University of Wisconsin–Madison
Two plant researchers working in a lab

Food and Bioprocess Engineering Option

The food industry makes up one of the largest segments of our nation’s economy and continues to enjoy steady growth due to the ever-changing needs of consumers and increased awareness of nutritional and environmental issues. Food and bioprocess engineers play a vital role in meeting this need. From potato chips to microwavable entrees, food and bioprocess engineers continue to develop processes to convert raw materials from the farm to food products for the dining room table.

Food and bioprocess engineers develop and manage equipment and systems that process and distribute food and other biologically based materials. They are required by the food industry to help develop processes that add value to food products. These processing technologies are designed to improve the storage life and marketability of food products, reduce their transportation costs, handle processing wastes, and develop alternative uses for biological materials. (For example, newspaper and soy flour are used to make the construction material, Environ™, and corn stalks can be used to make chemical absorbent pads.)

Where might I work?

Examples of positions that recent Food and Bioprocess Engineering graduates have taken include:

  • Associate Engineer – Kraft Foods
  • Associate Production Supervisor – Hormel Foods
  • Automotive Process Engineer – Novaspect
  • Manufacturing Engineer – Oscar Mayer
  • Operation Management Trainee – Nestlé
  • Process Development Engineer – M&M/Mars
  • Process Scientist Engineer – Pillsbury Technology Center
  • Quality Assurance Associate – Ardent Mills
  • Research Assistant – UW-Madison
  • Senior Process Engineer – Unilever
Oscar Mayer, Pillsbury, Ardent Mills, and Mars logos

What is a typical starting salary?

  • Typical starting salaries vary from $55,000 to $70,000.

For more salary information, visit the CALS Graduate Salary Survey results.

Checklist and Roadmap

For more specific degree requirements, visit the Food Engineering and Bioprocess Engineering Checklists and Roadmaps.

Download this page as a PDF brochure.