We have a fantastic program, consistently ranked in the top 5, which offers a great student to faculty ratio (typically graduate about 30 students in Biological Engineering (BE) each year), practical curriculum providing excellent career opportunities in one of the most stable industries in the world. We believe our students will fill some of the most critically needed positions over the next 50 years – Your Career! – Read on to learn more about options in BE.
The world has tremendous need for solutions to problems related to the environment, energy, health, food, and sustainability. Biological systems are related to or at the heart of all of these issues. A Biological Engineer learns to design and analyze biological systems to develop innovative and practical solutions. Our B.S. graduates are well prepared for careers in the food industry, pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, and bioprocessing as well as entrance into graduate or medical school. Students may select a major and plan of study within biological engineering that is tailored to their specific career goals.
Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering
The Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering track is designed to provide students with an integrated training in engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences through course work in thermodynamics, mechanics, heat and fluid transport, mathematics, bioenergetics, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, and engineering design. Students will learn to use tools, either through computation and modeling or instrumentation and hardware to create and manipulate cells and cellular materials for a variety of applications relating to human, plant, and animal systems (e.g. pathological conditions relating to diseases, genotyping/phenotyping, protein processing, biomaterials, metabolic functions, and/or drug and gene delivery vehicles), food and water (food safety and nutrition, and water quality), soil systems (bioremediation, microbial communities etc), and bioenergy/biofuels (manipulating and handling cells for more efficient energy conversion alternatives), among others. Our goal is to better train undergraduates with a competitive advantage for a career in research through graduate studies in engineering/sciences or through employment in a biomedical, biotechnology, or a pharmaceutical company. This emerging field is expected to rapidly advance and open opportunities in biomanufacturing, drug design, human therapeutics, tissue and organ regeneration, bioenergy and biofuel production, bioremediation, and biodefense.
Food and Biological Process Engineering
Food Process Engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering to convert agricultural commodities into edible foods and biological materials through various processing steps. Food Process Engineers are involved with all phases of the food industry including research, product and process development, processing engineering, manufacturing, and marketing. This results in many career opportunities in industry, government, education and other related fields. The curriculum provides an excellent foundation to pursue graduate, law, and medical school.
Food Processing Videos -
Undergraduate Research - Density of Food
Soybean Oil Processing
Par Baked Bread
Bioprocess Engineering is rapidly becoming a critical forefront research area as advances in genetic engineering lead to new types of crops and new processing methods to create value added products. As a consequence, the department has a strong biochemical technology research program including biomass processing and bioenergy and renewable resources utilization. Research topics include bioenergy/renewable energy production, bioprocessing of biomass into biofuels, biochemicals, and biopolymers, biofuel utilization, bioreactor design and modeling, enzyme and biocatalysis development, metabolic engineering, and bioseparations.
Soy Based Automotive Wax
Undergraduate Research - Optimizing Pretreatment of Biomass
Undergraduate Research - How Salt Impacts Fermentation
A degree in Biological Engineering is excellent preparation for medical school. With careful planning, the Biological Engineering plan of study can meet Pre-Med requirements without any additional credits, which is unique among engineering disciplines. The plan of study provides a rich background in the life sciences and meets the academic requirements for admission to most medical schools without any additional credits. The engineering degree builds skills that are critical for physicians including identification of societal needs, solving complex problems, designing rational solutions, and making decisions based on quantitative and qualitative data. Because biological engineers apply these skills to complex biological systems, this program gives students a strong advantage for success in medical school. In addition, many of our biological engineering students participate in undergraduate research, thus improving their preparation and readiness for M.D./Ph.D. programs. Finally, the accredited biological engineering degree provides pre-med students with other equally strong opportunities in industry and research as an alternative to medical school, should plans change.