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BE Advised

The place to go for undergraduate advising in biological engineering

Careers in Industry

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Approximately 30% of BEE students go into industry upon graduation. The remaining take the Higher Education route, whether it be graduate school (MEng, PhD) or Professional School (MD, DVM)


Biotechnology is a very broad term and includes topics such as synthetic biology, plant genetics and gene therapy. A popular field of biotechnology is medicine and pharmaceuticals. Using molecular and cellular biology, companies delve deeper in drug discovery, and investigate not only new drugs but also alternate methods of drug delivery. Examples of Biotech companies where BE graduates have been hired recently are Genentech, DNANO Systems, Integrated Plant Genetics, Monsanto, Medigene, and Amgen.


Bioprocess Industries

Bioprocess Engineering at Cornell applies engineering fundamentals to the exciting area of biological processes used for industrial production of goods. The curriculum prepares bioprocess engineers for work with firms such as Genentech, Pfizer, Merck and Novazyme. With specializations in Metabolic Engineering, Synthetic Biology and Biomaterial Design, the faculty in BEE are well suited to educate students for a career harnessing biocomplexity and multifunctionality for synthesis of pharmaceuticals, industrial enzymes, biomaterials and other biologically-derived products. Engineers with training in biology are employed by the food processing industry. The biofuels industry is growing rapidly to meet America’s demand for clean, renewable and domestic energy, and biological engineers have the right training for jobs in this industry.


Biomedical Industries

Biomedical jobs can relate to biomedical device manufacturing, imaging, diagnostics and other medical instrumentation, design of artificial tissues, organs, joints, blood vessels, or dental implants, pharmaceuticals, and research and development. You can consider a minor in biomedical engineering offered by the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Places where our recent graduates have been hired include Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Bethesda Medical Center, in research and development. In biomedical devices and biomaterials, our graduates have been hired by Becton Dickinson, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens Medical Systems, and Abbott.


Consumer Products Industries

The consumer products industry offers students a unique opportunity to touch and improve people’s daily lives by designing and delivering products that meet consumers’ needs. This includes a wide range of offerings, from everyday household items to prestigious health and beauty products. Bioengineers in this industry apply deep technical knowledge to solve a variety of challenging problems from design to delivery. This can include upstream projects – developing a holistic understanding of consumer needs and applying that to a product design – to downstream projects – process development and manufacturing optimization for processes that run at hundreds of parts per minute. It’s a fast-paced, interesting, and dynamic industry where students will never stop learning and growing. As an example, internship opportunities are available at P&G.


Bioenvironmental Careers

The curriculum is designed so students gain the expertise required to engineer sustainable solutions to problems associated with our water, soil, energy, and climate systems. Graduates have been hired by a wide range of employers; examples include: environmental engineering firms (e.g., Malcolm Pirnie, Greeley and Hansen), federal agencies (e.g., Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Geological Survey, National Science Foundation), state and county agencies, (e.g., AK Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Soil and Water Conservation Districts), local planning departments and programs (e.g., the New York City Watershed Agricultural Council), various research institutes and agencies (e.g., Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., US Agricultural Research Service), international relief and development agencies (e.g., OXFAM, IOM – Sri Lanka, Peace Corps), and large companies (e.g., the Louis Berger Group, inc). It is not uncommon for students to form their own engineering firms (e.g., JESS Engineering, Transform Consulting) or other businesses (e.g., agriculture). Many graduates pursue advanced degrees, typically in environmental engineering or related disciplines. However, it is also common for them to build upon their strong foundation in environmental sciences, engineering, and biology to pursue careers as teachers, lawyers, businessmen, and policy makers among others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Will the new curriculum improve job prospects after graduation for BE students?

A1. Frankly, we don’t know; for that we’d need someone to invent a reliable crystal ball. The department’s motivation for developing the new curriculum was to re-center our undergraduate program on our areas of strength as described in the new focus areas.


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