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College of Engineering

Biological Systems Engineering

BSE studentswww.bse.vt.edu/

University Exemplary Department
S. Mostaghimi, Head and H.E. and Elizabeth F. Alpin Professor
M. L. Wolfe, Assistant Head for Teaching
Professors: . S. Cundiff; T. A. Dillaha; R. D. Grisso; S. Mostaghimi;
D. H. Vaughan; M. L. Wolfe
Associate Professors: F. A. Agblevor; J. R. Barone; B. L. Benham;
C. D. Heatwole; W. C. Hession; K. Mallikarjunan; C. Zhang
Assistant Professors: J. Arogo Ogejo; D. J. Sample; D. Scott; R. S. Senger;
Z. Wen; T. G. Wynn; Y. Zhang
Instructor: S. C. Mariger


Overview

    The Biological Systems Engineering program integrates biology, chemistry, and physics with engineering to solve engineering problems associated with the environmentally sound production, processing, and utilization of renewable resources. The curriculum differs from other engineering programs in that it focuses on the sustainable production and management of natural resources and biological materials. The curriculum prepares graduates for a variety of engineering careers. Biological systems engineering graduates are typically employed by environmental consulting firms, state and federal agencies, universities, and food processing, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and energy industries.

    The Biological Systems Engineering program is designed to graduate engineers who will be leaders in applying engineering principles to biological systems. The BSE program prepares graduates to research, design, and implement systems that mimic, adapt, or utilize biological processes for conservation and restoration of natural resources and sustainable development and production of value-added products.

    The Biological Systems Engineering program at Virginia Tech provides a strong, broad-based engineering education with opportunity for limited specialization utilizing the 18 credits of technical electives available in the curriculum. Using these electives, BSE students may specialize in one of the two formal options offered by the department: Land and Water Resources Engineering or Bioprocess Engineering. In addition, the program may also be used as a pre-med or pre-vet program.

    The Land and Water Resources Engineering Option is designed for students interested in a career in environmental protection and natural resources management. Biological, chemical, and engineering principles are applied to the wise use, conservation, and management of natural resources, particularly land and water. The option is unique in that it addresses nonpoint sources of pollution (water pollution caused by rainfall and runoff from land surfaces such as parking lots, golf courses, agricultural fields, construction sites) that are now responsible for more than half of the water quality problems in the United States. To pursue the Land and Water Resources Engineering Option, students must have junior standing and have completed BSE 2105, 2106. Students must receive a grade of C- or better in each course comprising the required 21 hours of the Land and Water Resources Engineering Option and an overall average of 2.0 or better in these courses. The required courses for the Land and Water Resources Engineering Option include:

  • BSE 3305: Land & Water Resources Engineering
    BSE 3306: Land & Water Resources Engineering
    BSE 3314: CADD for Land and Water Resources
    BSE 4304: NPS Pollution Modeling & Management
    BSE 4344: Geographic Information Systems for Engineers
    CEE 3104: Introduction to Environmental Engineering
    CSES 3114: Soils
    CSES 3124: Soils Lab
  • Those who complete the requirements of this option will have Land and Water Resources Engineering Option noted on their transcript.

    The Bioprocess Engineering Option is tailored for students interested in the design and development of equipment and processes for environmentally responsible manufacturing of value-added products such as food, feed, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, chemicals, polymers, and other biological products from renewable biological materials. To pursue the Bioprocess Engineering Option, students must have junior standing and have completed BSE 2105, 2106. The required courses for the Bioprocess Engineering Option include:

  • BSE 3524: Unit Operations in Biological Systems Engineering
    BSE 4504: Bioprocess Engineering
    BSE 4514: Industrial Processing of Biological Materials
    BSE 4524: Biological Process Plant Design
    BSE 4544: Protein Separation Engineering
    BSE 4604: Food Process Engineering
    BIOL 2614: General Microbiology Lab
  • Those who complete the requirements of this option will have Bioprocess Engineering Option noted on their transcript.

    Recognizing the importance of "hands-on" experience in engineering education, instructional laboratories are included in over half the courses in Biological Systems Engineering. These laboratory courses are designed to enhance understanding of theoretical concepts through hands-on activities. In addition to providing a strong and broad-based engineering education, the program emphasizes communication, team work skills, and design experience. The department participates in the Cooperative Education Program, which gives qualified students valuable work experience while pursuing an undergraduate degree. Students are also encouraged to participate in undergraduate research and study abroad programs. Many BSE students are employed in departmental research laboratories.

