Zero Order

What is Bioengineering?

Posted in Uncategorized by Amy Ross on June 1, 2010

Typical conversation had with someone outside STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) academia:

Them: What do you do?

Me: I’m a graduate student in bioengineering

Them: Bio-wha?

Not a lot of people are familiar with the field. So here’s an introduction.

Though it sounds a bit “duh”, bioengineering can best be described as the intersection between biology, medicine, and engineering. There’s a wide variety of things we do:

-Design, testing and maintenance of medical devices

-Design and implementation of medical implants

-Development of biological treatments for illness and injury (e.g., tissue engineering)

-Development of imaging systems

-Review and evaluation of medical devices and biologicals

-Genome analysis (this falls under the subspecialty of bioinformatics)

I chose bioengineering because I was interested in working in the health care field in an area without direct patient contact. Perhaps the most unique thing about BioE is that it is highly collaborative. My classmates are doing research in a variety of departments on campus, from Chemistry to Surgery to Mechanical Engineering. I’m excited because it’s a young field with a variety of opportunities.

For more information, check out the Biomedical Engineering Society’s FAQ about the field.


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