Biological Systems Engineering

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered



A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

  • Water Resources Planning and Management (M.S., Ph.D., also available as a minor)
  • Environmental Studies (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering (Ph.D.)
Areas of Study
  • Biological Engineering
  • Bioenergy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioprocess Engineering
  • Ecosystems Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Mechanized Systems Management
  • Site-Specific Crop Management
  • Test Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering
Promotional image for Biological Systems Engineering

Contacts for Biological Systems Engineering

Graduate Chair

Dr. Dean Eisenhauer


Campus Address

209 L.W. Chase Hall

Lincoln NE 68583-0730

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Biological Systems Engineering in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s):
    - International applicants:  GRE
    - Applicants from non-equivalent majors:  GRE
    - Otherwise:  None
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Letter of interest

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Biological Systems Engineering
Rolling admissions. Applications are reviewed monthly.


The Department of Biological Systems Engineering offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science in agricultural and biological systems engineering and mechanized systems management. The department also offers a Ph.D. in biological engineering with specialization options in water resources planning and management, water resources engineering, and environmental studies. The department also cooperates in Master of Science programs in environmental engineering and the unified Ph.D. in biomedical engineering.

Graduate study may be directed toward agricultural power and machinery systems, animal waste management, animal well-being, biomedical engineering, bioprocessing, computer applications, control systems, decision support systems, environmental engineering, food process engineering, geographic information systems, global positioning systems, ground and surface water management, irrigation system design, materials handling and processing systems, monitoring and controlling biological systems, plant environment, risk assessment, soil and water conservation, solid and hazardous waste management, water quality, and other areas of engineering science and design.

Students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment. These facilities include 15 laboratories in L. W. Chase Hall, Splinter Laboratories Building, and IAPC Pilot Plant. Field research sites in Nebraska include the Rogers Memorial Farm and Agricultural Research and Development Center in Lincoln; Haskell Agricultural Laboratory near Concord, Nebraska; and Research and Extension Centers at North Platte and Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Together these facilities capture the wide range of climate, soil, and cropping systems that exist in the state.

Courses and More

Students in Biological Systems Engineering are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Viacheslav Adamchuk
Design and analysis of automated systems for mapping soil properties on-the-go
Adjunct Faculty
Gregory Bashford
Biomedical Imaging; Noninvasive Blood Flow Velocity Measurement; Noninvasive Measurement of Musculoskeletal Tissue Injury; Imaging/Sensing for Mental Health Applications
Sohan Birla
Electromagnetic energy based process development using computer simulation models; Novel dehydration process development for drying fruits and vegetables; Process modeling and optimization
Tami Brown-Brandl
Livestock Environment
Adjunct Faculty
Bruce Dvorak
Small System Drinking Water Issues; Applied Pollution Prevention
Roger Eigenberg
Livestock Environment
Adjunct Faculty
Dean Eisenhauer
Hydrologic and Irrigation Engineering; Infiltration; Overland and Vadose Zone Flow
Thomas Franti
Surface Water Quality Engineering; Surface Water Management
John Gilley
Soil and Water Conservation Engineering; Land Application of Manure; Surface Hydrology and Water Quality
Adjunct Faculty
Milford Hanna
Value-added process engineering; Uses of agricultural commodities in applications such as starch-based "plastic" polymers; Use of plant residues and other waste streams for biopower generation;
Derek Heeren
Variable Rate Irrigation; Deficit Irrigation Strategies; Solute Fate and Transport in Soil and Shallow Squifers
Terry Howell
Irrigation engineering
Roger Hoy
Machine Performance
Suat Irmak
Land and Water Resources Engineering
David Jones
Risk Assessment and Modeling
Deepak Keshwani
Bioenergy Systems; Bioprocess Modeling
Michael Kocher
Sensors and Controls
Richard Koelsch
Whole Farm Nutrient Management; Odor Control from Livestock Systems
William Kranz
Irrigation Engineering
Adam Liska
Biofuels; Life Cycle Assessment; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Soil carbon modeling
Derrel Martin
Irrigation and Water Resources Engineering
Jennifer Melander
George Meyer
Machine vision; Electrical optical sensors; Thermal and spectral analysis for plant detection, identification, enumeration, physiological properties and stress applied to both field and greenhouse site specific crop management
Amy Millmier Schmidt
Livestock manure management; Fate and transport of environmental contaminants
Francisco Munoz-Arriola
Hydroinformatics; Integrated Hydrology; Water Resources; Hydrometeorological and Climate Forecast
Shadi Othman
Biomedical Imaging; Magnetic Resonance Elastography; Soft Tissue Mechanobiology
Angela Pannier
Biomaterials; Nonviral Gene Delivery; Tissue Engineering
Mark Riley
Jack Schinstock
Engine Power Systems
Dennis Schulte
Air Pollution; Nonpoint Source Pollution Control; Animal Waste Management
David Shelton
Soil and Water Conservation Engineering
John Smith
Machinery Management
Richard Stowell
Animal Housing Systems; Odor and Gas Emissions; Heat Stress Abatement
Jeyamkondan Subbiah
Hyperspectral Imaging and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Systems; Food Engineering
Simon van Donk
Water Resources; Irrigation; Evapotranspiration
Lijun Wang
Food and Bioprocess Engineering
Curtis Weller
Food and Bioproducts Engineering; Value-Added Processing; Biopolymeric Films
Jeffrey Woldstad
Ergonomics; Occupational Biomechanics; Energy Systems
Wayne Woldt
Groundwater Engineering and Management; Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment; Odor Management
Bryan Woodbury
Livestock waste management
Yiqi Yang
Biomaterials; Biotextiles and Nanofibers; Polymer and Fiber Sciences; Textile Chemistry and Wet Processing

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