Thursday, October 28, 2010

Biomedical Engineering Professionals Get Their Start at Centennial College

Today, the field of biomedical engineering is helping to shrink the gap between engineering and medicine, which, in turn, improves healthcare diagnosis and treatment. Engineers in Biomedical Engineering Technology research and develop a variety of technologies that are commonly found in healthcare. These include: biocompatible prostheses, various diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices — ranging from clinical equipment to common imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs — as well as biotechnologies such as regenerative tissue growth.

The Biomedical Engineering Technology field can be split into the subsections: biomaterials, biomechanics, bionics, clinical engineering, medical engineering, rehabilitation engineering and much more. However, all Biomedical Engineers perform some common tasks, including conducting research, along with chemists and medical scientists, on the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals. Another important task for biomedical engineering professionals is the design and development of medical diagnostic and clinical instrumentation, equipment and procedures. Evaluating the safety of biomedical equipment, repairing as necessary and advising hospital administrators on the use of the equipment also fall into this professional’s hands. Bioinformatics course is a combination of biology and informatics.

With such advanced tasks and job descriptions, the right type of education is needed to enter the Biomedical Engineering Field. Centennial College’s program provides a three-year/nine-semester co-op option that is ideal for students looking to get their foot in the door. To apply for the Biomedical Engineering Technology co-op program, students should possess an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Also required are compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and math 11M or U, or 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent. However, possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.

Once in the program, students prepare for a challenging career using the latest technology, with a balance between theory and hands-on lab time. Topics covered in this program include: digital electronics, technology mathematics, electric circuits, infection control and microbiology, project design applications and many other. Through these courses students are prepared for three paid co-op work terms. These work terms allow students to see how “real-life” situations are played out in settings at which Biomedical Engineers are employed, such as hospitals, medical equipment companies, pharmaceutical companies, rehabilitation facilities and quality control. In order to experience this co-op feature, a minimum C grade in COMM-170/171, minimum 2.5 GPA, and minimum 80 per cent of first year courses required for COOP-221. Lastly, students in the Biomedical Engineering Technology Co-op program are guided towards future Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) and Certified Biomedical Engineering Technologist (CBET) certifications.

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