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Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering Right for You?

Biomedical Engineering is one of the most sought-after services in the world today. The modern world relies so much on technology that nearly every aspect of our lives incorporates the use of machines and other devices.

This article will explain much of what you need to know about studying Biomedical Engineering. You will know what it takes to succeed in the profession, know about some top institutions you can study at, and also see some scholarship opportunities for Biomedical Engineering.

What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical Engineering is a multi-disciplinary field that combines courses from biology and engineering to provide medical solutions in innovative and more effective ways. Its birth is a result of modern society which tends to invite technology into every aspect of living. The deployment to the healthcare of engineering principles with biological has radically augmented medical practices with some revolutionary life-saving concepts like artificial organs, surgical robots, advanced prosthetics, kidney dialysis, etc.

What Studying Biomedical Engineering Entails

What should you expect for studying Biomedical Engineering? It is a very broad field, and what to expect depends on the branch you are interested in master. In general, biomedical engineers fuse biological and engineering sciences to design and create medical equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in hospitals and other health facilities.

Biomedical engineering features laboratory and classroom-based courses in subjects like fluid and solid mechanics, computer programming, circuit design, biomaterials, and other biological science courses like physiology. There will also be substantial training in engineering design. You will likely go through co-ops or internships with hospitals, medical devices, and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, as part of practical experience during your study.

To study biomedical engineering, you are expected to possess the following qualities:

  • Analytical Skills: As an aspiring biomedical engineer, you must be able to analyze the needs of patients and customers to design an appropriate solution. That means you must develop good analytical skills.
  • Communication Skills: Biomedical engineers frequently work with patients or in a team, as such, you should be able to clearly express yourself. You must be open to ideas of others and integrate such ideas into the biomedical engineering processes.
  • Creativity: A prospective biomedical engineer must be creative to be able to come up with innovative and integrative advances in healthcare equipment, devices and methodologies.
  • Math Skills: Biomedical engineers use the fundamentals of calculus and other advanced mathematical concepts in subjects like statistics in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot their work.
  • Problem-solving skills: you will be dealing sometimes with complex biological systems, and so you need some sharp abilities with solving problems.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering?

As a biomedical engineer, there are a lot of industries you can work in. A biomedical engineer has a lot of opportunities, particularly in developed countries. In 2018, biomedical engineers held some 19,800 jobs in the U.S alone, and is expected to grow by 4% 5o 2028. In the United States, the largest employers of biomedical engineers in 2018 were hierarchically as follows:

  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences
  • Educational institutions
  • Navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control instruments manufacturing
  • Healthcare and social assistance

Typically, biomedical engineers work in a team with scientists, healthcare personnel and engineers. The work on different kinds of projects, and they take on different roles. Where and how they work mainly depends on the project. For example, a biomedical engineer who invents a device to help patients walk (probably after an accident, or some major medical operation) may have to spend time in a hospital to oversee the effectiveness of that device. During the course of supervising the use of that device, the engineer can discover ways to improve the device, then return to the manufacturer with suggestions on altering the production process to improve the design.

As a biomedical engineer, expect to work full-time, but in some cases, the engineer may have to work extra hours to meet the demand of patients, managers, colleagues, and clients. There are biomedical engineers who work 40 hours a week. This means higher pay for them.

The growth in employment for biomedical engineers is as a result of increasing possibilities brought by new technologies, and increasing applications to medical equipment and devices – for example, smartphone technology and three-dimensional printing are prominent examples of technologies being applied to biomedical practices.

The demand for biomedical devices and procedures will continue to increase as the baby-boomers live longer and stay active. For example, baby boomers are expected to buy more and more hip and knee replacements with time.

Biomedical engineers build electrical circuits, or software for managing multiple medical devices, or computer simulations for assessing new drugs. They also build artificial body parts like the hip and knee joints, and in some cases design materials or tools for replacing body parts. In addition to this, they also produce rehabilitation and exercise equipment.

The study of biomedical engineering is not limited to the aforementioned practices. It can span many professional fields. For example, some biomedical engineers draw from their knowledge of statistics and mathematics to develop models for studying signals transmitted by the brain or heart.

Biomedical engineers also work with scientists, medical researchers, and manufacturers to solve a wide range of injuries and physical disabilities. Their ability to work in an ever-increasing number of fields is widening the range of applications for biomedical engineering methods, products, and services.

Specialty Areas In Biomedical Engineering

  • Bioinstrumentation: this field of biomedical engineering uses electronics, computer science, and measurement principles to build instruments for diagnosing and treating medical problems.
  • Biomaterials: this involves the study of naturally occurring or man-made materials used in medical devices or as implantation materials.
  • Biomechanics: it involves the study of mechanics like, thermodynamics, to treat medical conditions.
  • Clinical engineering: it is another branch of biomedical engineering that applies medical technology to improve healthcare delivery.
  • Rehabilitation engineering: in this course, students study engineering and computer sciences to build devices that support patients recovering from or adapting to physical and cognitive impairments.
  • Systems Physiology: in this branch of biomedical engineering, students use engineering tools to understand how systems within living organisms function and respond to changes within their environment. This can include any living organisms, from bacteria to humans.

