A biomedical engineer applies scientific and engineering principles to assist medical staff in the development of advanced health care technology. Ireland is now a global centre for the medical devices industry so this is a perfect time to consider a career as a biomedical engineer.
Alternative job titles for this role
- Clinical engineer
- Orthopaedic engineer
- Rehabilitation engineer
- Biomechanical engineer
- Biomaterials 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 fusion 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. Biomedical engineering is key in the development and recreation of artificial organs, limbs and skin. The biomedical engineer will work with healthcare professionals including physicians, doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians.
What the job involves
- Research biomedical problems at the microscopic level to understand disease processes
- Specialists in biomaterials research and 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 assistive 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 cognitive functions and provide objective diagnostic information for a number of psychiatric disorders
- Clinical engineers specialise in the application life cycle of medical equipment technologies, from their input and application management to decommissioning and disposal
How your career can develop
Engineering provides a host of exciting opportunities for enterprising and driven professionals. There’s a high degree of job flexibility and often rapid progress on to creative, responsible and financially rewarding careers.
Why biomedical engineering 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, essentially, experimental computer and medical simulations that allow scientists to develop better ways of treating illness and disease.
- Excellent measurement and analysis skills
- Keen attention to detail
- Design skills
- Ability to empathise with patient
- An analytical and enquiring mind
- Strong maths skills
- Excellent IT skills
- Medical device developers and manufacturers
- Government bodies and medical device regulatory bodies
- Self employed as a consultant
- Research centres
- Graduate/Starting €30,000
- Senior/Potential €53,500+
A science or engineering degree is the usual entry point. The following degrees are the most common:
- Applied science
- Life/medical science
- Mechanical or chemical engineering
A postgraduate qualification can be beneficial – particularly for non-engineering graduates.
Engineers Ireland provides listings of accredited programmes in the Republic of Ireland which meet educational standards for their registered titles.