Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering principles and methods to solving medical problems. It unites electrical, mechanical, chemical and life science principles towards the development of new healthcare technologies as well as providing better understanding of the mechanisms of human life for improved prognosis, diagnosis, disease treatment, and overall quality of life.

As any other engineering discipline, biomedical engineering rests on a strong interest in science and mathematics, in a way that allows biomedical engineers to solve problems of highly technical nature. Unlike other engineering disciplines, biomedical engineering also interacts closely with life and medical sciences, and may require working close to and within the framework of biological or medical problems that biomedical engineers attempt to solve (see below for a brief summary of such problems).

The normal duration of our biomedical engineering program is 4 years after the completion of English Preparatory School. If you pass English exam, you can skip the English preparatory year however.

You will be trained in a variety of topics supporting the development of the next generation of biomedical engineers including:

 

  • Biomaterials – introducing the principles of materials science, nature of biomaterials, and use of different materials in biomedicine,

  • Biomechanics - providing a comprehensive study of engineering applications on muscle-skeleton system,

  • Biomedical instrumentation - covering basic biomedical measurement principles, working principles of electrodes, sensors, transducers, amplifiers, etc.

  • Medical imaging – will cover principles of medical image acquisition and imaging instruments, properties of medical images, an overview of medical image processing,

  • Radiation physics - will cover radiation types for biomedical applications, physics of radiation sources, their use in biomedical engineering,

  • Clinical engineering - will provide an integrated understanding of healthcare technologies, their technical and economical management and maintenance.

Some of the well established specialty areas within the field of biomedical engineering are biomedical instrumentation, biomechanics, biomaterials, systems physiology, biomedical informatics, and clinical engineering. Some of the newer areas are microdevices, tissue engineering, and neural engineering.

 

  • Biomedical instrumentation is the application of electronics and measurement principles and techniques to devices used for diagnosis and treatment of disease.

  • Biomechanics is the mechanics applied to biological and medical problems including the study of motion and deformation of biological materials, material flows inside body and biomedical devices, and transport of chemical compounds in biological and synthetic media such as across biological membranes.

  • Biomaterials describe both living tissue and materials used in medical practice for implantation. Understanding the properties of such materials in biological contexts is vital for the design of implants.

  • Systems physiology is the term used to describe the aspect of biomedical engineering in which engineering strategies, techniques and tools are used to gain integrated understanding of functions of living organisms, from bacteria to humans. Mathematical and computational modelling is used here in order to analyze experimental data and formulate principles of description of physiological events at system level.

  • Biomedical informatics is the set of biomedical engineering applications related to development of computer software used for medical purposes, from such controlling the hardware of medical instruments to hospital databases and, more recently, machine learning-enabled diagnostics and healthcare initiatives.

  • Clinical engineering covers various aspects of the use of healthcare technology in hospitals. Clinical engineers are members of healthcare teams along with physicians, nurses and hospital staff. They are responsible for developing and maintaining computer databases, medical instruments and equipment, as well as purchasing and operation of advanced medical machines.

  • Microdevices is a newer direction in biomedical engineering focusing on development of miniaturized electromechanical devices to be used in biomedical settings. Some examples of such developments are miniaturized chemical and DNA testing labs, organs-on-chip, microfluidics, and other similar technologies.

  • Tissue engineering is a newer direction in biomedical engineering related to development of synthetic and artificial analogs of biological tissues such as skin or muscle tissue, to be used both for implants and entirely artificial organs, as well as bio-augmentation.

  • Neural engineering is a newer direction in biomedical engineering whose focus is on understanding the principles of work of human brain and nervous system and developing new devices based on that understanding as well as treating neurological disease and trauma. Some examples are neural prosthetics, brain-computer interfaces, epilepsy neurostimulation implants, and neural regeneration and repair of paralysis-causing spinal cord trauma.

Biomedical engineering focuses on the applications of traditional engineering skills and analysis to innovation in healthcare as well as quantitative understanding of biological systems. Biomedical engineers develop new medical devices, diagnostic and therapeutic tools, and models of physiological systems.

 

Bioengineering focuses on improving human, animal and plant life by using biological techniques such as genetic engineering. Bioengineering students choose from specializations such as pharmaceuticals, food manufacturing, biomechanics, bioconversions, and bio-based materials.

 

Biomedical engineering is quite different and includes specializations focusing on the applications of more conventional engineering skills to technologies utilizing biological processes for biomedical goals, including pharmaceutics tools, clinical instrumentation, biomedical imaging devices and software, biomedical nanotechnology, and biomass-based energy generation. Biomedical engineers also work on topics such as protection of environment and structural design.

Department of Biomedical Engineering at Izmir University of Economics is under the Faculty of Engineering whereas the Faculty of Medicine is a completely different unit of our university. While graduates of the Faculty of Medicine get a Doctor of Medicine degree, the graduates of the Department of Biomedical Engineering get a professional engineering degree. Correspondingly, the scope of the education program at the Department of Biomedical Engineering is also very different: Biomedical engineers ultimately are engineers who apply technical expertise to solving medical problems, they are not practitioning doctors themselves and cannot engage in healthcare practice directly, even though biomedical engineers often possess comprehensive knowledge of a medical subject they work in. The Faculty of Medicine, on the other hand, educates future doctors that will work directly in healthcare, albeit utilising the technologies and tools developed by biomedical engineers.

