FTE-34306 Quantitative Analysis of Innovative Biosystems


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Excursion (one day)4
Course coordinator(s)MSc D. Reyes Lastiri
dr. RJC van Ooteghem
Lecturer(s)MC Kik
prof. dr. ir. PWG Groot Koerkamp
MSc D. Reyes Lastiri
dr. RJC van Ooteghem
dr. ir. MBM Bracke
dr. ir. A van 't Ooster
H Ellen
ir. I Vermeij
dr. ir. RM de Mol
dr. AP Bos
TM Hoogstad
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. PWG Groot Koerkamp

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FTE-34806 Modelling of Biobased Production Systems


This course focuses on the quantitative analysis of new design concepts, innovative ideas and technology for biosystems. The leading question for the course is: Do innovative systems have a better integral sustainability performance than traditional systems?
The analysis of biosystems is performed at farm level or parts of it. Students work in small groups on real life case studies (dairy, fruit, broiler production or arable farming). The course starts with an overview of sustainability themes, analysis of the case production system, and work towards relevant indicators for biosystems. Models and calculation tools are taught and applied to assess the performance with respect to environmental (ammonia emission, environmental impact points, or energy use), social (animal welfare, working conditions, or dust emission) and economic performance (cost price of production). Sensitivity analysis is applied to determine the most important input variables and model parameters. Special attention is given to the limited availability and uncertainty of information and students have to consult experts and various information sources to make best-educated assumptions. Finally, students assess the sustainability performance, and make a trade-off analysis.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- point out the relevant sustainability issues of selected biosystems;
- apply relevant evaluation tools and models for the quantification of the various sustainability issues;
- perform a sensitivity analysis on the sustainability issues of the selected biosystems;
- interpret and reflect on the results of the sensitivity analysis;
- compose alternatives for the traditional and innovative production system with appropriate technical characteristics, and determine their sustainability performance;
- present and justify an improved biosystem in oral presentations and a scientific report.


- lectures;
- tutorials;
- case work in groups.


The examination consists of four parts, with relative weight:
- individual exam (45%);
- final report (45%);
- peer grading of final report progress (10%)
- individual assignments and field trip (pass).

To complete the course a grade of 5.50 or higher is required for the individual exam and the final report.


Reader, links to literature and lecture slides.

Compulsory for: MBEBiosystems EngineeringMSc2AF