What is bioengineering?
There is something for everyone in ag and bio engineering

A DEGREE IN AGRICULTURAL AND BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING can be a fulfilling and rewarding path. Creative challenges and diverse opportunities abound. Many students delve into studies and research that lead to new solutions or the development of new products and processes. And education isn't confined to formal classrooms. "What I want to be when I grow up" is often confirmed when studying abroad or learning on-the-job through internships. Many students and career professionals across Canada have taken the ag and bio engineering path, and all affirm that it is the scenic route to an exciting profession. 

There is something for everyone in ag and bio engineering, let's discover what is amazing about this profession...

The following texts are excerpts from ASABE Resources Magazine November/December 2012 issue.

Our society runs on energy, which is produced in many ways, including the combustion of fossil fuels like coal and gasoline. Too often, harmful substances are released when producing or using energy. These waste products cause air and water pollution and may contribute to global warming.

Soil and water engineers study the interaction of plants, animals, and humans with soil and water. They seek ways to control soil erosion and reduce the effects of sediment and surface runoff on water quality.

To keep up with the growing demand for innovative, high-tech equipment, equipment manufacturers need more university-trained engineersModern agricultural machines must be mechanically sound and biologically sensitive, and onboard computers are becoming standard equipment.

Bioprocesses include bioreactors, fermenters, and other systems for the production of pharmaceuticals, vitamins, preservatives, and food supplements. Bioprocess engineering also includes the use of biological organisms to produce energy, including fermentation to produce ethanol and anaerobic digestion to produce methane.

Food and process engineers work on the boundary where biology meets engineering. They combine design expertise with large-scale manufacturing to develop the processing methods needed by industry.

As in other industries, information and electrical technologies provide agriculture with increased efficiency, reliability, and safety.  The future of this field is very promising, and includes combining computers and sensors with mechanical systems.

Forest engineering applies physical, biological, and engineering skills to solving problems in natural resources and environment, forest production systems, and related manufacturing industries. Forest engineers are involved in a full range of activities in natural resource management and forest production systems.

Structures and environment engineers design and build greenhouses and animal housing, storage structures for food products, and waste handling facilities.

Aquaculture refers to raising fish and shellfish to sell as food and for other uses, such as ornamental and bait fish. Aquacultural engineers concentrate on increasing production while decreasing costs and environmental impacts.

The demand for environmental engineering graduates has never been greater, because everyone must do a better job of protecting and improving the environment. Environment concerns are in the news: food processing plants are asked to reduce the pollutants returned to estuaries and bays.

Bionanotechnology is an emerging interdisciplinary field at the interface of biotechnology and nanotechnology. It is a field that centers on the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields. Studying Bio Engineering by paying attention to the developments in bionanotechnology can provide a solid foundation for broad range of careers.

Modern agriculture depends on mechanization, but these large machines can present hazards, especially when combined with long hours and solitary working conditions. Manufacturers strive to build equipment that is safe to operate and maintain by following industry-wide safety standards.