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What technical skills should I learn to improve my career as a biomedical engineer?

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David’s Answer

For this field of study you will need a strong background in biology and engineering. That may sound obvious but in my case I had my undergrad in Biology and did post grad work in engineering, in particular electrical engineering, in preparation for grad school. I was accepted to the University of Texas graduate school of Biomedical Engineering but at the last minute decided not to pursue further study.

I can speak to what prepared me for the graduate program and it was my undergrad in biology and 2 semesters post grad in basic engineering that got me into the biomed lab to work with a doctoral candidate and a master’s student to help build an electronic shutter to control an NdYAG yellow-green laser which was being researched for use in treatment of bleeding ulcers.

Every bit of my degree and the post grad work came to bear in these tasks. I’d have been better off with a BS in biology instead of a BA but that is a story for another time.

I have read about biomedical engineers who were medical doctors first and later left to pursue the design, manufacture and use of such devices in the health care sector. Sure can’t hurt to have the medical knowledge too!

Study, study, study. There are no shortcuts in this highly technical field.
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Husseina’s Answer

Engineering is a vast industry with many facets and areas specialize in. Below are the tops skillset:
1. Up to date technical knowledge

Technical knowledge and skills are the main skillset recruiters are looking for. It’s important to have the right educational background to set yourself on the right path, but it’s also important to show how far you’ve come since leaving education.
Stay at the top of your game by reading industry news, blogs and articles. Consider getting certified in new areas and technologies whenever relevant.

2. Communication

Although the bare bones of engineering often happen individually at a desk or computer, these projects always start and end with human discussion. It’s vital to be able to communicate and listen in order to ensure that the project is a success and any issues can be resolved quickly.

3. Leadership

Businesses want to know that you aren’t just there for a free ride. That when the going gets tough you are able to step up. Businesses want to hire people who want to be there and want to work their way up and add value to their organisation, leadership is a key quality in the modern world of engineering.

4. Interpersonal

Similarly to the last two skills, the ability to bring people together and influence, is of the utmost importance for the modern engineer. Collaboration and teamwork is a key part of many projects and the ability to build rapport in a team can guarantee the success or failure of many projects.

5. Critical reasoning

Using the knowledge you’ve acquired throughout education and your career means that you should have the core understanding needed to see the wood from the trees. Being critical allows you to realise where the value is in a piece of work and evaluate which points are crucial.

6. Creativity

The ability to creatively solve problems is key in any profession, engineering is no different. When problems arise and the most obvious solution isn’t possible it’s crucial to be able to solve the task in front of you in whatever way you can.

7. Innovation

There will always be a demand to keep making things better, faster or stronger. The very nature of engineering means that engineers are the people who need to deliver this day-in-day-out. Having the desire to innovate and solve problems should be a key skill that engineers strive for.

8. Enthusiasm

If you want to work as an engineer, show how much you want it. Having the desire to get up and go is crucial. Showing enthusiasm is a great skill that will help accelerate you in your career.

9. Attention to Detail

Being an engineer, accuracy and precision are both vital attributes. In this industry, mistakes can be costly as even the smallest miscalculation can have profound effects. Failure to pay attention to the small stuff can result in huge consequences when it comes to incurring costs or even health and safety.

10. Resilience

Finally, resilience is a great skill in any walk of life. The nature of an engineer means that you can be on call 24 hours a day which can be tough. Even in jobs where you don’t find yourself on call they can be equally as demanding in other ways. It’s important to demonstrate that you won’t fall at the first hurdle and can keep going throughout tough times.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Benni
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Yatendra’s Answer

