Biochemical engineering is a subset of both chemical and biological engineering. It deals mainly with the design and construction of mechanisms that involve the interactions of biological organisms or molecules usually within a bioreactor. A bioreactor may refer to any manufactured or engineered device or system that supports a biologically active environment. Employing such devises in either a research laboratory or industrial production facility, biochemical engineers operate at the forefront of fields such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and environmental science. In the process, biochemical engineers translate discoveries in pure science into applied technologies that produce new and cost-effective processes and products. The results can be found in a range of industries from food and beverage producers to pharmaceuticals, medical devices, textiles, and chemicals. Bioproducts in such industries include cell scaffolds for artificial kidneys, energy technologies, cellular drug delivery mechanisms, and novel techniques for purifying water. But the true promise of biochemical engineering is the very real potential to cure many of mankind’s most serious health ailments.
Requirements for Engineering Licensure in Canada
If you are not licensed to work as an engineer in Canada you must be prepared to work under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer. To work independently you must obtain a P.Eng. designation awarded by one of the provincial or territorial engineering authorities whose role it is to govern the engineering profession in Canada. Although they differ slightly among the provinces and territories, the basic requirements for licensure are:
- An engineering degree awarded by a Canadian or Canadian equivalent university;
- A minimum of four years of relevant engineering experience of which one year must have been gained in Canada;
- Successful completion of a Professional Practice Examination;
- Canadian citizenship of proof of permanent residency in Canada;
- Be of good character as vouched for by three referees.
The process of obtaining your P. Eng. can start even before you arrive in Canada. Visit the Roadmap to Engineering in Canada at newcomers.engineerscanada.ca. This takes you to the Engineers Canada website. There you can link to the provincial or territorial body where you plan to work and obtain the necessary application forms and list of required documentation.
Alternative Careers in Engineering Technology
Engineering technicians and technologists may offer non-regulated engineering and technical services directly to the public. They must, however, work under the supervision of a Professional Engineer when providing professional engineering services to an employer or the public.
Technologists apply theoretical and practical methods to design, plan, develop, test, manufacture, construct, install, commission, operate and maintain engineered products, processes, systems and services. Technicians apply theoretical and practical methods to assist with the design, development, manufacturing, testing, construction, installation, commission, operation and maintenance of engineered products, processes, systems and services.
If your training and or work experience is in engineering but you chose not to become licensed as a professional engineer you may be qualified to work in a wide range of technology occupations as a professional technician or technologist. Discover the many alternative career pathways to rewarding and well paid occupations in engineering technology.