Biomedical engineers bring together the disciplines of engineering and biomedical science and the principles of biomechanics to create technologies for biomedical science. Biomedical engineers need extensive education and also a wide array of skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for biomedical engineers are expected to increase by 72 percent from 2008 to 2018, a rate nearly 6.5 times the rate for the engineering profession as a whole.
Math and Science Skills
At the core of the biomedical engineer's skill set are math and science skills. Much of the work by engineers involves using the principles of math to create designs and using the scientific method to ensure the design is usable in biomedical research or in the treatment of patients. Math and science are important for both design and verification purposes.
Even though many biomedical engineers work in laboratory settings from time to time, not all of the work they conduct is isolated. Many biomedical engineers work as a part of a team and collaborate on various parts of a project. They must have effective interpersonal communication skills. They may also have to communicate their research and findings to those in charge of making the decision to move forward with production. Effective presentation skills are necessary.
Aside from the necessary scientific research skills to verify the results of experiments, biomedical engineers conduct other research to determine the applicability and viability of their designs before moving forward with further testing. For example, biomedical engineers involved in the development of artificial organs first needed to research legal and economic issues related to the development of such technologies. Biomedical engineers need good reading comprehension and writing skills to document their findings.
Biomedical engineers need proficiency in computers and other computer technologies. Biomedical engineers use scientific and analytic software such as Wolfram Research Mathematica, SNOINO Ttree and Stratasys FDM MedModeler. They also have knowledge of computer-aided design software and medical software such as electromyograph analysis software, virtual instrument software, gait analysis software and medical information software. Other types of software used by biomedical engineers include development environment software and requirements analysis and system architecture software.
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