Discover your career path

Biological Engineer

Turn natural substances into products that are efficient and user friendly.

What does a Biological Engineer do?

If Angus MacGyver were a real person instead of a 1980s television character, he would make an excellent Biological Engineer. Like MacGyver, Biological Engineers are adept at solving complex problems using the basics of natural science. Unlike MacGyver, however, most Biological Engineers don’t use duct tape and pocketknives to build their solutions.

As a Biological Engineer, you easily find work in the biofuels industry. Here, you run a series of experiments to determine what organic compounds turn into the most efficient source of fuel, and then you run other tests to outline how a standard combustion engine must be modified in order to use the fuel you created.

Alternatively, you might work for a consumer products company. Here, you run tests to determine how quickly a product spoils, and you think of new ways to process the food so the nasty spores won’t grow. You might also make plastic containers for your products that melt away to dust when they’re thrown in a landfill by Sanitation Workers.

Another option is to work for a company that makes new kinds of foods. Here, you might look for ways to make certain plants grow faster, or to make certain kinds of fruit ripen when they’re pulled from the trees.

Computer programs help you do much of your work, and you run simulation after simulation to determine how something might work under specific conditions. These tests can’t truly replicate what the product will do in the real world, however, so you often work with Production Supervisors who build prototypes that you can test.