The job description of a biochemical engineer requires work to be done in laboratories and manufacturing settings. Industries like pharmaceuticals, waste treatment food processing and environmental improvement technologies benefit from the research and development conducted by biochemical engineers.
A biochemical engineer is focused on improving the overall quality of life of people by developing new biological and chemical applications that can be used in everyday life.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Biochemical Engineer
- Maintains databases of experiment results.
- Consults with chemists and biologists to develop new technologies.
- Leads studies to examine process sequences.
- Recommends changes in operation protocols when necessary.
- Develops ways to minimize pollution and waste.
- Participates in evaluations of equipment.
- Directs experiments in laboratories.
- Reviews biomanufacturing processes to make sure they are compliant with governmental and environmental regulations.
- Reads current scientific publications to stay up-to-date on scientific and technological advancements in the industry.
- Prepares technical reports for management or for regulatory commissions.
- Prepares research articles for publication in scientific journals.
- Collaborates with others in the writing of training manuals on biochemical engineering.
- Prepares diagrams and designs schematics for possible process improvements.
- Modifies systems to support process changes.
- Develops simulations and models using statistical modeling software.
- Collaborates with Quality Assurance staff to prepare safety manuals.
- Reviews manufacturing processes to identify potential improvements.
- Finds ways to minimize production costs while maximizing product yield.
- Communicates with research personnel to ensure compatibility of design and production.
- Advises manufacturing staff of any issues that might slow production.
- Communicates with regulatory agencies in regards to licensing and compliance issues.
- Communicates with suppliers regarding equipment and materials.
- Designs safe processes for the manufacture of pesticides and pharmaceuticals.
- Develops project plans for facility improvements including budgets and deadlines.
- Develops methods of measuring chemical toxicity for the purpose of evaluating the environmental impact of a process.
- Creates models or simulations to predict the potential environmental impact of a process.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Must have the ability to use programs like Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and other software relevant to biochemical engineering.
- Excellent computer skills.
- Thorough knowledge of mathematics, biology chemistry and physics.
- Must have superior reading comprehension skills.
- Must have the ability to solve complex problems.
- Must have excellent critical thinking skills.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
- Must have good deductive reasoning skills.
- Must have good analytical skills.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in biochemical or chemical engineering.
- Master’s degree is required for research positions.
- Doctorate degree is required for college faculty positions.
- Licensing is required when working with the public.
- Continuing education is needed to stay up-to-date on constantly changing technologies.
- Time is spent split between laboratories, offices and manufacturing settings.
- Must be able to handle close computer work.
- Must be willing to travel to different locations where various products are being manufactured.
- Must be willing to work odd hours occasionally to suit the needs of clients.
- Average salaries range from $64,000 to $96,000.
- Salaries for those working for the U.S. government exceed $100,000.