Bioprocess Engineer

Experiment with natural processes to come up with beneficial products.

What does a Bioprocess Engineer do?

Biotechnology is the field of science that looks at the way different biological processes can be used for gain. Genetically altering bacteria to create an antibiotic or adding a specific nutrient to extend the shelf life of food are both examples of the work done in biotechnology. So why is this important to you? If you’re a Bioprocess Engineer, your job is all about biotechnology and the different ways it can be used to benefit humans.

Though the basics of a Bioprocess Engineer’s job – researching and testing different theories – are the same wherever you’re employed, you can find jobs in many different industries. The majority of Bioprocess Engineers work for pharmaceutical companies, but you can also work for food processing plants, alternative fuel manufacturers, or research labs. Where you work will determine your exact job duties.

Expect to spend quite a bit (though not all) of your time over a microscope or in a lab designing an experiment. You do things like breaking material down to its most basic building blocks to learn more about its different components, and then attempting to make something new by arranging them in a different way. You might also add another element to the material to see if you could get better results – for example, a healthier food or a cleaner burning gas. No matter how you figure it out, your job is to make alterations to what’s found naturally in order to create a product that people need.

When not in a lab, expect to spend your time observing the process of the manufacturing plant where you work. You check up on things like safety, ensure that processes are running efficiently, and keep track of quality.