"Natural species are the library from which genetic engineering can work. Genetic engineers don't make new genes, they rearrange exisiting ones." -Thomas E. Lovejoy

The developments of science and technology in the 20th and 21st century have changed the world forever.

We simply cannot return to the things behind since we have sent rockets into space, developed telescopes that have found galaxies far away, created ways to communicate with people who are living on the other side of the world using electronic devices and found effective ways to treat ailments using modern technology.

Biological engineering or bioengineering is an academic discipline frequently used today that has changed many aspects of modern society. Bioengineering is the utilisation of biological systems such as animals, microbes, and plants to create usable and economically viable products.

Superprof has the goal today of showing interested students with a scientific mind a basic description of biological engineering, the best reasons to study biological engineering, the most highly recommended universities in the UK to study bioengineering, and the potential work opportunities for those who have studied bioengineering.

Buckle your seatbelt and prepare for a wild ride through the world of bioengineering!

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Thoroughly Understanding Biological Engineering

the best experiments
Biological engineering is on the rise to find solutions to many of the world's problems. (Source: pixabay)

If you're like me, you were confused the first time you heard the words biological engineering or bioengineering. Therefore, to enlighten those who are still unsure of its definition, we will briefly analyse the concepts of biological engineering and the daily work tasks of a biological engineer.

Bioengineering is an important interdisciplinary that applies engineering principles of design and the analysis of biological systems and biomedical technologies. 

Still confused? I don't blame you, bioengineering is a tough cookie to crack. However, reviewing examples of devices created by bioengineering such as bacteria engineered to produce chemicals, medical imaging technology, disease diagnostic devices, and tissue engineered organs aid individuals to understand that bioengineering uses the best parts of engineering and biology to create something useful.

Students of bioengineering become trained in the fundamentals of biology and engineering and further their academic skills in computer science, materials science, chemistry, and biology. 

Biological engineers may complete diverse job tasks from day to day making work varied and intriguing. Bioengineers may also be widely known in different sectors as biomedical engineers, scientists, clinical engineers, or design engineers and they accomplish the following tasks in their work:

  • Use computer software to design, develop, and test new materials, devices and equipment,
  • Conduct research to solve clinical problems,
  • Work closely with other medical professionals such as doctors and therapists,
  • Write reports about their research or observations,
  • Attend seminars to keep up to date on the newest technological advancements,
  • Arranging clinical trials of new medical products and medical devices.

Biological engineering may take place in an office, a laboratory, a workshop, or a clinic and jobs are widely available across the UK in these settings especially in NHS trusts.

Biomedical imaging, nanotechnology, biomechanics, neuroengineering, tissue engineering, and essential ways to improve the human health are all part of the multidisciplinary subject of bioengineering. 

To become a successful biological engineer and ensure completion of all the required tasks, certain skills must be honed. The following are some of the best skills biological engineers must learn to acquire:

  • A passion for biology and engineering,
  • Excellent communication skills to share your findings with a wide variety of people,
  • Attention to detail,
  • Combination of technical knowledge and creativity,
  • Brilliant problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure.

If individuals working in biological engineering successfully acquire all of the previously mentioned skills they will ensure triumph in bioengineering and perhaps discover new technologies to make the world a better place.

To understand more about other types of biology, check out this link.

Why Study Biological Engineering

finding a job
Recent university grads possessing a degree in bioengineering are highly favoured among employment recruiters. (Source: pixabay)

For science enthusiasts who have either dreamed of becoming a scientist or want to be involved with innovative mechanical and electrical developments, a career in biological engineering should not be pushed aside. Biological engineering is on the rise and necessary to find solutions to many of the world's problems.

To encourage students who might want to pursue a career as a bioengineer, the following are some of the best reasons to study biological engineering:

  • Ensured employed: bioengineers are using their expertise to rapidly develop essential medical technology in many countries around the world. Since biological engineering is extremely important, individuals who possess a degree in this scientific field will never be without work and have the ability to choose the best job for them.
  • Make a difference: bioengineers have the possibility of making a difference in the lives of other people. As we previously mentioned biological engineering is on the rise to find solutions to the world's complex problems. For example, to meet the problem of an ageing population and low birth rate in many developed countries, bioengineers are best equipped to meet these issues and find solutions. The opportunity to be involved in creating life-saving technology is an incredible experience that is lived by many bioengineers.

The previously mentioned reasons are only two motives for learning more about biological engineering; there are plenty more that are worthy of consideration to convince persons toward a career in biological engineering.

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Best Academic Institutes to Study Biological Engineering in the UK

According to a recent study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to find the most educated countries in the world, the United Kingdom ranked fifth after Canada, Japan, Israel, and South Korea; the study was based on how many adults from the ages of 25-64 have received a two-year degree, four-year degree, or valid education through a vocational programme.

This informative study demonstrates that citizens of the UK are actively interested in their academic studies and professional development. 

Many further education centres such as the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and the Imperial College London have been ranked as the best universities in the world. Therefore, without further ado, the following are some of the best academic institutes in the UK to study bioengineering:

  • University of Sheffield: located some miles east of Manchester in the town of Sheffield, the University of Sheffield offers fantastic programmes in bioengineering for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), by attending bioengineering classes and lectures at this qualified university future bioengineers learn more about how to prevent invasive surgery, to innovate hi-tech health devices, and enhance artificial organs to become more functional. Visit their interactive website to read testimonials from current students, to learn more about the courses offered, to review the world-class research conducted, and all the basics of your future career.
  • Loughborough University: a highly recommended university offering a wide variety of bioengineering courses. All of the biological engineering programmes are taught by qualified experts supported by world-class facilities. Students at this university have the possibility to go on professional placement or study abroad for a year at an international university specialising in bioengineering. Loughborough is constantly investing money to have state-of-the-art facilities for students; for example, they have recently invested £17 million in their STEMLab facilities to encourage innovation and improve the learning experience for bioengineering students. Check out their website to acquire more essential information before admission at this school of engineering.

The previously mentioned options are only two of the many UK-based universities offering biological engineering courses. For example, famed schools such as King's College in London, the University of Liverpool, and the University of Cardiff offer appealing biomedical engineering courses to interested students with the correct qualifications.

For other further education programmes about biology check out Superprof's informative articles about forensic biology, wildlife biology, and the basics of microbiology.

Work Opportunities For Those Who Have Studied Biological Engineering

working together as a team
Bioengineers need to work well with other members of the team to have unity and successfully develop new technologies; teamwork is an essential skill to possess in the workplace. (Source: pixabay)

Employers love to hire candidates who possess university degrees since further education helps undergraduate and postgraduate students hone essential skills that are warmly welcomed in any profession or sector.

Recent graduates possessing a degree in bioengineering or biomedical engineering are hot commodities that definitely won't spend much time looking for a job. 

In the sector of science and engineering, biological engineers have the possibility of working in three main areas: industry, the NHS, and research. In these three areas, typical employers may include hospital trusts, medical equipment manufacturers, university research departments, research units, and health charities.

It is important to state that the most common jobs accepted by degree holders in biological engineering are a bioengineering researcher, a rehabilitation engineer, or a clinical engineer.

Even though the majority of jobs available to those who have a bioengineering degree are in the biological sciences, recent grads may accept work in other professional sectors such as education, business, and design.

In conclusion, dedicating three or four years of your life to study bioengineering is a brilliant decision for those who have a passion for the scientific discipline of biology and engineering. Developing new technologies as a biomedical engineer that may save thousands or even millions of lives brings no greater satisfaction.

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