Who are Biological Systems Engineers?

Who are Biological Systems Engineers Biological and Agricultural Engineering UC Davis Biotech food engineering agricultural and natural resources robitics sensors

Who we are

If you want to work in biotech, robotics, food processing, food safety, bioenergy, biofuels, environmental sustainability, or agricultural machine learning, biological systems engineering is a good fit for you. The above list is only part of the wonderful areas in which Biological systems engineers are working. Wherever a life science meets engineering, you will likely find a biological systems engineer.

Global Citizens Life Scientists Engineers Biological and Agricultural Engineering UC Davis

Biological systems engineers solve real world problems such as developing renewable biofuels and bioenergy, developing sustainable biomaterials and bioproducts, finding solutions to food insecurity, developing sustainable agricultural practices, working towards environmental resiliency and sustainability, and more. In the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis, our three areas of research are Biotechnical Engineering, Agricultural and Natural Resources Engineering, and Food Engineering.

For one perspective on biological and agricultural engineering, please see the following video from the American Society of Biological and Agricultural Engineers.

Recent Projects and Research Examples

Biotechnology and Biomaterials
Biotechnology, Bioenergy and Biomaterials

Developing new Biotechnology, Bioenergy and Biomaterials is one part of Biological Systems Engineering. Researchers at UC Davis have developed new techniques for microencapsulation of Cross-Linked Alginate, the Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester, and the treatment of wastewater using microalgae. Coursework in this area focuses on merging engineering and biology.

Agricultural Robotics and Sensors
Agricultural Robotics and Sensors

Faculty, staff, and students have produced many notable Agricultural Robotics and Sensors. More recent projects include the SmartFarm initiative which seeks to incorporate smart machines for precision agriculture in order to combat food insecurities, FRAIL-bots which were developed to help improve efficiency at harvest time, and spray applications using Remote Controlled Helicopters.

Food Processing and Safety
Food Processing and Safety

In addition, work in Food Processing and Safety is also moving forward. Not only are researchers finding new ways to improve the longevity and safety of the foods we eat, they are also learning more about how that food is digested through the Human Gastric Simulator, and making it safer to process certain foods through Infrared (IR) peeling.

Environmental Sustainability
Environmental Sustainability

To help shape the future in a positive way, much of the work we do is also designed to enhance Environmental Sustainability. Examples of this range from the Sustainable Campus, Sustainable Cities initiative, which is helping bring about a zero-net energy solution at UC Davis, to the Fish Conservation and Culture lab, which is conserving and cultivating the endangered Delta Smelt.