University of Florida

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

What is ABE?

Agricultural and Biological Engineers help ensure that we have the basic necessities of lifeā€¦safe and plentiful food supplies, pure water to drink and a safe, healthy environment. As the world population continues to increase, food production and protection of our natural resources become increasingly important. ABE applies engineering principles to biological sciences to produce food, feed, fiber and other agricultural products from renewable bio-resources. It also aims to protect the environment and conserve and replenish our natural resources.

Food and agribusiness is the largest single industry in the United States and Florida. It is the most highly sophisticated and technologically advanced industry in the world. Its status is due in part to the successes of agricultural and biological engineers.

Coursework

The curriculum in ABE provides a foundation to address with the engineering problems of agricultural and related biological systems. These problems will be of even greater concern in the future. Courses in ABE unify learned concepts into a practical ability to solve a broad range of engineering problems encountered in agriculture, biotechnology and food processing. Students must meet the requirements in the College of Engineering. The Agricultural and Biological Engineering program is accredited by ABET. The ABE Academic Learning Compact identifies the skills students should acquire if they follow the course of study (see examples). Three specializations are available:

  • Agrisystems Engineering - is concerned primarily with the design and implementation of agricultural power and machinery, structures and their environments, greenhouses and instrumentation, robotics for agriculture and computer modeling and control.
  • Biological Engineering - provides a framework for integrating fundamental engineering sciences and practice with biological sciences. The curriculum prepares students for advanced studies in biomedical engineering, bioprocess engineering and agricultural engineering and fulfills the requirements for admission to pre-professional programs at the University of Florida. Click here for a list of the approved electives (23KB pdf) for this program.
  • Land and Water Resources Engineering - is concerned with all aspects of water and rural environmental management, including irrigation, water conservation, drainage, water control and structures, soil erosion, waste and wastewater recycling, water quality, ecosystems preservation and environmental quality. Click here for a list of the approved electives (26KB pdf) for this program.

Careers

Agricultural and Biological Engineers work with farmers, agri-businesses, and conservation organizations to develop solutions to problems relating to the use and conservation of soil, water and forest resources. They also work to develop technologies to improve crop and livestock production, improve food-processing techniques, and extend the storage-life of perishable products like produce or flowers. They work to preserve and protect wetlands, improve the quality of our water supply and find new uses for biological resources. Biological engineers explore the development of new biofuels, biosensors and biotechnology. Starting salaries average over $45,000/year.

ABE graduates have a wide variety of career options, depending on their area of specialization. Employers include water management districts, biotech companies, government agencies, civil engineering firms, food companies such as Kraft, Tyson and Nestle, NASA, Walt Disney World, Abbot Laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, machinery companies, and many others.

The work environment for Agricultural and Biological Engineers varies from laboratories to offices to field types of environments. Most of our students are offered positions prior to or immediately upon graduation.




Pasturization


Irrigation

Lab Demo