The Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering is administered jointly by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Biosystems engineering courses integrate engineering sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences and teach students to address real-world challenges. With the guidance of experienced faculty, students work both as individuals and in teams to design creative solutions to complex problems. The program culminates in a senior year design course in which students integrate the analysis, synthesis and other abilities they have developed throughout the earlier portions of their study into a capstone experience.

Academic flow charts and degree sheets


BAE 1012 Introduction to Biosystems Engineering. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): Engineering major. Introduction to the Biosystems Engineering discipline; use of computers in solving engineering problems; and the application of computer software in engineering analysis and reporting.

BAE 1022 Experimental Methods in Biosystems Engineering. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): 1012 or consent of instructor. An introduction to the basics of instrumentation, measurement techniques, and data analysis, with an emphasis on written communication skills. Lecture and laboratory exercises that address measurement principles, including accuracy, precision and error analysis.

BAE 2013 Modeling in Biosystems Engineering. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 1114, MATH 2144. Introduction and modeling of various applications in biosystmes and agricultural engineering.  Case studies that emphasize the interface between engineering and biology in areas such as plant systems, industrial biological processes, sensor and control systems development, intelligent machine design, environmental remediation, water treatment systems and food processing.  Use of a fourth generation programming language for solving engineering problems.

BAE 2023 Physical Properties of Biological Materials. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): 1022, BIOL 1114, PHYS 2014. Basic engineering fundamentals applied to characterization and determination of physical properties of biological materials, including water relations, rheological, thermal, and electromagnetic properties, materials drying concepts, fans, psychrometrics and refrigeration.

BAE 3013 Heat and Mass Transfer in Biological Systems. Prerequisite(s): ENSC 3233, MATH 2233. Mechanisms of heat and mass transfer, with specific applications in transport processes of biological systems. Introduction to steady state and transient heat conduction and convection, radiation, diffusion, simultaneous heat and mass transfer, and generation and depletion of heat and mass in biological systems.

BAE 3023 Instruments and Controls. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): ENSC 2613, MATH 2233. Design of control and instrumentation systems, including sensor and actuator principles, interface electronics, system identification, modeling, and performance specification. Applications in biological and agricultural systems. Design project required.

BAE 3113 Biological Applications in Engineering. Prerequisite(s): 2013, BIOL 1114, ENSC 2213, 3233, MATH 2233 or concurrent enrollment. Introduction to engineering applications of industrial microbiology. Technologies covered include fermentation systems, enzyme kinetics, wastewater treatment and bioremediation.

BAE 3213 Energy and Power in Biosystems Engineering. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): 1022, ENSC 2213, 2613, ENSC 2143 or concurrent enrollment.  Analysis and design of energy generation, transmission, and utilization in the production and processing of biological materials.

BAE 3313 Natural Resources Engineering. Lab 3. Prerequisite(s): 2023, STAT 2013, and ENSC 3233 or concurrent enrollment. Principles and practices of engineering analysis and design applied to hydrology, water quality, erosion and sedimentation, air quality, irrigation and animal waste management.

BAE 4001 Professional Practice in Biosystems Engineering. Prerequisite(s): Concurrent enrollment in 4012. Preparation for professional practice through case studies about ethics, legal liability, safety, and societal issues. Practical professional communications experience.

BAE 4012 Senior Engineering Design Project I. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): 3013, 3023, 3113, 3213, 3313, 4001; admission to Professional School. Team work on professional level design projects, using design procedures to develop specifications, propose alternative solutions, consider external constraints, develop drawings or plans, construct, test and evaluate designs.

BAE 4023 Senior Engineering Design Project II. Lab 4. Prerequisite(s): 4012. Second of two-semester sequence of senior design courses.

BAE 4213* Precision Agriculture. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): MATH 1513, senior standing. Introduction to the concepts of precision agriculture including analysis of spatial variability, relationships of fertility and crop response, geographical information systems, variable rate technology, optical sensing, global positioning systems, and yield monitoring. Case studies included for detailed analyses. (Same course as SOIL 4213)

BAE 4224* Machinery for Production and Processing. Prerequisite(s): 3213. Analysis and design of machine components and machine systems for production and processing of biological materials. Soil dynamics with emphasis on traction and soil compaction. Interactions of machines with biological systems.

BAE 4283* Bioprocess Engineering. Prerequisite(s):3013, 3113 or consent of instructor, ENSC 3233. Application of fundamental engineering principles to biochemical and biological processes. Introduction to cellular processes, fermentation technology, biological mass transfer and kinetics, bioreactor design and scale-up and downstream processing. (Same course as CHE 4283)

BAE 4314* Hydrology. Prerequisite(s): 3013, 3313, ENSC 3233. Basic principles of surface and groundwater hydrology and their application in engineering problems. The hydrologic cycle, weather and hydrology, precipitation, evaporation, transpiration, subsurface waters, stream flow hydrographs, hydrologic and hydraulic stream routing, probability of hydrologic events and application of hydrologic models.

BAE 4400 Special Problems. 1-4 credits, max 8. Investigations in specialized areas of biosystems engineering.

BAE 4413* Food Engineering. Prerequisite(s): 3013 and ENSC 3233, 2213. Analysis and design of various unit operations in food processing including thermal processing, drying, evaporation, freezing, processing non-Newtonian fluids and quality changes during processing.

