Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Occupation Details

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Engineer - Biomedical

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€24k > 80 
Engineer - Biomedical
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€24 - 80 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
SOLAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Develops devices and procedures that solve medical and health-related problems by combining their knowledge of biology and medicine with engineering principles and practices.


The Work header image

As a biomedical engineer you can work for:

  • Industry - innovating and creating designs for new technologies or testing of new technologies for safety and performance.
  • Government - product testing and establishing safety standards for medical devices.
  • Hospitals - providing advice on the selection and application of medical equipment, as well as supervising its performance testing and maintenance, building customised devices for special health care or research needs.
  • Consultancy - providing technical advise for marketing departments of companies.
  • Research Centres - supervising laboratories and equipment, and participating in direct research activities in collaboration with other researchers with such backgrounds as medicine, physiology, and nursing.

Biomedical engineers combine their knowledge of engineering and medical problems to design, develop, test and maintain equipment for the medical profession. Their work is crucial to modern medical practice, which relies on highly sophisticated equipment such as X-ray machines, anaesthetic equipment, automated blood testing machines and machines that can take over the function of the heart, lungs and kidneys.  
 
Biomedical engineers may be involved in health care delivery, working with patients alongside their clinical colleagues. Some biomedical engineers work in large departments that cover a range of medical physics activities, while others are part of small rehabilitation teams that include doctors, nurses, and therapists to design instruments and introduce new technical procedures.  
 
Research is essential to biomedical engineering. For example, biomedical engineers may work on prosthetic devices (artificial limbs, joints and implants).  
 
Biomedical engineers have developed an understanding of human anatomy, so they know how limbs work and what enables them to move. They also research the materials used to make the prosthetic devices, looking for the most durable and comfortable materials possible. Research and development may take place in hospitals while construction takes place in manufacturing companies.  

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Conduct research, along with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists, on the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals.

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Design and develop medical diagnostic and clinical instrumentation, equipment, and procedures, using the principles of engineering and biobehavioral sciences.

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Teach biomedical engineering or disseminate knowledge about field through writing or consulting.

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Research new materials to be used for products, such as implanted artificial organs.

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Develop models or computer simulations of human biobehavioral systems to obtain data for measuring or controlling life processes.

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Adapt or design computer hardware or software for medical science uses.

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Diagnose and interpret bioelectric data, using signal processing techniques.

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Design and deliver technology to assist people with disabilities.

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Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment.

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Manage team of engineers by creating schedules, tracking inventory, creating and using budgets, and overseeing contract obligations and deadlines.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others:  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Biology:  Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Physics:  Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Operations Analysis:   Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You must have strong engineering skills combined and the ability to develop knowledge of medical problems. You must enjoy solving these problems, using a combination of logic and creativity. This is a vital, fast-moving area, so you must have commitment, perseverance and the willingness to keep at the forefront of advancing technology.  
 
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are needed to work as part of a team, for example, with doctors, nurse and therapists.  
 
Biomedical engineers need strong organisational skills to plan their own and other people's work, and to co-ordinate resources.


Entry Routesheader image

Education in the areas of both medicine, and engineering are necessary for those aiming to work in this area. Engineering principles are used to understand and control biological systems and therefore also require a working knowledge of physiology, anatomy and life sciences.  
 
Biomedical engineers typically complete an appropriate engineering degree, but graduates also come from backgrounds in Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Biomedical Science, Materials Science and Physics.

Graduates may go on to join a manufacturers' Graduate Training Scheme, which offers structured training and learning in a specific field.

Last Updated: October, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Biomedical Engineer - from:  YouTube Video
Go..Biomedical engineer - from:  GradIreland
Go..Biomedical Engineer - from:  STEPS

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: BioPharmaChem Ireland
  Address: 84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 6051500
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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