Nov 29, 2020  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Joseph Harner, Head

Professors: G. Clark, Douglas-Mankin, Harner, Maghirang, Murphy, Rogers, Slocombe, Steichen, Wang, Wolf, and Zhang; Associate Professors: Barnes and Hutchinson; Assistant Professors: Price and Yuan; Instructor: Brokesh; Adjunct Professor: Casada, Dowell, and Steele; Adjunct Associate Professors: Chang, Hagen, Martin, and Pearson; Adjunct Assistant Professors: Hagen, Armstrong, and Wagner; Emeriti Professors: Alam, Chung, S. Clark, Johnson, Koelliker, Larson, Manges, Powell, Schrock, and Wendling; Emeriti Associate Professors: Baugher and Thierstein.

129 Seaton Hall
Fax: 785-532-5825

Biological Systems Engineering

Biological systems engineers provide an essential link between the biological sciences and engineering, which uses physical and chemical science to solve practical problems. Engineering fundamentals are applied to achieve the goal of a safe and stable food and renewable energy supply while considering human and environmental factors. Three curriculum options are available.

Educational Program Objectives

The biological systems engineering program prepares students for professional engineering careers relating to the production and processing of agricultural and biomass materials for food, non-food, and fiber products while conserving natural resources and protecting our environment. It is our goal to give students the best possible education toward that end within the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) program criteria for biological systems engineering.

The educational objectives of the biological systems engineering program are that: (1) Graduates are able to design and analyze components and processes in agricultural, biological, or environmental systems; (2) Graduates are successful practitioners in industry, government, consulting firms, or other diverse careers; and (3) Graduates are pursuing continuing education and professional development.

Educational Program Outcomes

While you are a student pursuing a degree in biological systems engineering (BSE) at Kansas State University, you will be taking a variety of courses to provide an educational background that will help you to achieve the BSE Program Educational Objectives. As you take these courses and participate in other scholastic activities, you will be achieving a variety of Program Outcomes (Student Learning Outcomes, SLO’s) that were developed to help you to become successful. By the time students graduate from the BSE program they will have: (1) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering; (2) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; (3) An ability to design a biological and agricultural engineering system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability; (4) An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams; (5) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems in agriculture, food, or other biological systems; (6) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; (7) An ability to communicate effectively; (8) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context; (9) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning; (10) A knowledge of contemporary issues; and (11) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Environmental option

Biological systems engineers work at the interface between biology and engineering. They must be knowledgeable in both disciplines. Applications in the environmental option include water quality studies of lakes, rivers, and groundwater, soil and water conservation, irrigation and drainage, system design and management, waste treatment, management of air quality inside buildings and outside, remediation of land damaged by construction, mining, and other uses.

The environmental option focuses on the design and management of systems that use or impact natural resources. Non-point pollution issues have long been a component of agricultural engineering programs. Soil conservation programs began in the 1930s, long before the environmental movement began. Point and non-point pollution sources still impact the environment, requiring biological systems engineering expertise to develop solutions to those problems. This option is distinct from but interfaces with the environmental option in civil engineering.

Secondary major in natural resources and environmental sciences

Students enrolled in biological systems engineering, regardless of option, may participate in the natural resources and environmental sciences secondary major. Courses used for the secondary major may also be used for completing regular graduation requirements.

Biological option

Biological systems range in size from cells to complex groups of living organisms. Biological engineers work with these systems in areas that include biomaterials, bioinstrumentation, biological systems modeling, bioremediation, food and fiber processing, and energy from biological products. The biological option fulfills the requirements for a BS in biological systems engineering while providing students with the flexibility to receive a strong “biological” emphasis in their engineering program. Course selections also provide students with the option of a biology minor, or they can opt to meet the requirements for a pre-medical or pre-veterinary program. Graduates in this program area can pursue careers and/or additional studies in fields such as environmental engineering, biological systems engineering, biomedical engineering, food process engineering, medicine, natural resources, and related areas.

Machinery Systems option

Many biological systems engineers design, test, and evaluate the machines used in agriculture, construction, and related offhighway industries. The machinery systems option provides graduates with the analytical tools needed to develop machines that reduce the cost of production for both traditional and new crops, while operating within environmental and energy constraints. This option includes courses that emphasize mechanical design as well as the interaction of machines with soil and plant materials. Related technologies such as fluid power, instrumentation, and electronic controls are also included in this option.

Agricultural technology management (B.S.) 

Agricultural technology management Minor 



Concurrent B.S./M.S.

Secondary Major