University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois Sesquicentennial College of ACES
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Biological Engineering

Biological engineering integrates life sciences with engineering in the advancement and application of fundamental concepts of biological systems from molecular to ecosystem levels.

  • Specialization in an area of interest can be chosen from bioenvironmental engineering, ecological engineering, food and bioprocess engineering, and nanoscale biological engineering.
  • Students in bioenvironmental engineering are equipped to design systems that provide the desired environmental conditions for animals, human housing, crop storage structures, greenhouses, and other biological systems.
  • Ecological engineering gives students the knowledge to design systems reliant on functional ecosystems including wetlands, compost, ecosystem restoration, and integrated agriculture.
  • The study of food and bioprocess engineering is the application of engineering principles to biological materials to make useful food, feed, and energy products.
  • Students studying in the nanoscale biological engineering specialization learn principles of biology and engineering in order to design and manipulate biomolecular, metabolic and subcellular processes for applications in agriculture, food, environment, and energy.
  • Additional coursework in transport processes, biology, and organic chemistry is required.
  • Graduates in biological engineering have accepted positions in organizations such as the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Waterborne Environmental, Inc.

See current requirements

Questions about this concentration can be directed to:

Dr. Luis Rodriguez
372a AESB
1304 W. Pennsylvania Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Career Opportunity Spotlight

Enterprise product delivery process coordinator

Gina Vinsand

Spending time during class solving problems was one of the most influential experiences Gina Vinsand, an agricultural and biological engineering graduate, had in the College of ACES.

“Solving problems in class taught me to evaluate a problem from all sides and always look for the simplest solution,” Gina says. “It can be easy to address a problem with the same technique that’s always been used, but the big rewards come from finding the most efficient solution. In terms of process improvement, the ability to analyze many options has given me confidence that my final recommendations are correct.”

In Gina’s work as an enterprise product delivery process coordinator for John Deere Des Moines Works and John Deere Seeding Group, seeing the bigger picture is valuable.

“The skill that helps me the most in my job is seeing the big picture, understanding where every process and tool fits, and determining what each job is supposed to be doing,” Gina says. “Once I figure that out, I can determine if the process or tool needs to be modified, if we need to change the behavior of those using the process or tool, or if the status quo is running well.”


ABE Opportunities

Imagine where ACES can take you!