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Biosystems Engineering

What is it?

As we continue to discover ways to make life better, it’s important to understand the side effects our discoveries may have on the bigger picture. Our environment is changing, both naturally and artificially — and we often find the solution to one problem may cause another elsewhere. Biosystems engineering is a field dedicated to studying the footprints our bright ideas may leave on the earth and determining the best courses of action to prevent permanent harm. From miracle pharmaceuticals to alternative energy and ecological balance, biosystems engineers are leading the way to a better life for all.

What will I study?

As a student of biosystems engineering, you’ll learn the fundamentals of engineering science, including three core areas of engineering design - process, structure and mechanics. In addition, you’ll study the biological sciences so you may apply your engineering skills to a wide array of biological applications. Courses include hands-on, team-based experiential learning activities to prepare you to solve some of mankind’s most pressing dilemmas including fossil fuel dependence, sustainable community development and the complex interaction between the biological system and engineering design.

What type of research will I do?

Creative Inquiry and undergraduate research opportunities abound in this field. Innovative research is being conducted in bioprocessing (the natural production of substances by microbial cultures), biofuels (biodiesel,hydrogen and ethanol) and nontoxic alternatives to chemical processing and recovery of water, energy and other side-products. Research in ecological engineering focuses on the management and treatment of non-point source pollution, water conservation and reuse in biofuel production, ecological restoration, and low impact development with special focus on coastal communities.

Where is my future in biosystems engineering?

Recent graduates of the program have found fulfilling industry positions in a wide array of fields such as biofuels production (Bioenergy International, Lake Erie Biofuels), nutraceutical/ pharmaceutical production (Martek Biosciences, Sumitomo Pharmaceutical), environmental design (Hazen and Sawyer,Woolpert) and environmental protection (EPA and DHEC). Those wishing to pursue advanced degrees have been recruited by graduate programs in biosystems, environmental or biomedical engineering at prestigious universities such as Vanderbilt, Stanford and Georgia Tech.

Where can I find out more about Clemson’s biosystems engineering program?

Visit http://www.clemson.edu/ces/eees/undrgrad/be/index.html for more information