    Design and teamwork experiences are integral parts of the program. In the second year, students work in teams to design, build, and test a solution to an assigned design problem. Throughout the junior year, students acquire knowledge and analysis skills required for successful and professional engineering design through course assignments. The senior year design sequence gives students a comprehensive design experience in which they utilize much of the knowledge they have acquired through their other courses. Students work in teams to solve "real-life" engineering problems.

    The relatively small class sizes in Biological Systems Engineering promote excellent interaction between faculty and students. Mentoring begins early in the second year when each student is assigned a faculty advisor who follows the student's progress through graduation.

    The bachelor of science in biological systems engineering is offered through the College of Engineering and is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 – telephone: (410) 347-7700. The department offers over 20 endowed scholarships to students enrolled in Biological Systems Engineering; students are also eligible for College of Engineering and other university scholarships.

    In addition to the undergraduate degree program, programs of study leading to master of engineering, master of science, and Ph.D. degrees are available in the department. The BSE department also participates in the Five-Year Bachelor/Master's Degree program. Through this program, undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.5 or above can apply for admission to the Graduate School upon completion of 75 hours of undergraduate study. If admitted, students may apply up to 12 hours of graduate coursework to both their graduate and undergraduate degree requirements. This program provides students an opportunity to complete both a bachelors and master's degree in BSE within five years.

Biological Systems Engineering Program (BSE)

(This program applies to students graduating in 2011.)

First Year
First Semester Credits Second Semester Credits
CHEM 1035: General Chemistry
3
CHEM 1036: General Chemistry
3
CHEM 1045: General Chemistry Lab
1
ENGE 1114: Exploration Eng. Design
or ENGE 1104: Exploration Digital Future
2
ENGE 1024 Eng. Exploration
2
ENGL 1106: Freshman English
3
ENGL 1105: Freshman English
3
MATH 1206: Calculus II
3
MATH 1205: Calculus I
3
MATH 1224: Vector Geometry
2
MATH 1114: Elementary Linear Algebra
2
PHYS 2305: Foundations of Physics I
4
CLE Courses1
3
17
17
Second Year
First Semester Credits Second Semester Credits
ESM 2104: Statics
3
ESM 2304: Dynamics
3
Math 2224: Multivariable Calculus
3
Math 2214: Differential Equations
3
Phys 2306: Foundations of Physics I
4
ESM 2204: Mechanics of Deformables
3
Biol 1105: Principles of Biology
3
Biol 1106: Principles of Biology
3
BSE 2105: Introduction to BSE
2
BSE 2106: Introduction to BSE
2
CHEM 2514 or 2535 or 2565: Organic Chemistry
3
ISE 2014: Engineering Economy
2
18
16
Third Year
First Semester Credits Second Semester Credits
BSE 3134: Biological Systems Eng. Seminar
1
BSE 3504: Transport Processes in BSE
3
BSE 3154: Thermodynamics of Biological Sys.
3
BSE 3144: Engr Analysis for Biol Systems
2
ESM 3024: Fluid Mechanics
3
ECE 3054: Electrical Theory
3
CHEM 3615 or 4615 Physical Chemistry
3
ENGE 2344: Computer-Aided Drafting
1
CLE Courses1
6
BSE 3524: Unit Operations in BSE
3
BIOL 2604: General Microbiology
3
16
15
Fourth Year
First Semester Credits Second Semester Credits
BSE 4125: Comprehensive Design Project
2
BSE 4126: Comprehensive Design Project
2
BSE 4004: Instrumentation & Exp. Mechanics
3
BSE elective
3
Engineering topics elective
3
Technical elective
3
BSE elective
3
Engineering topics elective
3
STAT 4604: Stat. Meth. for Engrs.
or STAT 4705: Probability & Statistics for Engrs.
3
CLE Courses1
7
Technical elective
3
18
17

1 These courses must include six credits each from Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE) Areas 2 and 3; one credit from Area 6; and three credits from Area 7 (the Area 7 course may double count with Area 2 or Area 3, or with a qualifying technical elective).

In addition to university policy, for graduation, a student must complete 134 credits with a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 and a minimum in-major GPA of 2.0. The in-major GPA calculation uses the following courses: BSE 2105, 2106, 3134, 3144, 3154, 3504, 3524, 4004, 4125, 4126, the 6 hours of required BSE electives and additional BSE electives (if taken).

    Eligibility for continued enrollment: upon having attempted 72 hours (including transfer, advanced placement, advanced standing, and credit by examination), "satisfactory progress" toward a B.S. degree will include the following minimum criteria: having a GPA of at least 2.0; earning a C- or better in BSE 2106 and passing Phys 2306, Math 2224, 2214.

