Biological engineers help ensure that we have the basic necessities of life: safe and plentiful food supplies, pure water to drink and a safe, healthy environment. As the world population continues to increase, alternative fuels, food production and protection of our natural resources become increasingly important. Biological engineering applies engineering principles to biological sciences to produce biofuels, 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 and engineer environmentally sustainable packaging solutions for the consumer and food industries.
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. The UF Biological Engineering program is accredited by ABET.
Students in biological engineering take a core set of courses then select a more focused area of the major. Four areas of concentration are available:
- Biosystems Engineering
Biosystems 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 medical, dental and veterinary professional programs at the University of Florida.
- Land and Water Resources Engineering
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.
- Packaging Engineering
Packaging engineering is concerned with the life cycle of the package, including design, development, distribution, transport and recycling of materials with a focus on packaging technologies and sustainable packaging solutions for a variety of food and consumer products.
- Agricultural Production Engineering
Agricultural production 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.
The curriculum in BE provides a foundation to address the engineering problems of agricultural and related biological systems. These problems will be of even greater concern in the future. Courses in BE unify learned concepts into a practical ability to solve a broad range of engineering problems encountered in biotechnology, agriculture and food processing. Students must meet the requirements in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.
Each of the pathways in Biological Engineering includes a number of departmental, engineering, and technical electives. Elective choices in each area can be found by downloading our information on Biological Engineering Electives (PDF)
- Learning Outcomes
The Biological Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.