Major Courses of Study to Become a Biomedical Engineer

To study biomedical engineering, you are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant engineering field, like bioengineering. Some positions may require a graduate degree. It will be good if you have a bachelor’s degree in engineering fields like mechanical and electrical engineering. All you will be subjected to will be some biological science courses, augmented by some engineering subjects.

If you are an undergraduate and want to study biomedical engineering, it is best to have a sound understanding of science subjects like chemistry, physics, biology, and math. Be comfortable with mathematical concepts like algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. Mechanical drawing and computer programming are also helpful.

With some branches of biomedical engineering, you may have to attend dental or medical schools to specialize in various techniques or topical areas like using electric impulses to get muscles moving again. Some biomedical engineers earn law degrees to work with patent attorneys, or master’s degrees to work in managerial positions, etc. Biomedical engineers typically receive greater responsibility through experience and more education. Some will basic research to become medical scientists.

Top 10 Best Universities for Biomedical Engineering

INSTITUTIONDESTINATIONRANKING (US NEWS)2ND RANKING (US NEWS)
Johns Hopkins University (Whiting)Baltimore, MD#1 in Biomedical Engineering#17 in Best Engineering schools
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA#1 in Biomedical Engineering#1 in Best Engineering Schools
Duke University (Pratt)Durham, NC#3 In Biomedical Engineering#24 In Best Engineering Schools
Emory University-Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta, Georgia#3 In Biomedical EngineeringUnranked In Best Engineering Schools
Stanford UniversityStanford, CA#5 In Biomedical Engineering#2 In Best Engineering Schools
University of California–BerkeleyBerkeley, CA#5 In Biomedical Engineering#3 In Best Engineering Schools
University of California–San Diego (Jacobs)La Jolla, CA#5 In Biomedical Engineering#11 In Best Engineering Schools
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA#5 In Biomedical Engineering#17 In Best Engineering Schools
Boston UniversityBoston, MA#9 In Biomedical Engineering#36 In Best Engineering Schools
Columbia University (Fu Foundation)New York, NY#10 In Biomedical Engineering#11 In Best Engineering Schools
Best universities for biomedical engineering & their ranking

Top 10 Biomedical Engineering Jobs

  1. Research Assistant: As a research assistant you can work in a social science laboratory setting on some particular research agenda.
  2. Volunteer: You can provide social and human services like support for families during rehabilitation, social work, or with psycho problems.
  3. Engineering Internship: You will help engineers plan, design and build highways, bridges and other infrastructure. This can extend to residential and land development projects.
  4. Research Internship: You can work as a market research analyst.
  5. Teaching Assistant: This entails supporting learning activities in schools and nurseries
  6. Research Associate: As a research associate, you will plan, organize, and execute research in a number of fields relevant to what you studied.
  7. Biomedical Engineer: You can work different bodies to design and create medical equipment, devices and software for healthcare systems.
  8. Researcher: This entails working as a medical scientist to conduct research aimed at improving health.
  9. Laboratory Assistant: You can work in a lab to collect samples and analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.
  10. Research Fellow: Work with other scientists to conduct health-related research.

Top 10 Scholarships for Biomedical Engineering

It is possible to study Biomedical Engineering without having to fund it yourself. There are scholarships that can give you partial or full funding, and you should definitely try them even if you can fund your education. Here, we present a list of just ten of such scholarships. There are more.

  1. Australia Awards Scholarships for International Students: the scholarship is fully funded and is only for study at Australian universities. Application is open and closes in less than two months. It a fully-funded scholarship for master’s in any subject.
  2. Orange Knowledge Programme Netherlands: it is a full-funded scholarship for Netherland universities in all subjects.
  3. Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Program USA: this is another fully-funded Masters and PhD. scholarship program for U.S universities.
  4. New Zealand Scholarships for international students: another fully-funded scholarship for certain universities in New Zealand for international students from the Commonwealth Countries and other regions. It is open for Bachelor’s and other degrees.
  5. Heinrich Boll Foundation Scholarships: another fully-funded scholarship for Masters and PhD students in any subject. Germany is the study destination.
  6. University of Twente, 50 Master Scholarships in the Netherlands: this scholarship is for studies in Netherlands and only open to Master’s students.
  7. British Chevening Scholarships for International Students: with this fully-funded scholarship, you can study in the UK for postgraduate degrees in any subject.
  8. University of Dundee Scotland Welcomes India Scholarship, UK: this scholarship is partially-funded. It is meant only for study of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Dundee in the U.K.
  9. Postgraduate Taught Aviva Scholarship at University of Dundee in UK: this another university of Dundee scholarship in the UK for different courses in postgraduate degrees.
  10. The Alumni Scholarship at University of Dundee: it is a postgraduate scholarship for University of Dundee. International students are welcome to apply whenever the scholarship application begins.

Benefits of Getting a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering

As a biomedical engineer, you will be at the heart of medical breakthroughs. You will be helping humanity overcome health challenges while getting paid to do so. A degree in biomedical engineering opens up a lot of opportunities to work within your country or abroad. Most jobs for a Biomedical Engineer are high-paying jobs. Most Biomedical Engineers are constantly expanding knowledge due to the constant-research nature of their profession.

Lastly, It is obvious that Biomedical Engineering is one of the best courses anyone can study. With wide employment and scholarship opportunity, it is one of such courses that underprivileged international students should consider studying, particularly those interested in medical courses. The field is broad and complex and will offer lifelong benefits even after retirement. It is actually a professional course.

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