Graduates of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at IEU can work in the future as:

 

  • Engineering staff and technical personnel at state and private hospitals around the country,

  • Sales managers and engineers at medical equipment distributors in Turkey,

  • Heads of medical equipment support and maintenance departments,

  • Innovative companies (startups) that focus on biomedical research and development in Turkey, such as biochemical tests and processes, biomedical electronics, and software (the names of some of such companies can be found at Ankara Kalkinma Ajansi, for example),

  • Research and academic staff in universities.

Biomedical engineering is a rapidly growing profession. In parallel with other engineering jobs, for a new graduate one can expect a similar salary scale. However, the specific salary will depend greatly on the work experience and the type of experience that a biomedical engineer brings. As your experience grows, your salary will increase. Also, some biomedical expertise is more in demand than other at different times. Excellent biomedical engineering graduates can find many job opportunities in exciting biomedical companies and startups around USA, England, Europe, and Asia. It is very likely that biomedical engineering will also develop rapidly in Turkey in the next 10-20 years.

Any traditional college or university program like Biomedical Engineering contains a larger component of theoretical instruction than what you tend to get at a vocational school, and focuses on building abstract skills such as critical-thinking, teamwork, research, and problem-solving. Conversely, vocational school (also called career, technical, or trade schools) tends to focus and offer occupation-specific training geared toward preparing students for working in a specific career right away, for example, an MRI technician. Vocational school does not provide and does not aim to provide its graduates with the skills needed for designing and developing new technologies, but does give hands-on training sufficient to immediately start a job in a given profession.

No, biomedical engineering is not a subfield of medical sciences. There is a clear and distinct difference between medical sciences and biomedical engineering. Medical sciences are concerned with facts, theories, and models describing biological phenomena of clinical significance including physiology, virology, biochemistry, molecular biology, proteomics, and other aspects of function of biological organism related to health. Medical sciences also study the progression of pathological conditions and disease, and ways of intervention to alleviate such conditions. Biomedical engineering applies traditional engineering principles such as mechanical, materials, and electrical engineering to producing new technologies that solve biological and clinical problems. A most direct example of a biomedical engineering application is the ultrasound or the X-ray imaging machines that you have likely encountered during at least one of your visits to a doctor. These machines are the product of work of the professionals that can be described by the term biomedical engineers.

You will take courses that listed below in the 1st year:

FALL

  • General Chemistry
  • Academic Skills in English-I
  • Academic and Social Orientation
  • Calculus-I
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Second Foreign Languages-I
  • Turkish

SPRING

  • Academic Skills in English-II
  • General and Molecular Biology
  • Principles of Atatürk and History of Revolution
  • Calculus-II
  • General Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics
  • Second Foreign Languages II

No. Biomedical engineers are first and foremost engineers and they work on the development of new devices and technologies for biomedical applications. They cannot directly carry out or be engaged in healthcare practice. Such occupations require graduates to hold a medical or nursing degree from a medical school. However, biomedical engineers may be involved in operating and maintaining numerous devices and systems used in hospitals and clinical centers as well as engage in the development of new such technologies to be used in healthcare in the future.

No, you only have to have English proficiency exam as defined by IEU Foreign Languages department.

Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing and most exciting professional areas in the world. In the last 10-20 years, a number of biomedical companies have emerged around the world pursuing innovation in various healthcare problems from glucose monitors to personalized medical Artificial Intelligence advisors. While the development of biomedical engineering has lagged in Turkey, biomedical engineers find work around the world in industry, hospitals, academic and research institutions, and government agencies as technical staff, sales managers, department heads, researchers, and inspectors. Such jobs involve designing, manufacturing, and testing biomedical devices such as prosthetics and orthotics, large imaging devices like x-ray, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, small devices such as implant pacemakers, cochlear implants, or drug infusion pumps. A large segment of biomedical engineering is involved in rehabilitation — designing, manufacturing and maintaining walkers, exercise equipment, robots, and therapeutic devices to help people recover physical ability after trauma. Motorized wheelchairs that you tend to see more often now on our roads is one outcome of that effort. Another important modern direction in biomedical engineering is developing wireless computerized technologies that can allow patients and doctors communicate over long distances. A set of biomedical engineering companies works on problems at cellular and molecular level such as DNA tests and nanotechnologies for detection and repair of damage inside human cells and even gene alteration.

You may find information on biomedical engineering programs at www.embs.org. There is also worthwhile information available through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and its website www.nibib.nih.gov as well at the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineers, the Department of Labor and O'Net www.onetonline.org. For the Department of Biomedical Engineering at IEU, you are always welcome to consult our academic staff directly or via email, as can be found from the Faculty section of this website.

Biomedical engineers belong to the white-collar profession and their working environments are manufacturing and design bureaus, medical institutions, research and testing facilities, and government regulatory agencies. They usually work full time in an engineering office or in a company, or as personnel in a hospital or biomedical laboratory.