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Outreach Materials and Information

High School Student and Teacher Information

What is Biological Engineering?

Biological Engineering is the field of engineering that is concerned with acquiring and generating scientific and mathematical knowledge with applications to redesign and the construction of living organisms with novel structures, functions, systems, growth, materials, and processes that realize solutions to the needs of society.

Why do I want to be a Biological Engineer?

Biological Engineering is a fast-paced discipline that applies engineering to biology.
Advances in biology in the past two decades, including the completion of the mapping of the Human Genome, are driving the discovery and creation of new bio-based products and industries that require engineering expertise. These new bio-based technologies have very broad applications across the entire world, including the prevention and cure of disease, the design, manufacture, and processing of environmentally neutral products, and renewable, sustainable energy. All of these areas require professional biological engineers. 
Biological engineers will solve today’s pressing problems in the areas of human health, sustainable environment, and energy independence.
Employment in biological engineering will grow at over 20% per year in the next decades, at starting salaries of $52 – $100K+. Biological Engineering, especially in the area of biofuels, will positively impact the economic recovery, economic output, and energy security of the U.S.
Biological Engineering offers many fascinating areas of specialization.
Biological Engineers will make a difference in the world.

What will I study in Biological Engineering?

You will study all the necessary core engineering topics (we are an ABET-Accredited Engineering Program) that you will need to graduate as an engineer. Some of the Biological Engineering specialization courses that we offer include:

  • Tissue Engineering
  • Bio-nanotechnology
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Synthetic Biological Engineering (check out Adventures in Synthetic Biology)
  • Biophotonics
  • Biomaterials Engineering
  • Bioinstrumentation
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Biosensors
  • Biofuels

First of all, if you want to be an engineer, you should take two or three years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one-half year of trigonometry while you are in high school. Four years of English and courses in biology, chemistry, physics and computer drafting are recommended. 
Here are some of the programs that we have developed for High School students in the Department of Biological Engineering and the College of Engineering:

  • Every year in June we have Engineering State at Utah State University. This is a week-long engineering camp where you will learn about all the different engineering disciplines at USU, including Biological Engineering. http://www.engineering.usu.edu/htm/information/engineering-state.
  • We offer Summer Internships for qualified high school students that are interested in Biological Engineering. You can work on a research team including undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members for a few weeks during the summer and perform actual laboratory research.
  • We regularly host group field trips to our Department, for an afternoon of lectures, lab tours, and a more in-depth introduction to Biological Engineering.
  • We will visit your High School, show you what we are all about and let you see some actual student research projects.
  • We will supply your teachers with presentations and other teaching materials for your classes.
  • If you are located too far away to visit our Department, we can arrange a presentation over the internet for your class.

The Department of Biological Engineering at Utah State University is an ABET accredited engineering program. Students graduating with a BS in Biological Engineering are required to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam before they can graduate. The FE exam is the first step toward becoming a licensed Professional Engineer.

Our curriculum ensures that you will have the necessary core engineering and biological processes & technology skills necessary. You will have an opportunity to participate in hands-on research in a wide variety of areas. Our nationally recognized faculty will welcome you to join research teams and explore many specialization areas.

About the Undergraduate Program.

We hope that you will consider pursuing Biological Engineering at Utah State University.