Gifts for biomedical engineers and students are pretty hard to find if you aren't one yourself. This list helps get rid of the kitsch like printed mugs and medical joke t-shirts to narrow it down to items they will truly love and keep for a long time.
This list ties together our favorite gifts for scientists from around the internet. Some are our own Genius Lab Gear inventions and some we’re just jealous we didn’t think of first! Some links in this page contain affiliate links, which means that any purchase of the items after clicking the link will result in a small monetary referral fee paid back to Genius Lab Gear at no cost to you. We appreciate your support which allows us to continue inventing and testing the best tools for scientists on the planet!
1. The Pocket Scientist pocket ruler and equation reference
We've made the perfect work companion for a biomedical engineer. They will carry this credit card-sized science and engineering ruler with them every day for a lifetime. We even laser-engraved the backside full of basic chemistry, physics and engineering equations plus every-day physical constants and unit conversions. It's a handy tool both for homework and for a biomedical engineering professional. See the product page for a full list of features we've packed in!
Available with free shipping from our website or from Amazon.
P.S. We also have a version specifically for organic chemistry class which they normally need to take as a sophomore and would save them a ton of time doing homework!
2. rOtring or Staedtler Mechanical Pencil
Biomedical engineers often need to sketch diagrams and ideas on paper or take quick notes around the lab. But in the new digital age, engineers often find themselves using touchscreens as well.
That’s why my new favorite is the rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil, (0.5 mm). This one turns from a pencil to a stylus on the fly, and also ensures the tip isn’t poking holes in your pocket all day like most other models. This is truly the top-end mechanical pencil and will make a special gift.
Staedtler is another brand much-loved by engineers. This model is cheaper and will last a long time, but just isn’t convertible to a stylus. You can’t go wrong with either one.
3. Funny Engineering-themed Word Magnets
We recently launched a full line of science and engineering-themed word magnets and of course made a set specifically for engineers! Each specialty pack comes with 144 tiles carefully designed by a PhD in that field for technical accuracy and tacit absurdity. These make for a funny biomedical engineering gift for students for a dorm, lab or office that lets them express their technical side but isn't work-oriented.
4. Rocketbook Matrix cloud-connected reusable paper notebook
This is my favorite clever invention. It was inevitable.Rocketbookfinally solved the problem of merging your hand-written notes into your favorite digital services. You simply use their app to take a photo of your pages of notes and the QR code and marked symbols on each page trigger the app to send the digitized page to any of the 9 pre-set digital destinations you choose. This includes OneNote, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox and even specific emails. Want a shortcut to send notes via email straight to your colleague or boss? This is what you’re looking for.
TheRocketbook Matrixis my personal favorite because it's designed for more technical work. It's got 30 pages of graphing paper and one regular lined page for taking notes, plus a built-in ruler on the inside cover. Did I mention they are resuable? Use their "Pilot Frixion" pens and then wipe the page with a damp cloth after uploading your notes to use it all over again (and win one for the environment!).
5. Marie Curie or Engineering is for Everyone stickers
Marie Curie was a Nobel prize-winning chemist (and physicist) who shattered the glass ceiling for female scientists of her time and stayed true to her passions for scientific discovery. This Marie Curie silhouette sticker coveys a cute but meaningful message - "Stay Curie-ous" in honor of her life and mission.
Both of these are perfect gifts under $5 for adding to a biomedical engineer's laptop, thermos or notebook! Bundle them in the same shipment with The Pocket Scientist or Engineering Word Magnets above for a compact yet meaningful gift pack.
6. GIANT Microbe Human Body Cell Plush
This next one may seem like a young child's toy, but we've seen many PhD's in the biomedical field purchase and love these to death. This amazing company makes a full line of plush microbes, cells and organs the size of a small stuffed animal! This set is specifically cells found in the human body - bone, fat, nerve, hair and muscle cells. Biomedical engineers are trying to merge new technology with these stubborn cells daily, so this is one they will appreciate and have some fun with at their desk!
7. Best books for biomedical engineers to read for pleasure (not textbooks!)
Biomedical engineers spend a ton of time reading textbooks and journal articles. It’s important to occasionally break that cycle and dive into a book for pleasure. Below are a few of our favorite science-related books that will be an enjoyable read for a biomedical engineer or student.
The Body Builders: Inside the science of the engineered human
This book will both delight and surprise them - for the wonderful ways humans are engineering our bodies and the potentially disastrous consequences if bioengineering gets out of hand. The author Adam Piore details the scientific revolution through rich storytelling of the scientists, engineers and patients altering the human race. It's exactly the type of book a biomedical engineer would dive into for pure joy of learning the extremes of their field.
She Engineers: Outsmart Bias, Unlock your Potential, and Create the Engineering Career of your Dreams by Stephanie Slocum
A perfect gift for a female biomedical engineer nearing graduation or heading to their first job, this book helps to address a major issue not often discussed in school: the “boys” culture of engineering. The author has been an engineer in industry for over 15 years and gives practical strategies in an easy-to-read conversational tone to help any female engineer navigate the male-dominated workplace. It’s well-structured and filled with immediately applicable advice not only on excelling in your career but keeping work-life balance while you do it.
OK, this one isn't for reading, but anyone with a love of biology and an artistic side would love to de-stress with some coloring. This fun book takes you through several kinds of cells (eye cells, brain cells, cancer cells and epithelia), explains some of the technical background and gives you a chance to color in each different part of the cells! Definitely a fun gift for a budding biomedical engineering student or even a professional one who needs a little break from work.
When you want to say "thank you" to an inspiring chemistry educator, an apple just won't do. This list steers clear of bad chemistry joke t-shirts and finds high-quality but affordable items from $4-$65 that will leave a lasting impression.
If you just try searching "PhD Graduation Gifts" on Amazon, you'll get a page full of mugs, shirts and keychains. They deserve better. I’ve been through grad school, got my PhD, and have a good idea of what they would truly appreciate as a thank-you gift. Here’s my hand-picked list below.