Also of prime importance are solid quantitative and analytical skills.  And you should also enjoy donning a lab coat!


Nuts and Bolts

If you choose to pursue biomedical engineering, you’ll cover a variety of topics in math and science including: Cell Structure and Function, Organic Chemistry, Multivariable Calculus, Tissue Engineering, Biosensors, Biomedical Imaging,  Bioinstrumentation, Biomechanics, General Chemistry, Protein Engineering, Physiology, Gene Expression and Inheritance, Fluid Dynamics, Science of Materials, Control Theory and Biophotonics.

Decisions, Decisions

As we have already stated, biomedical engineering incorporates many aspects of the sciences, engineering and math.  Therefore, students are also likely to be curious about biology, chemistry, biochemical engineering, neuroscience, environmental engineering, biotechnology, pharmacy, pre-med, mechanical engineering, applied mathematics, physics, computer engineering and chemical engineering.

What's Next

Biomedical engineering majors rejoice; the employment outlook for this field is stellar!  Certainly, demand for better, more efficient and more cost effective medical devices will always be there.  And biomedical engineers can be found in many jobs and industries.  For example, some graduates work as staff engineers for pharmaceutical, medical device or biomedical imaging companies.  Others might work in sales and marketing for a bioengineering firms, investment groups or healthcare companies.  Additionally, graduates frequently work in research and development for hospitals, government agencies and even the military.  Specific focus might entail bioinstrumentation, genetic engineering, rehabilitation engineering, orthopedic bioengineering and biomaterials (among others).  And, of course, a number of biomedical engineering majors ultimately wind up in medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, law or graduate school (to include a nice laundry list).  No matter what path you decide, it’s difficult to go wrong with a degree in biomedical engineering! 



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Don Munce