Biomedical engineering careers

A laboratory technician working with engineering equipment

A biomedical engineering career: human health & design

Biomedical engineers work in varied areas across industry, hospitals, government, universities and research institutes. Through their main area of expertise in engineering and biology, their work can involve lab research, designing and building medical equipment, testing new systems and processes or sales and marketing.

To become a biomedical engineer, you need good theoretical and practical knowledge of engineering, a sound understanding in medical sciences and the ability to combine the two.

Is biomedical engineering right for me?

Biomedical engineers have an aptitude for design and a passion for healthcare. They look at a medical problem, analyse these problems in engineering terms and work to find a solution. If a body part is broken, a biomedical engineer will try to build a replacement by using ‘smart technologies’ to integrate it into the natural body systems.

The cochlear implant is one of the best examples of biomedical engineering, manufactured right here in Sydney, Australia. The device helps people with hearing loss, an ailment which affects about 1.1 billion people. UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering has long been involved in conducting research to improve the cochlear implant, particularly the interface between the electrodes and neurons. UNSW’s biomedical engineers also continue to be involved in a project to develop an implantable bionic eye. The revolutionary work could potentially restore sight to thousands of people with retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.

It’s not all about building robots

Biomedical Engineers often work as part of a team that creates or maintains a procedure or system aiding in healthcare. This can include installing, repairing and monitoring biomedical equipment, evaluating and developing better ways of conducting surgery and experimenting with new ways of delivering drugs.

Biomedical engineering specialisations

  • Bioinstrumentation and bionics
  • Biomechanics
  • Clinical engineering
  • Rehabilitation engineering
  • Systems physiology
  • Cell and tissue engineering
  • Medical imaging technologies
  • Soft robotics

Studying Biomedical Engineering at UNSW

An aptitude for mathematics and physics will help your study of Biomedical Engineering. If you’re a natural problem solver and bore your friends by explaining how things work in detail, that’s a good sign too.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Master of Biomedical Engineering is a double degree designed for undergraduate students wishing to pursue a career in engineering or biomedical engineering. The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) will provide you with a solid background in mathematics, natural sciences and computing which give you knowledge and skills in whichever engineering discipline specialisation you choose.

Biomedical engineering applies engineering principles to the development of technologies and solutions in a range of healthcare-related fields, including:

  • Implantable bionics
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Medical imaging
  • Radiotherapy
  • Orthopaedic devices
  • Robotic surgery
  • Cell and tissue engineering
  • Physical rehabilitation

Our double degree provides fundamental engineering skills with an undergraduate focus on an engineering discipline and specialist postgraduate level training in Biomedical Engineering. At the end of the program, successful candidates will graduate with a Bachelor in Engineering (Honours) and a Master of Biomedical Engineering.

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