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Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Cutting-edge science to feed and fuel the future

The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering focuses on preparing students to improve the world’s food chain and available natural resources.

Our department gives students and scientists the resources necessary to generate innovative ideas and build rewarding careers through teaching, research, and Extension efforts. The Department offers degrees in Ag & Biosystems Engineering (ABE), which prepares students to work with the development and design of systems that impact food sources, and in Ag Systems Technology (AST), which teaches students the practical application of new innovations in the agricultural market. We have also partnered with the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science to jointly offer the first in the nation Precision Agriculture major.

Cutting-edge research in our department spans topics that range from food safety and biodiesel fuel to biofilters and manure odor reduction. Accurate and up-to-date information for the public and industry is provided through our Extension outreach and includes information about irrigation, farm safety, and outdoor air quality, as well as rural handicap-accessible issues and other key topics in the realm of agriculture and biosystems.

 

Our students are changing the world of agriculture! Check out the exciting Senior Design projects our students are working on this year:

 

                                                                              Netwrap and Twine Densification 

                                                                              Cody Myers and Colin LeBrun
 
Senior design students Cody Myers (Columbus, NE), Colin LeBrun (Dell Rapids, SD), and Grant Bose (Slayton, MN) from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering are working with POET, LLC to assist with the development of a new process which densifies the netwrap/twine waste stream produced at the POET-DSM LIBERTY plant. The new process will need to accommodate year-round operating conditions, accept widely varying material properties, and produce a material stream capable of being pneumatically conveyed to their solid fuel boiler system. Myers, LeBrun and Bose are helping to develop a less energy-intensive process which increases reliability and decreases cost associated with converting corn stover to biofuels.
 
 

                                              Testing and Validation of Raven’s Direct Injection Pump System

                                                                    Matt Fritzke and Chandler Jansen
 
Senior Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students Matt Fritzke (Watertown, MN) and Chandler Jansen (Emery, SD) have partnered with Raven Industries to improve the performance and accuracy of Raven’s direct injection pump system. Raven Industries is based in Sioux Falls, SD, and manufactures precision agriculture and flow control technologies.    Fritzke and Jansen will develop test procedures and corresponding test fixtures to measure actual flow produced by the injection pump under different operating scenarios. Their work will improve the accuracy of applying chemicals to fields to help reduce crop damage and improve chemical effectiveness.
 
 

                                                          Feedlot Design for a One-Thousand Head Cattle Operation

                                                                          Christopher Waibel and Lindsay Wallace
 
Senior Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students Christopher Waibel (Saint Augusta, MN) and Lindsay Wallace (Maple Plain, MN) are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on a cattle feedlot design project. Waibel and Wallace will design a new feedlot area with a full containment system.  The new feedlot will be designed to house 1,000 head and have expandability to 2,000 head.    The feedlot and containment system must be designed within South Dakota Department Environment and Natural Resources (SD DENR) and NRCS criteria. Waibel and Wallace are gaining valuable experience from this real-life project and are getting first-hand exposure to alternative viewpoints, design concepts, designing to meet specific standards and regulations, and carefully considering the economics of design choices. 

Fields of Study

Check out all the majors, specializations, and minors that the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department has to offer…

View information about graduate studies in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.