Biochemical Engineer Career

Job Description: 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.


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Biochemical Engineer Career

What Biochemical Engineers do:

  • Maintain databases of experiment characteristics or results.
  • Read current scientific or trade literature to stay abreast of scientific, industrial, or technological advances.
  • Review existing manufacturing processes to identify opportunities for yield improvement or reduced process variation.
  • Prepare technical reports, data summary documents, or research articles for scientific publication, regulatory submissions, or patent applications.
  • Consult with chemists or biologists to develop or evaluate novel technologies.
  • Design or conduct follow-up experimentation, based on generated data, to meet established process objectives.
  • Design or direct bench or pilot production experiments to determine the scale of production methods that optimize product yield and minimize production costs.
  • Develop recovery processes to separate or purify products from fermentation broths or slurries.
  • Participate in equipment or process validation activities.
  • Communicate with suppliers regarding the design or specifications of bioproduction equipment, instrumentation, or materials.
  • Confer with research and biomanufacturing personnel to ensure the compatibility of design and production.
  • Develop bioremediation processes to reduce pollution, protect the environment, or treat waste products.
  • Develop experiments to determine production methods that minimize pollution or waste.
  • 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.
  • Direct experimental or developmental activities at contracted laboratories.
  • Recommend biochemical process formulas, instrumentation, or equipment specifications, based on results of bench or pilot experimentation.
  • Review existing biomanufacturing processes to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Develop statistical models or simulations of biochemical production, using statistical or modeling software.
  • Lead studies to examine or recommend changes in process sequences or operation protocols.
  • Collaborate with manufacturing or quality assurance staff to prepare product specification or safety sheets, standard operating procedures, user manuals, or qualification and validation reports.
  • 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.
  • Develop methodologies for transferring procedures or biological processes from laboratories to commercial-scale manufacturing production.
  • Prepare piping or instrumentation diagrams or other schematics for proposed process improvements, using computer-aided design software.
  • Prepare project plans for biochemical equipment or facility improvements, including time lines, budgetary estimates, or capital spending requests.
  • Communicate with bioregulatory authorities regarding licensing or compliance responsibilities.
  • Develop biocatalytic processes to convert biomass to fuels or fine chemicals, using enzymes of bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms.
  • Modify or control biological systems to replace, augment, or sustain chemical or mechanical processes.
  • Advise manufacturing staff regarding problems with fermentation, filtration, or other bioproduction processes.
  • Collaborate in the development or delivery of biochemical manufacturing training materials.
  • Create simulations or models to predict the impact of environmental factors, such as pollutants, climate change, or environmental remediation efforts.
  • Develop toxicological or environmental testing processes to measure chemical toxicity or environmental impact.
  • Design products to measure or monitor airborne pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, or particulate matter.
  • Develop processes or products, such as natural recovery monitoring, in situ capping or treatment, or sediment removal, to treat contamination of subaqueous sediment.
  • Design processes to manufacture synthetic molecules for applications such as pharmaceuticals or pesticides.
  • Develop alternative processes to produce crude oil, such as extraction from diatoms or thermochemical conversion of manure or other wastes.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Holland Code Chart for a Biochemical Engineer

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