The objective of the MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is to educate academic professionals who are able to solve technology related problems in the field of biosystems engineering. The emphasis of the programme is on acquiring in-depth knowledge, integrating knowledge, and the development of innovative technology and systems for a biobased society.
Typical problems in protected cultivations are for example efficient organisation and transport of plants or products in a greenhouse, energy management, light management or management of the indoor climate. Energy is needed for crop growth but is also a major cost; light is needed too but too much artificial light hampers the environment. In animal production improving animal welfare and reduction of emissions are important issues. Similar issues play a role in the housing of companion and other non-production animals. Issues in the field of arable farming are for example fertilisation, crop protection, soil quality, and environmental impact. In the biobased society there is still a growing need for renewable resources, either for energy or as resource for the industry. Optimisation of production chains, integration of consumer demands, food safety, or handling perishable products is becoming more and more important. For all these areas the availability of qualified labour at reasonable costs is a main point of concern. All these issues in the domain of biosystems have in common that technology plays a very important role in solving these problems.
The study programme is an individually tailor made thesis oriented programme. The students are introduced to technology development and engineering of systems for a biobased society, the design of innovative biosystems, and the quantitative evaluation of these innovative biosystems. The thesis can be chosen from different important disciplines within agricultural and biosystems engineering: agricultural engineering (soil technology, greenhouse technology, livestock technology, bioproduction automation), system and control (simulation, process control, robotics, system identification), information technology (databases, simulation, software engineering, information systems), operations research and logistics (agrologistics), biobased commodity chemicals (biobased technology and process engineering), and environmental engineering (biological recycling technology, renewable energy). The students are also trained in consulting on academic level and working in a multidisciplinary team.
After successful completion of this MSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- summarize the engineering aspects of biosystems used for the production of food, non-food, and resources;
- understand and apply the state of the art knowledge of one of the important disciplines, related to the thesis direction;
- apply the relevant knowledge and methods from engineering in general and biosystems engineering specific in cases related to biosystems engineering;
- make a realistic model of a biosystem in interaction with the environment;
- design a research plan in the field of biosystems engineering and critically reflect on the phases of a scientific research or design process;
- adequately carry out a research plan in the field of biosystems engineering by using adequate methods and techniques to collect and interpret data;
- design and evaluate innovative technology and systems for bioproduction by means of a structured method, systems and stakeholder analysis, and integrating knowledge, calculations, models, and simulations;
- communicate orally and in writing in a convincing way on the results of learning, experiments, and project work with to both specialist and non-specialist audiences in English;
- work adequately in a multidisciplinary and/or multicultural team on a pre-defined research or development problem relevant for the field of biosystems engineering;
- respond adequately to the societal and scientific needs and requirements related to the domain of biosystem engineering;
- retrieve and evaluate information from different sources (research, literature, internet, ...) relevant for the biosystems engineering and related disciplines;
- design and plan their own learning path based on a continuous reflection on the acquisition of knowledge on new subjects/ topics relevant for the field of biosystems engineering and improvement of skills, attitudes and performance.
Dr ir J.W. Hofstee
Radix, Building 107, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen
Ir. G. Straver
Chair: dr. ir. J.W. Hofstee
Secretary: dr. ir. J.W. Hofstee
Heeren XVII, Technotron, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG Wageningen