A Biological Systems Engineer In The Making

The biological systems engineering program has a range of resources and services to help you be creative in your field of study and in life. A program that grounds theory in practice—generating new ways of thinking for the everyday.

Your Discovery In The Making

Do you want to make a big difference in the everyday lives of people locally and globally— helping to use bioresources for safe food, a clean environment and energy?The engineers who do this work are interested in the application of biology and engineering meeting core human needs.

Biological systems engineering involves the sustainable production, storage and conversion of biobased ingredients and materials into useful products ranging from everyday food
to nutraceuticals and therapeuticals, and to biologically-derived fuels, chemicals, plastics and other industrial materials. How can
we make the biological supply chain more sustainable – lowering energy and water consumption, lowering emissions and
reducing pollution?

A secure food supply, clean water and air, and renewable energy sources are important to everyone. In today’s global marketplace, grains, produce and livestock are transported from country to country, making food security and safety a priority. Biological systems engineers help safeguard our air, water and food supply by developing engineering solutions to meet the existing and emerging needs of bio-based production systems and industries globally.

Your Path In The Making

Whatever your goals, your success is important to us! Our programs, labs, hands-on learning opportunities and facilities will give you a competitive advantage to address society’s greatest needs.

Personal attention: Our department is small enough for you to have personal attention from faculty, but large enough to choose a variety of educational opportunities.The student-to-faculty ratio is 28:1. Average class size is 15 to 50 students, and the average lab size is about 16 students working in teams of 2 to 4.

Learning communities: When students support each other, good things happen. We have created a strong social and academic environment for new students with our living/learning community. Join a learning community and have a common schedule of classes, peer mentors, career exploration opportunities and the option of living on a floor with other students in your major.

Labs: In class, you will use state-of-the-art computers and lab equipment. In fact, several companies donate lab equipment to help you learn. Some of our unique labs include the Biological Systems Engineering Lab, Grain Handling and Processing Lab, and Water Quality Lab.

Core curriculum

Your course work will combine engineering with chemistry and biology to prepare you for careers in food, feed, fiber and environmental areas. The biological systems engineering degree offers exciting opportunities to integrate life sciences with engineering. Specific areas of academic emphasis include:

  • Ecological engineering: Apply biology and engineering principles to improve and protect soil, water and air quality.
  • Food & bioprocess engineering: Use science and engineering to meet the needs of modern food and bioprocessing industries.
  • Open option: This option allows students to tailor their technical electives to meet broader career goals (globalization, political science, management, prepare for professional degree, etc.).

Your Career In The Making

Many of our graduates have built successful careers not only as engineers, but also as managers, entrepreneurs, sales representatives and consultants.

The average starting salary of biological systems engineering graduates is more than $68,700/year.

Co-op and internship salaries for our students average almost $23/hour.

Approximately 1,400 companies recruit our engineers every year.

96 percent of our biological systems engineering students have in-profession placement within six months of graduation.