Creating biological solutions for the millions of problems out there is all in a day’s work for biotechnology engineers. Whether it’s medicine, agriculture, cell or seed technology, biotechnology engineering is the place where these solutions are dreamed up. As with most interesting careers, it’s extremely competitive but if you have a genuine passion for it, read on!
Using biology to cure diseases that threaten humans, prevent crops from perishing and saving species from debilitating illnesses is all part of the game for biotechnology engineers. Without these people, many of the world’s diseases would remain untreatable and our ridiculously easy access to fresh food would most certainly be curtailed, perhaps dramatically so. By discovering and applying new biotechnology products to the problems we face, these engineers help to make all of our lives better day-by-day.
Where and what do biotechnology engineers work on?
Huge pharmaceutical companies present the most opportunities for work; however, there are breweries, healthcare services, environmental departments and many other drug producers that require biotechnology engineers.
All occupations, however, are heavily focused on research and development. This involves exploring ways to improve current products and discovering new and even more progressive ones too. The biggest companies will often spend literally billions of pounds in the pursuit of creating a drug to solve a particular problem. University labs also invest heavily as they seek to solve some of the biggest problems we face.
Your aim as a biotechnology engineer is to harness biological systems as a way of producing new products. You’ll need to get into the nitty-gritty of how biological processes occur and find ways to adapt, alter, change and control how they function.
How do I get into biotechnology engineering?
So if biotechnology engineering sounds like the right thing for you, the question is: how do you get into it? Well the most common route is via university and studying a related subject, such as biology or biotechnology engineering.
That’s not exclusive though. You can opt to take an HND and pursue the work-based training route, or alternatively you can jump onto an apprenticeship. Either way, you’ll need to have a passion for science, particularly biology, as well as the patience and persistence to succeed. ‘Trial and error’ can often be the call of the day, so the ability to plough on is crucial.
Moreover, this subsector isn’t strictly reserved for engineers. Technicians, operatives and managers are required to ensure that the research and engineering departments of huge pharmaceutical companies or university laboratories are running smoothly and efficiently.
Fancy coming up with highly technical and innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems? See yourself as curing cancer someday?! If so, then get applying for a few biotechnology engineering jobs to jumpstart your exciting career in this industry!