Biomedical engineer

What they do

Biomedical engineers work with medical professionals to investigate, research and design ways to improve health care and medical services. They apply scientific and engineering knowledge and methods to find solutions to problems in the treatment and prevention of human disease.

Biomedical engineers work with doctors and medical scientists to research new medical technology; develop and improve medical equipment, such as dialysis machines, or robotic surgical equipment; or design or modify rehabilitation equipment that may improve the quality of life for people living with a disability.

Working conditions

Biomedical engineers usually work for hospitals, and may be required to travel between hospitals to manage and maintain medical equipment. They may be required to work shiftwork, including weekends and public holidays. They may be required to be on-call in case of an emergency.

Biomedical engineers may also work for laboratories, research facilities, universities or manufacturing companies.

Tools and technologies

Biomedical engineers may use computer-aided design (CAD) software, microcomputers and lasers to design and improve medical research equipment. They may also work with materials such as electronic components and biocompatible plastics and metals to build prosthetics and implantable mechanical medical aides such as pacemakers, insulin pumps, and artificial joints and limbs.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a biomedical engineer, you usually need to study a degree in engineering, with a major in biomedical engineering.

The University of Western Australia offers the only biomedical engineering degree in Western Australia. Students complete a bachelor’s degree with a major in engineering science followed by a Master of Professional Engineering, with a biomedical specialisation. You can also complete undergraduate courses interstate. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.