Biological Engineering

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Program Overview

Biological Engineers combine their knowledge of life sciences with engineering principles to design and control biological processes and systems with the aim of enhancing human, animal and plant life.

Biological Engineers work with the most complex machines in the world - living organisms. Guelph's cutting-edge Biological Engineering program focuses on fundamentals in bio-materials science, bio-systems analysis, instrumentation and control systems. You can tailor your program to explore interests in the production of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel or sustainable bioplastics made from plant materials, the extraction and stabilization of nutraceuticals to provide health benefits or manufacturing in the food and beverage industries.

What Students are saying about Biological Engineering

Alexis - Biological Engineering Student

Biological Engineering
 In high school, after visiting my top choice schools, it was Guelph that stood out as the ideal learning and living environment.  With career aspirations ranging from doctor and architect, to medical illustrator, I needed a program that would challenge me, while giving me the freedom to seek out my passion.  As a varsity athlete and avid traveller, I valued the flexibility of working in research for two to four months each summer.  The flexibility of the biological engineering program allowed me to take specialized food science courses, and now every aspect of my job as Brewing Manager at a major international brewery draws on knowledge I learned during my undergrad!

Program Information

  Bachelor of Engineering*
*Available in regular or co-operative education
  • Process Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Food Engineering
  • Bionanotechnology
      As a Biological Engineer, you can work in a wide variety of fields including design ergonomics, pharmaceutical production, food production, biomaterials and conversions, medical equipment design, or in research.  Our graduates also pursue further education in food engineering, biomedical engineering, or in professional programs such as medicine or dentistry.
  • Research Associates
  • Clinical Engineer
  • Human Factors Analyst
  • Energy Manager


    First Year

    Your first year courses in Biological Engineering are chosen to introduce you to engineering design and to build the foundation of fundamental science and math skills needed in all fields of engineering. These foundational courses are essential to your education as an engineer.

    Fall Semsester

    Winter Semester

    CHEM*1040  |  General Chemistry I

    CHEM*1050  |  General Chemistry II

    ENGG*1100  |  Engineering and Design I

    CIS*1500  |  Introduction to Programming

    ENGG*1500  |  Engineering Analysis

    ENGG*1210  |  Engineering Mechanics I

    MATH*1200  |  Calculus I

    MATH*1210  |  Calculus II

    PHYS*1130  |  Physics with Applications

    PHYS*1010  |  Introductory Electricity and Magnetism

    Beyond First Year

    In addition to the interdisciplinary courses, below are a few courses specific to Biological Engineering. For descriptions of these courses, please consult the current Undergraduate Calendar.

    • Electronic Devices
    • Heat and Mass Transfer
    • Bio-instrumentation Design
    • Bioreactor Design
    • Biomaterials

    Elective Opportunities:

    • Process Design
    • Food Engineering
    • Biomaterials

    Design. Create. Solve.

    Guelph Engineering students experience Engineering Design from the moment they walk in the door.  At Guelph, you will take part in our integrated approach to engineering design starting immediately in your first semester. Your design experience continues to build in each year of your program and many 3rd and 4th year courses have a large design component built directly into the curriculum.

    Capstone Design Project

    In your final year, you will work with students from multiple engineering disciplines to complete a final design project that focuses on your area of interest.  This capstone course allows students to complete a project from beginning to end, in their chosen field and under the guidance of a faculty advisor.  The comprehensive design course prepares our students to envision and develop new and effective solutions to issues in our world.

    Examples of Biological Engineering capstone design projects:

    • Single-handed braking lever for disabled cyclists (1st place in the 2007 Canadian competition and 2nd place in the 2008 International competition sponsored by James Dyson Foundation)
    • An integrated control and monitoring system for wind machines used for frost and deep freeze protection in Niagara vineyards
    • Non-invasive device to measure equine pulse wave velocity
    • Moisture detection in pharmaceutical granulations
    • Assistive device for transferring a child from wheelchair to automobile restraint
    • Steam treatment for food waste
    • Gerry Chair – Adult rehabilitation walker
    • Portable system for gait analysis