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The University of Maine    
  Jan 20, 2018
2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Engineering

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The mission of the Biological Engineering program reflects the mission of Maine’s Land Grant University, specifically to provide teaching, research and public service in the discipline of biological engineering. The goal of the Bachelor of Science program is to provide high quality undergraduate engineering instruction related to biological systems. The program educational objectives are to:

  • provide students with a solid foundation in biological engineering through the understanding and application of mathematics, science, and engineering principles.
  • prepare students for a broad range of career opportunities through the use of problem solving and critical thinking methods.
  • help students develop the ability to function effectively in the workplace through teamwork and effective communication of technical/professional information.
  • help students become aware of their moral, ethical, legal, and professional obligations to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
  • help students develop an appreciation for the necessity for lifelong learning.

Biological engineers primarily design processing systems that render biological raw materials into value-added products. Many biological engineers work on problems of scale-up related to biological processing and therefore need to be conscious of system costs, efficiencies, and environmental impacts. This curriculum provides a unique background so that students may solve engineering problems and produce engineering designs in fields associated with biomedical, bioprocessing, biotechnology as well as other biologically related fields.

Program Description

The program follows the “process engineering” approach. During the first five terms the Biological Engineering (BLE) and Chemical Engineering (CHE) programs are essentially the same. The required courses cover both the scientific foundations of the subject and the relevant engineering sciences such as thermodynamics, kinetics, fluid mechanics and unit operations. The CHE and BLE programs diverge for the last three terms during which the courses are more discipline specific. A major advantage of this arrangement is that students can transfer freely between BLE and CHE until the second term of the junior year. Additional information about the program is available on the Web at

The program provides a broad base of knowledge for engineering practice in today’s society.  The curriculum includes core courses in engineering, mathematics and science combined with electives in engineering, humanities, and social sciences.   Degrees are awarded upon satisfactory completion of 130 credits with a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0 in Chemical and Biological Engineering courses, including technical electives. The program in Biological Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.

The undergraduate program prepares students for immediate employment as well as graduate studies. The degree of Master of Science (Biological Engineering) is also offered in the Department. Several assistantships are available. The program is described in the University of Maine Graduate School online Catalog and on the Web at:

Cooperative Work Experience Program Option in Chemical Engineering
Students with satisfactory academic standing at the end of their fourth semester may elect to participate in the “Co-Op” program. This fifteen month program involves two fourteen-week sessions of paid, supervised professional experience as a junior engineer. The Co-Op sessions are typically scheduled during alternating semesters of the third year with a semester of coursework between the sessions. Students are able to participate in the Co-Op experience and still graduate in four years by scheduling one of the third-year semesters of coursework during a summer term. Participating students must register for six credits which, in general, cannot be substituted for the courses required for the BS degree. Students who do their Co-Op work experience within the Pulp and Paper sector are strongly advised to take the introductory course PPA 264 prior to their first Co-Op term. This 200-level course is allowed to satisfy a technical elective requirement for those students.

Employment Opportunities
Employment opportunities for biological engineers are as diverse as the biologically-based industries themselves. Graduates in Biological Engineering find employment as design or sales engineers in industries such as biomedical, bioprocessing, food, or pharmaceutical; in federal government entities such as EPA, NIH, USDA, or similar state agencies; in biological waste utilization industries; in government, industry, or state experimental facilities as research engineers; or in colleges and universities as teachers or instructors. Expanding engineering opportunities are available in the evolving fields of biomedical and biotechnology and the engineering of their related systems.

Many Biological Engineering undergraduates enjoy some degree of scholarship support. The following scholarships are offered on a competitive basis:

Howard D. Bartlett ‘44 and Phyllis White Bartlett ‘45 Scholarship
Charles A. Brautlecht Scholarship
Eileen M. Byrnes Scholarship
Louis Calder Foundation Scholarship
Richard E. Durst Scholarship
S.T. Han Memorial Scholarship
Thomas G. Mangan and John W. Mangan Scholarship
Omar F. and Lenora L. Tarr Memorial Scholarship
Les Trois Amis Scholarshop

In addition, the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation supports 70 upper class students per year with full tuition scholarships and also provides approximately 25 first year students with full tuition scholarships. Entry scholarships are offered to competitive first-year students based on their high school records. For more information about the opportunities, contact the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation or call 207-581-2297.


Suggested curriculum for the B.S. in Biological Engineering

The recommended sequence of the four-year curriculum is outlined below. Copies can also be obtained in the College of Engineering office with detailed explanation of the requirements. This program can be adapted to a student’s special scheduling needs in consultation with an academic advisor.

Second Year - Second Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

Special Requirements

Approved Technical Electives (9 credits):
The program requires 9 credits of engineering elective courses.  A list of preapproved electives is available at Students may also select other courses with approval of the Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Fundamentals of Engineering Examination

Students are encouraged to take the FE examination.

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