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Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineering has a huge impact on the world we live in today. There are now a variety of medical devices and machines that can both improve health and save lives, thanks to biomedical engineering.

Biomedical engineering is the combining of engineering expertise with the world of clinical medicine, developing technologies such as laser systems used in corrective eye surgery and systems for analysing blood. It is key in the development and creation of artificial organs, limbs and skin. The biomedical engineer will work with healthcare professionals including physicians, doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians.

If you are interested in a career as a biomedical engineer, visit Qualifax (www.qualifax.ie) to search for relevant courses at all levels and entry points.

Some alternative job titles for this role

  • Clinical Engineer
  • Orthopaedic Engineer
  • Rehabilitation Engineer
  • Biomechanical Engineer
  • Biomaterials Engineer

What the job involves

  • Research problems at the microscopic level to understand disease processes
  • Select appropriate materials for implantations in the human body such as artificial pace makers, hips, and kidneys
  • Biomechanical engineers apply classical mechanics to biological or medical problems to develop such devices as the artificial heart and artificial joint replacements
  • Rehabilitation engineers enhance the capabilities and improve the quality of life for people with physical and cognitive impairments through the design and development of prosthetics and technology
  • Orthopaedic engineers apply methods of engineering to understand the function of bones, joints and muscles to design artificial joint replacements
  • Neuroscience engineers research into the processes involved in brain functions and provide information for a number of psychiatric disorders
  • Clinical engineers specialise medical equipment technologies

How your career can develop

Engineering provides a host of exciting opportunities for inventive and driven professionals. There’s a high degree of job flexibility and often rapid progress on to creative, responsible and financially rewarding careers.

Why it matters?

At GMIT’s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, researchers have developed bio-simulators which can replicate different bodily functions and diseases, based on medical data. These are computer and medical simulations that allow scientists to develop better ways of treating illness and disease. 

Skills

  • Excellent measurement and analysis skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Design skills
  • Ability to empathise with patient
  • An analytical and enquiring mind
  • Strong maths skills
  • Excellent IT skills

Typical employers

  • Medical device developers and manufacturers
  • Government bodies and medical device regulatory bodies
  • Hospitals
  • Self employed as a consultant
  • Research centres

Typical salary 

Graduate/Starting      €30,000
Senior/Potential        €53,500+

Typical qualifications

A science or engineering degree is the usual entry point. The following degrees are the most common:

  • Biomedical
  • Applied science
  • Computation
  • Mathematics
  • Life/medical science 
  • Mechanical or chemical engineering

A postgraduate qualification can be beneficial – particularly for non-engineering graduates.

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a PLC qualification in a related course or general engineering certification or diploma. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search at Careersportal.ie

Future information