Undergraduate Course Descriptions (BSE)


Courses for Engineering Students
(See College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for courses for non-engineering students)


2105-2106: INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Introduction to the Biological Systems Engineering profession, overall goals and components of the undergraduate degree program, engineering design process, engineering problem-solving tools and techniques, development of oral and written communication skills, and the importance of professionalism and ethics in Biological Systems Engineering. Pre: ENGE 1016 or ENGE 1104 or ENGE 1114 for 2105; 2105 for 2106. Co: BIOL 1105 for 2105; BIOL 1106 for 2106. (1H,3L,2C)

2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

3134: BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING SEMINAR
Critical review of technical and professional articles on current topics in Biological Systems Engineering. Development of oral presentation and technical writing skills. Contemporary ethical, professional, and global issues in Biological Systems Engineering. Pre: 2106. (2L,1C)

3144: ENGINEERING ANALYSIS FOR BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS USING NUMERICAL METHODS
Solving engineering problems related to biological systems using numerical analysis including root finding, numerical integration, differentiation, interpolation and numerical solution of ordinary differential equations. Error analysis and programming with engineering software. Pre: 2106, MATH 2214. (2H,2C)

3154: THERMODYNAMICS OF BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
Fundamental concepts, first and second laws, psychrometrics applied to plant and animal environments, introduction to Gibbs energy, and application of calorimetry to gain basic understanding of energy flow in a biological system. Pre: MATH 2214. (3H,3C)

3305-3306: LAND AND WATER RESOURCES ENGINEERING
3305: Surface and groundwater hydrology, soil physics, irrigation principles, nonpoint source pollution control, land surveying. 3306: Erosion and sediment transport; transport and fate of nutrients, pesticides and pathogens; design of wetlands, detention facilities and other management practices for rural and urban nonpoint source pollution control; design of small dams and reservoirs. Pre: 2106. Co: CSES 3114, ESM 3024 for 3305. (2H,3L,3C)

3314: COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN AND DRAFTING FOR LAND AND WATER RESOURCES ENGINEERING
Introduction to computer-aided design and drafting for land and water resources engineering. Representation of features in two and three dimensions for documentation and visualization of land and water resources engineering projects. Create plans, cross sections, detail drawings, and three dimensional visualizations using computer- aided design and drafting tools. Partial duplication of ENGE 2344. Pre: 3305. (3H,2L,2C)

3414 (CEE 3414): DESIGN OF WOOD STRUCTURES
Wood as an engineering material, loads, structural lumber, glulam, plywood, design of single structural elements, combined stress design, fastener design, truss design, pole and post-frame structures, shear wall, and diaphragm design. I Pre: CEE 3404. (3H,3C)

3494: ADVANCED WELDING TECHNOLOGY
Techniques in welding that include gas, submerged metal arc, metal inert gas, pulsed arc, and tungsten inert gas welding. Design of welding structures, fundamentals of heat treatment, and plasma arc cutting. Consent required. I Pre: ISE 2214. (3L,1C)

3504: TRANSPORT PROCESSES IN BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
Introduction to material and energy balances in biological systems. Fundamentals of heat and mass transfer in biological systems. One and two dimensional conduction, convection, and diffusion of thermal energy and mass. Heat and mass transfer rates, steady and unsteady state conduction, convection, diffusion; design of simple heat exchangers. Application of these topics and fluid mechanics to fluid handling, bacterial growth, plant nutrient uptake, enzymatic reactions. Pre: 3154, ESM 3024. (3H,3C)

3514: PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS
Physical characteristics and physical properties to include mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic properties of whole and processed biological products are studied. Laboratory methods for measuring physical properties are included. Pre: ESM 3024. (2H,3L,3C) II.

3524: UNIT OPERATIONS IN BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Unit operations for processing biological materials including heat exchangers, evaporation, drying, mixing, homogenization, extrusion, phase and multi-phase separation, and size reduction. Laboratory hands-on experience in various unit operations. Co: 3504. (2H,3L,3C)

4125-4126: COMPREHENSIVE DESIGN PROJECT
4125: Identify and develop an engineering design project using the team approach; use of literature resources to define project objectives and approach; present project proposal in a professional written and oral manner; engineering ethics, professionalism and contemporary issues. 4126: Complete a comprehensive design project using the team approach and make professional presentations of the final design. Completion of 96 hours and overall GPA of 2.0 or better. Pre: (3306 or 3414 or 3524). 4125: (1H,3L,2C) 4126: (6L,2C)

