This area of emphasis involves the application of the engineering and biological sciences for the development of new bio-based products and processes. Graduates with this specialization understand and use techniques to modify and control biological systems needed in chemical and biochemical industries including food production, pharmaceuticals and environmental protection.
The educational goal of this area of emphasis is to prepare engineers who can function effectively at the complex interface of engineering, biochemistry and microbiology.
Faculty / Student Activities
- By-Product Recovery. This activity seeks to separate useful byproducts from waste streams occurring as a result of business activities or industrial processes to increase the efficiency in the use of resources, create of new products and processes, increase productivity and profitability, create new jobs, and prevent pollution. It is intended to support state efforts in converting and utilizing industrial, municipal, and agricultural byproducts as value-added products.
- Molecular bioengineering focuses on research for the improvement of biological processes through metabolic engineering. Metabolic engineering involves targeted alteration of biochemical pathways toward the goals of increased yield and productivity of biological products, or for enhanced biodegradation capabilities.
- Bioconversion efforts are focused on converting and utilizing industrial, municipal, and agricultural products and to foster new industries associated with these materials. Key programs are developing technology and providing technology-transfer to reduce solid wastes going to landfills, thereby protecting groundwater resources in Georgia; are enhancing the economic viability of rural Georgia by facilitating economic alternatives for waste handling, thereby facilitating retention of existing industries and development of new industry; and are enhancing agronomic and horticultural industries by enabling economic nutrient and soil building sources.
As engineers, graduates with this specialization are qualified to
- Design equipment for fermentation processes needed by the food and pharmaceutical industries,
- Design monitoring and control systems for biochemical processes,
- Develop new techniques to handle waste material,
- Assist customers in solving problems; providing technical services to the biochemical industry,
- Provide technical support to maintain and troubleshoot processes at a production facility,
- Conduct inspections to ensure product quality and worker safety, and
- Conduct research to identify new products and processes for the benefit of society.