University of Florida

Research Topics

There are a wide variety of research topics available to graduate students in ABE. Our programs provide unique opportunities to expand your skills in engineering, management, and modeling of agricultural, biological, and natural ecosystems. Graduate students learn to bring a systems approach and precision technologies to water, nutrient, pesticide, and waste management in diverse agricultural and natural ecosystems, including space-based systems.

The following project areas are listed to provide the spectrum of current research activities in Agricultural & Biological Engineering.  The research activity for a thesis or dissertation is selected by the student in consultation with his/her advisor.  The research for a degree is not limited to the above areas.

Agricultural Operations Management

  • Agricultural Decision Support Systems
  • Agricultural Information Retrieval Systems
  • Agricultural Information Technologies
  • Agricultural Safety Issues, Innovations, and Technologies
  • Analysis of Citrus Harvest Operations
  • Analysis of Operator Stress in Machinery Operations
  • Bio-Security
  • Database Management Systems
  • Development of Software for Multi-Media Applications
  • Environmental Management for Agricultural Operations
  • Machine Performance Reliability of Individual Units and Systems
  • Optimization of Machinery Repair and Replacement
  • Technical Sales and Service Research

 Agricultural Production Engineering

  • Adoption Trends and Attitudes Toward Precision Agriculture in Florida Citrus
  • Agricultural Robotics and Mechatronics
  • Agrochemical Application Technology
  • Alternate Machinery for Field Operations
  • Development of Pest Management Decision Models
  • Development of Sensors for Variable Rate Application of Pesticides
  • Farm Automation
  • Fruit and Vegetable Harvesting
  • Machinery Safety - Development and Testing of Safety Innovations for Agricultural Machinery
  • Machine System Design
  • Machine Vision/Image Processing
  • Modeling of Spray Deposition on Tree Canopies
  • Modeling Soil Compaction Effects on Sugarcane Growth & Yield
  • Population, Agriculture, and Environment
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Remote Sensing for Detection of Plant Stress
  • Remote Sensing in Precision Agriculture
  • Satellite Remote Sensing for Resource Assessment
  • Sensor Development Variable Rate Fertilizer Application (VRA/VRT)
  • Yield Mapping for Florida Agricultural Crops

Biological Engineering

  • Anaerobic Digestion of Biomass and Wastes
  • Analysis of Biomass Production Systems for Energy Use
  • Animal Waste Utilization and Treatment Systems
  • Biological Nutrient Treatment
  • Composting of Urban and Agricultural Wastes
  • Functional Genomics of Plants in Controlled Enviroments
  • Mathematical Modeling of Crop Growth and Yield
  • Methane Production from Biomass and Wastes
  • Microbial Transformations of Pollutants
  • Modeling and Analysis of Biological and Ecological Systems
  • Nanosensor development for monitoring biochemical processes
  • Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Biomass and Wastes

Land and Water Resources Engineering

  • Assimilation of Remotely Sensed and In-Situ Measurements to Improve Hydroecological Models
  • Assimilation of Remote Sensing and In-Situ Data into Crop Models for Estimation of Yield and Soil Carbon
  • Determination of 'Best Management Practice' Effectiveness
  • Evaluation of Alternative Sources of Water Supply
  • Evaluation of Soil-Water-Air-Plant Relationships
  • Evaluation of Water Use and Soil Carbon Sequestration Under Ridge Tillage in Mali
  • Integration of Hydrologic/Water Quality Models with GIS
  • Integration of Remote Sensing Models with Crop and Hydrologic Models
  • Integration of Satellite Data, GIS, and GPS in Water Resources Management
  • Linking Crop Growth and Water Quality Models
  • Microwave Remote Sensing for Soil Moisture Estimation
  • Modeling the Dynamics of Crop Water and Nutrient Use, Stress Development and Yield
  • Optimization of Agricultural Watershed Management Systems
  • Optimization of Irrigation Management Strategies Under Climate Change
  • Remote Sensing for Weed and Invasive Species Detection in Wetlands
  • Simulation of Water Quality using Hydrologic Models
  • Stochastic Modeling of Hydrologic Processes
  • Systems Design for Microirrigation
  • Waste Treatment by Crop Irrigation and Overland Flow

Food Engineering

  • Automatic Quality Evaluation Systems in Food and Bioprocess Operations
  • Energy Efficiency and By-Products Utilization in Food and Bioprocess Operations
  • High Pressure, Supercritical Fluids, and Ohmic Heating Technologies Applied to Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioprocess Operations
  • Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulation of Food and Processing Operations
  • Thermal Inactivation Kinetics of Microbial Spore Populations in Food and Bioprocess Sterilization
  • Thermal, Physical, and Rheological Properties of Biological Materials

Packaging Science

  • Applied Research into Packaging Applications for Industry
  • Barrier Films and Packaging
  • Intelligent Packaging Technology and Applications
  • Intrinsic Product Properties Related to Degradation Processes and Environmental Conditions
  • Multimedia Teaching Techniques
  • Package Fabrication and Materials Processing
  • Product/Package Interaction and Shelf-Life Modeling
  • Thin Film Sealing Techniques and Characterizations

Post Harvest Handling and Processing

  • Automation in Grading and Sizing of Fresh Produce
  • Cooling, Storage and Transportation of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
  • Crop Drying and Storage
  • Material Handling of Agricultural Products
  • Mathematical Modeling of Heat and Mass Transfer Processes
  • Modified Atmosphere Packaging/Controlled Atmosphere Storage

Structures and Environment Modification Systems

  • Design and Analysis of Resource Efficient Housing Systems
  • Design and Analysis of Structures Housing Agricultural and Biological Systems
  • Design Parameters for Components and Processes of Environmental Modification Systems
  • Handling and Storage of Bulk Materials Heat and Mass Transfer Analysis of Environmental Control Systems for Structures
  • Housing Systems to Reduce the Effects of Heat Stress on Animals
  • Mars Greenhouse Design and Development
  • Micro-Processor Based Systems for Optimizing and Controlling Environmental Modifications
  • Production and Physiological Responses of Animals and Plants to Environmental Conditions
  • Simulation, Design and Analysis of Energy Conservation and Management Systems for Structures Space Agriculture and Biology