BAE 5000* Thesis and Research. 1-6 credits, max 6. Prerequisite(s): Consent of major professor.

BAE 5030* Problems in . 1-6 credits. Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor. Problems associated with biosystems engineering and agricultural technology.

BAE 5213* Renewable Energy Engineering. Prerequisite(s): ENSC 2213, ENSC 3233 or consent of instructor. Renewable technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass to generate energy for electricity, heating, transportation, and other uses.

BAE 5283* Advanced Bioprocess Engineering. Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor. Application of fundamental engineering principles to biochemical and biological processes. Introduction to cellular processes, fermentation technology, biological mass transfer and kinetics, bioreactor design and scale-up and downstream processing. (Same course as CHE 5283)

BAE 5313* Watershed Modeling and Water Quality. Lab 6. Prerequisite(s): 4314 or equivalent. A computer modeling course with an emphasis on chemical and physical processes governing nonpoint source pollution (nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment) at the basin scale. The laboratory use of state-of-the-art models applied to a variety of agricultural systems. “Hands on” use of comprehensive hydrologic water quality models that utilize spatial data in a geographic information system. Models and parameter uncertainty, digital data sources, parameter estimation and model testing, calibration and validation. For students with advanced personal computer skills.

BAE 5324* Modeling and Design in Storm Water and Sediment Control. Lab 3. Prerequisite(s): 4314 or equivalent. Analysis and design of storm water, sediment and water quality systems with a focus on application to urban areas and developments in the urban-rural fringe. Advanced concepts in hydrologic modeling with kinematics, diffusion and dynamic modeling of flow; soil erosion, sediment transport and sediment control; storm water quality modeling and the impact of best management practices. In laboratories, use of hydrologic, sediment, and water quality models in analysis and design for real-world problems.

BAE 5333* Applied Water Resources Statistics. Lab 3. Prerequisite(s): STAT 5013 or equivalent. Applied statistical methods for hydrologists, engineers, and environmental scientists for analysis of environmental data. Parametric and nonparametric methods and exploratory data analysis applied to observed environmental data sets. Laboratory exercises emphasize hands-on application of statistical problems to reinforce concepts.

BAE 5343* Environmental Contaminant Transport. Prerequisite(s): 4314. Conceptual and mathematical models for the transport of contaminants in natural systems with an emphasis on agricultural pollutants. Basic transport processes relevant to the three environmental media – air, water, and soil. Common features underlying pollutant transport.

BAE 5413* Advanced Instrumentation in Biological Applications Control System. Prerequisite(s): 3023 or equivalent. Analysis of transducers for on-line measurement and control of biological processes. Emphasis on selection of measurement techniques and transducers to sense physical properties of biological materials. Application to agricultural and food processing industries.

BAE 5423* Food Rheology. Lab 2. Prerequisite(s): ENSC 3233. Characterization and analysis of the rheological properties of food products. Focus on measurement techniques and equipment, including tube and rotational type instruments, with specific applications in food processing.

BAE 5433* Biosensors. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 2114 and CHEM 3053 or equivalent. Principles and applications of biosensors in food analysis, disease diagnostics, and environmental monitoring. Emphasis on conceptual design and characterization of biosensors. Introduction to recent advances in biodetection using nanotechnology.

BAE 5501* Seminar. Discussion of current literature with special emphasis on research and experimental techniques.

BAE 6000* Research and Thesis. 1-10 credits, max 42. Prerequisite(s): approval by the student’s advisory committee. Independent research and doctoral thesis preparation under the cognizance of a graduate faculty member in the student’s field of specialization.

BAE 6101* Teaching Practicum in Biosystems Engineering.  Prerequisite(s): One semester of doctoral study in Biosystems Engineering, or consent of instructor. Philosophies and techniques of resident and non-resident teaching, including experiences in preparation, presentation, and evaluation of lectures, laboratories, extension or continuing education programs.

BAE 6333* Fluvial Hydraulics. Prerequisite(s): 3013 or equivalent. Principles of sediment detachment and transport in fluvial systems. Design of stable channels and flow resistance relationships for sediment-laden flows.

BAE 6343* Ground Water Contaminant Transport. Prerequisite(s): SOIL 5583 or CIVE 5913 or GEOL 5453. Principles of solute and multiphase transport in soils and ground water. Effects of advection, diffusion, dispersion, degradation, volatilization and adsorption. Relationships between laboratory and field scale transport. Contamination by nonaqueous phase liquids.

BAE 6520* Problems in Soil and Water Engineering. 2-6 credits, max 6. Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor. Problems associated with erosion control, drainage, flood protection and irrigation.

BAE 6540* Problems in Farm Power and Machinery. 2-6 credits, max 6. Prerequisite(s): consent of instructor. Literature review and analytical studies of selected farm power and machinery problems. Written report required.

BAE 6580* Problems in Transport Processes. 2-6 credits, max 6. Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor. Literature review and analysis of heat and mass transport and interval diffusion in biological materials. Transport phenomena at interfaces, thermal and cryogenic processing, drying, packed and fluidized bed systems. Thermal and moisture control processing affecting quality of food products. Written report required.

BAE 6610* Advanced Research and Study. 1-10 credits, max 20. Prerequisite(s): Approval by the student’s advisory committee. Research and study at the doctoral level on the topic related to the student’s doctoral program and field of interest.