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Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

The Ohio State University is a national leader in undergraduate and graduate education in food, agricultural and biological engineering. We have a unique combination of exceptional new facilities, talented faculty and students, and challenging research programs, in association with outstanding faculty in both the College of Engineering and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Opportunities for Students

Graduate students in food, agricultural and biological engineering may pursue a master’s or doctoral degree and choose from five specializations, listed below with examples of research interests.

Soil and Water, Ecological, Environmental and Biological Engineering

water-table management systems, engineering design and modeling; watershed hydrology and modeling; runoff management, control and recycling; soil-water-plant relationships; treatment and application of wastes; bioremediation of contaminated soil and water; biofuel production systems; ecological engineering of agricultural systems; probabilistic methods; and engineering, ecological and geomorphological principles applied to design and management of drainage networks

Agricultural Systems Operations and Management

analysis of system costs and operation, management of production systems, machinery safety on farms and highways and occupational safety and health

Mechanical Systems Engineering

machinery systems used in precision agriculture, automatic guidance of agricultural vehicles, real-time sensors to measure soil characteristics, image processing, tillage and soil management systems, soil compaction, pest control technology, chemical application, process automation for field and specialty crops, high value crop mechanization systems and human factors and safety engineering

Food and Process Engineering

emerging technologies in sterilization/pasteurization, including ohmic heating, pulsed electric fields, ultra-high pressure processing; interaction of electricity with biomaterials; aseptic processing and packaging characteristics; extrusion; physical properties characterization with emphasis on phase transition in food systems; edible films and coating; pulsed electric field food processing; package sealing methods and integrity inspection; process automation; biological sensors and instrumentation; microbiological food safety related to processing and storage; and food product shelf life and quality

Plant and Animal Environment Engineering

controlled environment plant production; monitoring and assessment of impacts of animal production systems on air, water and soil; engineering environmentally friendly and sustainable animal production systems; composting and system parameter evaluation, modeling and optimization; treatment, management and application of animal wastes; air movement and quality at agricultural facilities; and fluid dynamics modeling of natural ventilation



Students in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, an ABET-accredited program, reap the benefits of excellent teaching and state-of-the-art research facilities. A multidisciplinary approach to applied and engineering research is encouraged.

Research Thrusts 

  • Agrichemical Application Technology
  • Agricultural Systems Engineering
  • Agricultural Wetlandsand Ecological Engineering
  • Composting
  • Food and Process Engineering
  • Greenhouse Engineering
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Wastewater and Solid Waste Management
  • Water Management
  • Water Quality
  • Watershed Systems Facilities

The department has the advantage of having two buildings for research, one on main campus in Columbus and the other in Wooster, Ohio. The university provides access to state-of-the-art research facilities in many areas. Control systems engineering, simulation and electronic systems are supported by the department’s Computer and Control Labs and Food Process Control Laboratory. CAD and CAE are available in the department and through the College of Engineering. Mainframe computer systems and a supercomputer are available.