About Us

The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering discovers and teaches solutions for the sustainable use of renewable resources and the enhancement of the environment.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs

The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering integrates engineering, science, technology, and management into all degree programs taught by internationally recognized faculty. We were one of the first departments in the country to embrace a broader bioproducts and biosystems education and research mission.

By the numbers: Students and faculty

  • 255 total undergraduate students in Spring 2018
    • 189 students studying Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE)
    • 66 students studying Sustainable Systems Management (SSM)
    • 30 BBE students graduating; 1 graduating in summer
    • 10 SSM students graduating; 2 graduating in summer
  • 246 total undergraduate students in Fall 2017
    • 196 BBE students
    • 50 SSM students
    • 9 BBE students graduated
    • 4 SSM students graduated
  • 49 total graduate students in Spring 2018
    • 21 M.S. students
    • 29 Ph.D students
  • 53 total graduate students in Fall 2017
    • 23 M.S. students
    • 31 Ph.D students
  • Faculty
    • Internationally renowned faculty with science and engineering background addressing various complex challenges related to bioproducts and biosystems science and engineering and sustainable systems management
    • More than 30 core faculty
    • About 20 adjunct faculty
    • See faculty directory


We discover innovative solutions to address challenges in the sustainable production and consumption of food, feed, fiber, materials, and chemicals while enhancing the environment.

Our research is focused on eight key areas:

Extension and Outreach

We are committed to making a public impact through community engagement and extension efforts. We develop and deliver high quality, regionally and nationally-recognized research-based programs to meet current and emerging needs of industry and communities.


We have a long-standing tradition of close partnerships with alumni, industry professionals, organizations, government agencies, donors, and community members. The Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Advisory Council provides counsel and support to the department and employment opportunities to our students and graduates.

100 Years of history

Historical black and white photo of men and women standing around a tractor in the field.

The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering proudly celebrated its 100th year in 2009. Our rich history can trace its roots to agricultural engineering and forest products.

Read more about our first 100 years in "The First Century Forward"

Department Head Gary Sands

Portrait of Gary Sands outside in front of a lake on a cloudy day.

Our mission

To integrate engineering, science, technology, and management for the sustainable use of renewable resources and the enhancement of the environment.

Our vision

To be global leaders in the discovery, development, and application of renewable resources and sustainable technologies to meet society's needs while enhancing the environment in Minnesota and beyond.