I have done diploma in Radiology. Now I am working in domain utilizing my advance forecasting skills in analytics. So I think i can answer this question. Before answering your question.Let me just give you a glimpse on it.
It is a combination of Human Biology and Engineering. Now first thing is you should have a comprehensive knowledge of medical field as well as few subjects of engineering. The point is one should reach to a level where in he should utilize advance knowledge of mechanics and design to create something which would help in solving human physical problems. Ex devices like pacemaker for heart, coils for heart and brain nerves(used when nerves are blocked), prosthesis(artificial devices). All of these were created keeping in mind it would have minimum reaction on body(as human body is very sensitive to foreign things) and with maximum lifetime (as it would not be easy to change it everytime). Also while treatment there should be minimum harm to body. All of these were designed by biomedical engineers. So in layman's term you should be a medical grad and engineer both.
Coming to your question, there is not any specific technical skill which you can say that you can learn this to become biomedical engineer. I would say any technical skill would only contribute to merely 10-15% overall while doing the real job. Its like you should have your basic fundamentals clear and have thorough understanding of the concepts of medical and engineering. Which you would implement to develop something new or bring improvement in the existing technology. Its kind of more into research based domain.
Thank You
Best of luck for your career !!!!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello CVOH,

Biomedical Engineering Career Advancement: Technical Skills

In the field of biomedical engineering, acquiring and honing specific technical skills can significantly enhance your career prospects and open up new opportunities for professional growth. Here are some key technical skills that you should consider learning to improve your career as a biomedical engineer:

1. Proficiency in Medical Imaging Technologies: Understanding and being proficient in various medical imaging technologies such as MRI, CT scans, ultrasound, and X-rays is crucial for biomedical engineers. These skills are essential for developing and improving medical imaging devices and techniques used in diagnosis and treatment.

2. Knowledge of Biomaterials: Having a strong foundation in biomaterials is essential for biomedical engineers as they work on developing medical devices, implants, and artificial organs. Understanding the properties, behavior, and compatibility of different biomaterials is vital for designing safe and effective medical products.

3. Expertise in Biomechanics: Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical aspects of biological systems. Biomedical engineers with expertise in biomechanics can design prosthetic limbs, orthopedic implants, and other devices that interact with the human body. Knowledge of biomechanics is crucial for creating devices that are both functional and biocompatible.

4. Programming Skills: Proficiency in programming languages such as MATLAB, Python, or C++ can be highly beneficial for biomedical engineers. These skills are essential for data analysis, modeling biological systems, developing software for medical devices, and conducting simulations.

5. Understanding of Regulatory Requirements: Knowledge of regulatory requirements and standards in the healthcare industry is essential for biomedical engineers involved in developing medical devices. Understanding regulations such as FDA guidelines ensures that products meet safety and quality standards.

6. Experience with 3D Printing: With the increasing use of 3D printing in the medical field, having experience with this technology can be advantageous for biomedical engineers. Being able to design and create prototypes or custom implants using 3D printing can set you apart in the industry.

7. Signal Processing Skills: Signal processing plays a crucial role in analyzing physiological data from various medical devices such as ECG machines, EEG monitors, and more. Proficiency in signal processing techniques is valuable for interpreting and extracting meaningful information from complex biological signals.

8. Knowledge of Biomedical Instrumentation: Understanding biomedical instrumentation is essential for designing, testing, and maintaining medical devices used in healthcare settings. Familiarity with sensors, actuators, data acquisition systems, and signal processing units is important for biomedical engineers working on medical equipment.

By acquiring these technical skills and continuously updating your knowledge in these areas, you can enhance your career prospects as a biomedical engineer and stay competitive in this rapidly evolving field.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB): The NIBIB is a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that focuses on advancing biomedical imaging and bioengineering research. Their publications and resources provide valuable insights into the latest developments in the field.

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES): The BMES is a professional society dedicated to promoting and enhancing biomedical engineering education and research. Their website offers resources, publications, and information on best practices in the field.

IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBS): The EMBS is a society within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that focuses on applying engineering principles to medicine and biology. Their publications cover a wide range of topics related to biomedical engineering technical skills and advancements.

These sources were instrumental in providing accurate and up-to-date information on the technical skills necessary for career advancement in biomedical engineering.

James Constantine.