BME – Tiny But Mighty!

Heya friends!

I’m Ashley Jubelag, your Biomedical Engineering Blogger for 2023! ♡\( ̄▽ ̄)/♡

Over the next few months, I’ll be giving my honest perspectives on BME (and why I (still) love it so much!) If you’re hardcore on BME, or even if you’re just looking – stick around, and hopefully, these blogs will help guide you for the big, scary specialisation decision! 👻👻

Taken during the BME Field Trip in Rotorua <3

But first, a little introduction about me! In the little crumbs of free time I thankfully get, I love to cook! The rest of the time away from lectures and assignments is spent in Engineering Revue’s practice rooms, rehearsing my lines or drilling in new moves for the show.

Anyone else walk into the UoA Engineering Building all bright and starry-eyed at the tall ceilings, huge glass-laden walls and modern study spaces on the first day? Hahaha, maybe it’s just me, but I was proud to call myself an Engineering student at UoA (and still am!). And then came ENGGEN121.

Just kidding – it wasn’t that bad… and so are the sem 2 courses! My favourite so far has been ENGGEN131, the programming fan-favourite, but I’m sure you’ll be enjoying the other 2 Part I sem 2 courses, ELECTENG101 and CHEMMAT121! … maybe (I miss Thomas Loho’s jokes…). If you’re still trodding along part I, keep up the good work, and the future will be bright!

So uh… Why did I choose BME?

Long story short, I love learning about the body – there’s just something so fun about 🤓 (nerd emoji) explaining why your tummy hurts or why you have diarrhoea. But more so, I liked the challenge that came with programming and doing funky math. I’ve always been interested in the medical devices I’d see on my hospital trips and wondered what the machines actually did. To have my life’s work be to innovate and improve on said machines sounds 1) cooooool 2) fulfilling work! Also,

Doc Octavious from Spiderman has 4 robot arms. I too, want to build my own 4 robot arms. Biomedical Engineering (before you say mechatronics… what about the neural connections required to move these? How will the implantation of these arms physiologically affect the body? Bam. Biomedical Engineering.)

Admittedly, I was one of the few Part Is who knew exactly what they wanted to do the following year, being undeterred in my decision to choose BME despite the uhh.. occasional teases from my peers about the supposed ‘lack of employment’ here…

Which brings me on to my next point…

Where Job? How Job? What Job?

If you’ve spent more than 10 hours in the Engineering building, you may have heard rumours about how BMEs get no jobs etc.. I can’t think of anything more false – NZ has a pretty big start-up culture, so aside from the bigger companies, there are heaps of spin-outs from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute that continue to grow and grow! However, the one warning I have is that BME is really for the people who are passionate about it. It’s an industry that is driven by the will to help people, patients and healthcare systems – not the promise of money bags.

So why should you choose BME?

  • Incredibly diverse range of study
  • You enjoy learning about the body (important!!!)
  • Equip you with skills for different pathways. We’re basically an EngSci but with more biology and less scary math
  • Our skill set includes a lot of coding but also soldering, laboratory work, CAD, and designing printed circuit boards… talk about jack of all trades much?
    • On that note, the BME program at UoA mainly covers bioinstrumentation and computational modelling (or, in baby words, medical devices and modelling (simulating?) the body). Other branches that may not be ‘offered’ here include Gene Engineering, Stem Cell Therapy etc, regardless, you still will be able to pick up the skills needed for that!
  • Our direct connection to the Auckland Bioengineering Institute
  • Like, what other spec dissects rats in the morning and then builds circuits in the afternoon?
  • Make an impact on health and medicine and help people! 😀

If you came into engineering missing biology or you really want to do Biomedical Engineering, I implore you to embark on this journey with me!

But what is it actually like to be studying Biomedical Engineering?

I’ll cover that over the next series of posts, but it has been an incredibly wild journey so far – bonus ENGSCI/BME field trip post soon!

If you see me around uni, feel free to come say hi and ask questions! My Linkedin is

Alright, that’s all for me for now. Stay tuned for the next post, which will be me talking about the nitty gritties of Sem One. Byezers!

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