Published: Aug. 31, 2021

Researchers at CU Boulder work on developing medical device

Demand for biomedical engineers in the United States is high, and it’s only going to keep growing.

Employment for biomedical engineers is expected to grow five percent by 2029, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to about 1,400 biomedical engineering job openings each year, for a total of 22,200 biomedical engineers being employed in 2029.

“The future is really bright for these students because of this possibility,” Professor Mark Bordon, the program director for the University of Colorado’s Biomedical Engineering Program, said. “It’s a popular major because it deals with something that’s a fundamental importance to everybody. Which is how does the human body work. It’s at the intersection of medicine and engineering.”

Career paths for CU Boulder BME students

Biomedical engineering students at CU Boulder get a multi-disciplinary education in chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering to prepare for their future careers. The coursework gives them the skills to go into one of three fields: industry, research or medical school.

  • MedTech
    • Develops medical devices to detect and treat disease, improve quality of life and improve human performance
  • Consulting
    • Work with medical organizations, research institutions and companies to provide guidance and recommendations
  • Clinical Engineer
    • In a hospital:
      • Purchase, install and maintain hospital equipment
      • Work with physicians and patients on using the technology
    • In a clinical trial:
      • Perform trials on new medical technology and devices

Industry Professional Development

  • Biomedical research is well-funded
    • The National Institutes of Health 2021 budget was $43 billion, compared to the National Science Foundation's budget of $8.5 billion.
    • More funding means more research opportunities
  • Various PhD programs available
    • Inside discipline: Biomedical engineering PhD
    • Outside discipline: Other engineering programs or schools of medicine

Research Opportunities

  • Pursue a medical degree to become a physician or surgeon
  • Doctor and surgeon positions are expected to grow five percent by 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pre-Med Opportunities

Nicholas Carlucci, MS, Fall '21

LightDeck - Engineer
Diagnostic instrument design and development

I was raised in Boulder and went to Boulder High School. I went to California Polytechnic State University for my undergrad and studied mechanical engineering before coming to the University of Colorado Boulder. For fun, I race mountain bikes and snowboard! 

Research Interests
My main interest is in surgical equipment R&D.

Favorite part of being a Buff
All the great people I met during my time at CU Boulder.

Noelle Doyle, MS, Fall '21

Fate Therapeutics - Quality Control Associate
Cancer therapeutics

I attended the University of Colorado Boulder for my undergraduate degree in Integrative Physiology. I absolutely loved Colorado and everything it had to offer, but had my heart set on moving back to California after graduating since I had spent some time out there before I went for my masters. I hope to give back as much as possible to the scientific community and keep pushing the boundaries.

Research Interests
Before getting my masters, I was working in clinical research for a neurodegenerative disease company. My research focus later focused more towards cancer research.

Favorite part of being a Buff
My favorite part about being a Buff is that no matter where in the world you go, you will always meet someone that has a connection to CU Boulder! I have traveled to over 30 countries, and that has always been true. Also, there is something for everyone at CU Boulder. You just have to work hard and make as many connections as possible. 

Tanisha Kaur, MS, Fall '21

Universal Cells - Research Associate
Stem cell technology to treat diseases

I was raised in Lawrence, Kansas and completed an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kansas in May 2020. I have always been interested in biotechnology and medical fields. After learning more about biomedical engineering, I felt that it would be a great area to further develop my knowledge and fine tune my skills in. I had always heard great things about the University of Colorado Boulder’s engineering programs and decided to attend the new biomedical engineering graduate program to complete my master's degree.

Research Interests
My master’s research focused on studying fundamental interactions between innate immune cells, specifically neutrophils and macrophages, in biomimetic microfluidic devices. The cells in our bodies are well-equipped to maintain homeostasis to keep us healthy. Studying fundamental cellular interactions and finding new pathways can lead to cellular enhancement and treatments to fight diseases. Sometimes, they need a little push in the right direction. Through my time in the lab and reading current research, I found that I really enjoy working with primary and tissue cell cultures. Currently, cell therapies to treat diseases is growing very quickly and has a high potential for success. 

Favorite part of being a Buff
Since part of my time at CU Boulder was remote due to COVID, I found that spending time with people in my lab group and working on group projects in my classes helped to make being a Buff an enjoyable experience.