Bio Engineering

General Overview

Bio-engineering is quite similar to biomedical engineering. It involves the application of biological concepts to solve life science problems using engineering methodology. The field looks at the design, analysis, application and processes using biological theories to solve analytic and synthetic life science engineering problems. Biological engineering uses molecular biology to study and advance applications of organisms and to create biotechnology. Such applications include the creation of artificial organs, genetically modified organisms and modifying human health through engineering means.

 

Bio engineering is a very technical subject and requires a comprehensive understanding of many fields of not just engineering, but science in general and really understanding detailed biology, physics, chemistry and applied mathematics to be able to research and develop new bio technological advances. This requires a very efficient and detailed level of problem solving where the end goal sometimes cannot be seen from the initial research.

 

Bio research being undertaken utilising a test tube in a clean environment for accurate results. Source: www.the-scientistcom

Bio engineering is one of the youngest fields of engineering and has been developed through understanding how engineering principles and technologies can be applied to living organisms. Bio engineering differentiates itself from conventional engineering and biology fields through understanding not only the problem and solution but methods of physical construction and detailed processes to get from the start to the end of a specifically researched issue within the field of biology. Today popular areas of research still include biomedical devices along with biomaterials and genetic engineering. Cancer nanotherapy, robot surgeons and bionic contact lenses are only some examples of new projects being worked on today.

Required Knowledge

Skills and Expertise

  • Detailed, first principles knowledge of physics, applied mathematics, engineering (multi-field), biology and chemistry

  • Understanding of living systems from a biological and physics perspective

  • Problem solving and creative thinking

  • Ability to understand an engineering solution for a biological issue.

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Software Understanding

  • Bioinformatics software (Blast, Bowtie, Clustal) - used for understanding biological data.

  • CAD packages (E.g. CATIA, Solidworks, Autocad, Inventor, PTC Creo)

  • Word processing, spreadsheets and presentations (E.g. MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint; Google Docs, Sheets and Slides)

  • Project Management Software (E.g. Microsoft Project)

Example Jobs
  • Design Engineer

  • Research and Development Engineer

  • Process Engineer

  • Prototype Technician

Institutions

UK: Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Biomedical Engineering Division (BmED), The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)

USA: Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE)

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