Biosystems Engineering


Biosystems Engineering brings engineering to life by integrating life sciences with engineering, from the molecular to the ecosystem. Biosystems engineers help to create new technologies for the well‑being of humans and animals, and the preservation and enhancement of natural resources and the environment‑ The main areas of study are environmental engineering, bio‑processing (food and pharmaceutical), bio‑environmental control, bio‑medical engineering, soil and water engineering, agricultural equipment, and light structures. Biosystems Engineering also provides an excellent pathway to the Faculty of Medicine.

What are the typical courses?
The first year of study is common among all engineering students, covering general applied science and basic engineering courses.  Typical core courses of the Biosystems Engineering program are mathematics, physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, stress analysis, statistics, mechanics, structures, transport phenomena, unit operations, biology, microbiology, and physiology. Oral and written communication is also integrated into most courses.

What choices do I have in Biosystems Engineering?
Technical electives allow students to cover a broad program in applying engineering to biological systems or to specialize in a certain area. Students take eight elective courses, of which at least four must be from a technical area, two in complementary studies, and one course about the impact of technology on society. Typical technical electives are air pollution control, environmental impact assessment, assistive technologies for physically challenged persons, machine design, structural design, animal and plant environment, bio‑processing, clinical engineering, water management, and crop preservation.

Is there a practical or work experience component?
The design component of the Biosystems Engineering program is integrated through all four years in the program, and focuses on the team‑building aspect of engineering. An optional co‑operative education program can add valuable work experience plus students get paid for their co‑op terms.

What is the advantage of studying Biosystems Engineering over science or other professions?
Biosystems Engineering students learn to integrate the knowledge of biological sciences into engineering applications to develop practical solutions to problems associated with biological systems. Biosystems professors often employ students to work on exciting research projects during the summer months giving them an opportunity to apply their knowledge and also earn a salary. Small class sizes allow one‑on‑one interactions with professors and provide students with great opportunities to develop their communication skills through in‑class presentations. Students in Biosystems Engineering will meet the requirements of pre‑medical studies (by taking an additional biochemistry course), and also will gain an excellent grounding for study in medical technology. Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba is an accredited professional program, leading to registration as a professional engineer, and the accompanying enhancements in salary and respect.

What types of jobs do Biosystems engineers do?
Biosystems Engineers work for environmental organizations, consulting firms, government agencies, research companies, food and pharmaceutical industries, agricultural equipment manufacturers, and oil and gas companies, among many others.

Why should I take Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba?
The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board has fully accredited the program, and it is recognized as equivalent in seven countries outside Canada. Students have access to dedicated computer labs, state‑of‑the‑art facilities, and participate in international competitions.

How do I get in?
Students with good academic standing can apply following completion of the required courses in University 1, or following the first year of direct entry to Engineering. For more information about admissions requirements, please consult the University of Manitoba General Calendar.