4144: BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS SIMULATION
Study of modeling techniques and application of these techniques to reaction kinetics, crop growth, and systems analysis. Emphasis is on development of basic understanding of methods for defining and evaluating interrelationships between parameters in a biological system. I Pre: 3504. (3H,3C)

4304: NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION MODELING AND MANAGEMENT
Concepts, principles and application of modeling and monitoring for assessment and management of nonpoint source pollution. Design and implementation of monitoring systems. Concepts of modeling agroecosystems and land use impacts on hydrologic/water quality response of upland catchments. Model selection, calibration, validation, and application for comparative analysis. Screening models using Geographic Information Systems. Case studies in current watershed management issues, with a focus on agricultural waste and nutrient management, using existing field and watershed models. Pre: 3306. (2H,3L,3C)

4324: NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION
Engineering aspects of the sources and magnitudes of nonpoint source pollution, major causative factors, and control techniques. Emphasis on hydrologic factors, erosion, atmospheric deposition, adsorption and degradation of pollutants in soil, disposal of agricultural wastes, and management for the control of urban and agricultural nonpoint source pollution. Pre: CEE 3104. (3H,3C)

4344: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR ENGINEERS
Conceptual, technical, and operational aspects of geographic information systems as a tool for storage, analysis, and presentation of spatial information. Focus on engineering applications in resource management, site selection, and network analysis. Laboratory work and senior standing required. (2H,3L,3C) II.

4394: WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Social, economic and engineering principles of water supply and sanitation in developing countries as affected by climate, cultural and sociological factors, and material and financial resources. Pre: CEE 3104. (3H,3C) II.

4404: DESIGN OF MACHINERY SYSTEMS
Functional analysis and engineering design and selection of machinery components and systems for agricultural, food, and processing applications. Design, sizing, and selection of components, power units (internal combustion engines and electronic motors), transmission devices (belts, chains, gears, hydraulics, and drivelines), material handling devices, (pumps, fans, and conveyors), and agricultural equipment (tillage, planting and chemical applications). Pre: ESM 2204, ESM 2304, ESM 3024, BSE 3154. (2H,3L,3C)

4424 (ME 4434): FLUID POWER SYSTEMS AND CONTROLS
Design and analysis of industrial and mobile hydraulic systems. Hydrostatic transmissions. Electrohydraulic servovalve characteristics and use in precise position and speed control application. Characteristics of pumps, motors, valves, and activators illustrated in laboratory exercises. Pre: ESM 3024 or ME 3404. (2H,3L,3C)

4504: BIOPROCESS ENGINEERING
Study of the engineering concepts for biological conversion of raw materials to food, pharmaceuticals, fuels, and chemicals. Emphasis is placed on enzyme kinetics and technology, bioreaction kinetics, analysis, and control of bioreactors and fermenters, and downstream processing of bioreaction products. Pre: 3504, BIOL 2604, (CHEM 2514 or CHEM 2535 or CHEM 2565 or CHEM 2565H), (CHEM 3615 or CHEM 3615H or CHEM 4615). (3H,3C) II.

4514: INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS
Principles of industrial processing of biological materials. Surveys the major food processing and biopharmaceutical industries and the major processing steps involved in the production of vegetable oils, starch, corn sweeteners, biofuels, protein, dairy products, meat and poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and biopharmaceuticals. Economics, safety, environmental, and quality control factors involved in the processing of biological materials. Pre: (3524, 4604). (3H,3C)

4524: BIOLOGICAL PROCESS PLANT DESIGN
Engineering principles for design of systems for processing biological materials into primary and secondary products. Delivery, scheduling, storage requirements, economic analysis. Process control and instrumentation of bioprocessing plants. Pre: 4504, 4604. (3H,3C)

4544 (CHE 4544): PROTEIN SEPARATION ENGINEERING
Concepts, principles and applications of various unit operations used in protein separations. Properties of biological materials, such as cells and proteins, and their influences on process design. Design of processes for protein purification based on the impurities to be eliminated. Concepts and principles of scale-up of unit operations. Case studies in practical protein recovery and purification issues, with a focus on enhanced protein purification by genetic engineering. Protein purification process simulation and optimization using process simulation software. Pre: 3504 or CHE 3144. (3H,3C)

4604: FOOD PROCESS ENGINEERING
Analysis and design of food processing operations including thermal pasteurization and sterilization, freezing, extrusion, texturization, and mechanical separation. Pre: 3504, 3524. (3H,3C)

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

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Virginia Tech 2009-2010 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies