University of Wisconsin–Madison

What is Biological Systems Engineering?

Biological systems engineers design, manage, and develop systems and equipment that produce, package, process, and distribute the world’s food and fiber supplies.

Many students are unaware of Biological Systems Engineering as a discipline, and may wonder what we do. Biological Systems Engineering is a discipline based on engineering principles with emphasis on the production and processing of food, fibers, and materials of biological origin.

Job opportunities for BSE graduates remain plentiful and show no signs of decreasing given the increase in world population and corresponding increasing need for food, fiber and renewable energy, the measurable shortage of highly trained technical personnel in the United States, and the constantly expanding emphasis on protection and conservation of natural resources.

The Biological Systems Engineering program at UW provides a broad based education, preparing students for the variety of applications that involve biological systems. While breadth is a part of the experience here, students have the opportunity to develop specialization in a number of areas. These different emphases are listed below, more information about them can be found on their pages and at the Undergraduate Studies page.

Ag & Bio Engineering: Meeting the needs of humankind, sustainably

ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) overview of agricultural and biological engineering.

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers at Iowa State Making a World of Difference

Winning entry from Iowa State in an ASABE Student Video Contest where the students explain what they like about agricultural and biological engineering.

This sounds great! How do I get started?

If you’re interested in our program, you should head over to our Undergraduate Studies and Entrance and Degree Requirements pages!

If you have any questions, you can get in touch with Betsy Wood, our Student Services Coordinator:

Phone: (608) 262-3310

115 Agricultural Engineering Building
460 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706