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The Program

The agricultural and biosystems engineering (ABEN) program prepares men and women for careers requiring application of physical, biological and engineering science to problems that involve living systems. Agricultural and biosystems engineers provide engineering for the necessities of life. 

Agricultural and biosystems engineers are uniquely qualified to use their knowledge of mathematics, biological and physical sciences, and engineering principles to solve problems relating to the production, handling, and processing of biological materials for food, feed, fiber, and fuel; the preservation of natural resources and environment quality; and the design and production of machine systems. A major in agricultural and biosystems engineering can serve a broad range of career interests and can provide excellent career opportunities for men and women from diverse backgrounds.

Agricultural and biosystems engineering integrates engineering topics, engineering design, and biological sciences in a single program with two concentrations: agricultural engineering and biosystems engineering.

Position titles of graduates for both concentrations may include design engineer, test engineer, project engineer, plant engineer, quality control engineer, process engineer, energy adviser, consulting engineer and environmental engineer. Placement of graduates has been at or near 100% for many years.

Agricultural Engineering

Career opportunities for graduates in agricultural engineering are many and diverse. Graduates may work for companies and agencies that design, develop, test and manufacture agricultural power and machine systems; handle, store, process and enhance or protect the quality of agricultural commodities and processed products; design environment control and housing systems for plant and animal production; design equipment and systems for processing, manufacturing, distribution and quality protection of food products; manage air, land and water resources; design and manage crop irrigation systems; and develop electrical and electronic applications for agricultural problems. Graduates with an agricultural engineering concentration may also pursue graduate degrees in areas such as engineering, business or law.

Biosystems Engineering

Graduates in biosystems engineering integrate engineering, biology and chemistry in a variety of applications. Graduates may work in careers with the following goals: develop innovative green products and industries; convert bio-based resources to food, fuel and other renewable products; design new generations of devices or systems for biological systems; and control biological systems for natural resource protection, waste remediation and ecosystem restoration. Graduates may work with industries to create new and improved processes through the innovative use of microorganisms, plant and animal cells and enzymes, or they may develop sensors, control systems and computer models to monitor and control biological processes occurring in industry or the environment. Graduates with a biosystems engineering concentration may also pursue a professional or graduate degree in a number of fields including engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, management or law.

Why should I consider a career in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering?

"One of the great assets of our department is our phenomenal faculty. They care so much about the students and about their academic progression." ~ Lisa Buchholz 

"The ABEN courses are an excellent way to gain knowledge and experience in the specific areas in which the students aspire to have a career after graduation. Numerous ABEN graduates from NDSU have gone on to become prominent in the companies they work for and are ready to help new NDSU grads get a chance to gain an edge in job searches." ~ James Johnson

"The doors are always open to the students and the faculty is always willing to lend a hand, even if it is not their subject matter. ABEN department has been the best educational experience of my life." ~ Derek Olson

"The department has recruited a good group of students and the faculty, staff, and clubs help spark the involvement within the education and with each other. The class curriculum is more flexible than any other engineering major that I know of. It is the environment that makes this department." ~ Nicole (Wallace) Muhl

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Published by the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

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Last Updated: Monday, April 18, 2016 1:12:47 PM