What Do Biochemical Engineers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Biochemical Engineers develop usable, tangible products, using knowledge of biology, chemistry, or engineering. Solve problems related to materials, systems, or processes that interact with humans, plants, animals, microorganisms, or biological materials. They also maintain databases of experiment characteristics or results.

Other tasks include:

  • Read current scientific or trade literature to stay abreast of scientific, industrial, or technological advances.
  • Develop methodologies for transferring procedures or biological processes from laboratories to commercial-scale manufacturing production.
  • Prepare technical reports, data summary documents, or research articles for scientific publication, regulatory submissions, or patent applications.
  • Devise scalable recovery, purification, or fermentation processes for producing proteins or other biological substances for human or animal therapeutic use, food production or processing, biofuels, or effluent treatment.
  • Review existing manufacturing processes to identify opportunities for yield improvement or reduced process variation.
  • Develop recovery processes to separate or purify products from fermentation broths or slurries.

We asked Biochemical Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

70%

How meaningful is this job

60%


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Biochemical Engineers maintain databases of experiment characteristics or results. They design or conduct studies to determine optimal conditions for cell growth, protein production, or protein or virus expression or recovery, using chromatography, separation, or filtration equipment, such as centrifuges or bioreactors.

A typical day for a Biochemical Engineer will also include:

  • Read current scientific or trade literature to stay abreast of scientific, industrial, or technological advances.
  • Develop methodologies for transferring procedures or biological processes from laboratories to commercial-scale manufacturing production.
  • Develop bioremediation processes to reduce pollution, protect the environment, or treat waste products.
  • Direct experimental or developmental activities at contracted laboratories.
  • Create simulations or models to predict the impact of environmental factors, such as pollutants, climate change, or environmental remediation efforts.

We asked some Biochemical Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?52% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?48% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?62% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?5% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?14% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Biochemical Engineers also confer with research and biomanufacturing personnel to ensure the compatibility of design and production. They may also read current scientific or trade literature to stay abreast of scientific, industrial, or technological advances.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Biochemical Engineers Review existing manufacturing processes to identify opportunities for yield improvement or reduced process variation. They might also Develop statistical models or simulations of biochemical production, using statistical or modeling software.

In addition, they Prepare piping or instrumentation diagrams or other schematics for proposed process improvements, using computer-aided design software.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Advise manufacturing staff regarding problems with fermentation, filtration, or other bioproduction processes.

To some Biochemical Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Design or conduct follow-up experimentation, based on generated data, to meet established process objectives.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Biochemical Engineer, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Biochemical Engineers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
48%


Once a week
36%


Do Biochemical Engineers work outdoors?

Once a month
36%


Once a week
24%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Biochemical Engineers

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Related to Biochemical Engineers Job Description

Biochemical Engineers job description, what do Biochemical Engineers do, typical day for Biochemical Engineers, what is it like to work as a Biochemical Engineer, how many hours do Biochemical Engineers work, day to day work of a Biochemical Engineer

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/chemical-engineers.htm
http://www.bls.gov/green/biofuels/biofuels.htm


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