Biomedical engineers apply engineering and scientific methods to find solutions to problems in medicine and the life sciences.
To become a biomedical engineer you usually have to complete an engineering degree at university with a major in biomedical engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in engineering with a major in biomedical engineering. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Biomedical engineers may perform the following tasks:
Biomedical engineers work in health care and must have a good theoretical and practical knowledge of engineering, a sound understanding of medical sciences and the ability to combine the two. Biomedical engineers usually work in multidisciplinary teams with other professionals, including anaesthetists, surgeons, physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists and other medical specialists.
Most biomedical engineers are employed in public hospital-based engineering departments, by medical equipment vendors or by third-party service organisations. Some may be employed by firms involved in the development of medical devices and instruments and in the development or transfer of medical services technology. Biomedical engineers may also be employed in state and federal government departments and universities, and some are self-employed as consultants. Rehabilitation engineers are usually employed in rehabilitation centres.
A bio-engineer applies engineering principles to the study of biological systems and processes.
A clinical engineer works within a hospital or healthcare facility researching, developing and building instruments or specifying, tendering, commissioning and maintaining instruments and equipment to aid clinical staff.
A rehabilitation engineer deals with systems and devices that improve the quality of life of people with disability. Rehabilitation engineers complement the work of other healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists.