Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering
Biological engineering incorporates the science of biology into the profession of engineering. Biological Engineers use the scientific understanding how living things function to design solutions for problems that involve the ecosystem, which is the interaction of people, plants, animals, microbes and their common environment. More specifically, the focus of the U of A BENG program is on biosystems that produce and utilize water, food and energy. The goal of biological engineering is to make these biosystems sustainable. The human population is rapidly growing increasing the demand for clean water, healthy/affordable food and clean/renewable energy. These resources are limited and will not keep up with population growth unless key engineering problems are solved very soon.
As a student in the U of A BENG program, you’ll learn how to:
- control water quality and flow from rain falling on fields and forests then flowing through streams, factories and farms and settling in reservoirs
- both prevent water pollution and economically clean water
- produce food with sustainable impacts on environmental water while using as little energy as possible and minimizing the production of greenhouse gases
- economically process food to prevent contamination and spoilage to maximize the availability safe food
- produce fuel from natural products and economically utilize wind, solar and other alternative energy sources.
In addition to traditional engineering tools, you will learn how to use life cycle analysis, global information systems, and risk assessment to investigate the impacts of engineering design on the ecosystem and the impacts of changes in the ecosystem (such as climate change) on engineering design.
Forbes magazine recently listed this area as the best engineering major for the class of 2022. Industries requiring these skills include environmental management (Garver Engineering, CH2M Hill, US Army Corps of Engineers), water treatment (Beaver Water District, OMI), consumer product retailers (Wal-Mart, Estee Lauder, Target), ecosystem restoration and protection (Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Dept. of Health, US Environmental Protection Agency), food processing (Tyson, M&M Mars, Anheuser-Busch, General Mills), agriculture (Monsanto, Bayer Crop Science, DuPont), alternative energy (municipal governments), land management (US Forestry Service), and recreation (US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service).
Biological Engineering is an ABET accredited program leading to the B.S. degree. M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are also offered. The curriculum is under the joint supervision of the dean of the College of Engineering and the dean of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. The Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering degree is conferred by the College of Engineering and is granted after the successful completion of 128 hours of approved course work.
The educational objective of the Biological Engineering program at the University of Arkansas is to prepare students to successfully practice engineering involving the design and management of sustainable food, water, engery and related biological systems.