The world of biomedical engineering is a cutting-edge career path that applies engineering principles to medicine, the human body, and the way that biology works to create life. In our discussion with Amy Patel, a young bioengineer in the pharmaceutical industry, we learn what led to her interest in becoming a biomedical engineer. She also answers our question of “what do biomedical engineers do?”
Becoming a Biomedical Engineer to Better Society
When deciding on bioengineering as a profession, Amy says most people are aiming to help the betterment of mankind through their work. She tells us she chose this profession because “you can really feel like you are making a difference in the world.” Whether it be through helping veterans by providing artificial limbs, or generating organs for those in need of a transplant, careers in biomedical engineering have incredible direct-to-consumer impact. Furthermore, Amy defines bioengineering as a limitless industry. “We’re just scratching the surface of it. And being a part of it you could really help people later on in your life as technologies.”
Know Your Strengths
Bioengineering careers provide diverse subfields in which one can choose to focus. Biomedical engineering deals with things like the creation of synthetic drugs, stem cell research, tissue engineering, and finding cures to diseases like Alzheimer’s. You can also explore specializations like nanotechnology (Amy calls this the study of “really, really tiny particles of fluid motions”) or more traditional areas of engineering that pertain to quality, reliability, and safety. Amy, who works as a reliability engineer at a company that makes drugs for people with chronic illness and life-long diseases, says she helps to “make sure all the machines creating those drugs are working properly.” Her day can include everything from data analysis to participating in meetings and creating reports or recommendations. But, another person becoming a biomedical engineer might choose a focus on sales, research, or grant writing; so knowing where your strengths lie is the first step in exploring bioengineering careers.
Explore Your Options
If a research or lab work career does not excite you, Amy suggests looking into other areas of the bioengineering industry. She discusses how biomedical engineers are well suited for sales and/or marketing positions at pharmaceutical and medical companies because they have the background to explain the real-world application of a product. You can even work at a company like a major brand name brewing company because beer fermenting instruments are very similar to those involved in the pharmaceutical industry. Whether it be developing cures for asthma, providing new limbs to amputees, or selling state-of-the-art medical equipment, there is a bioengineering career for you.