Mechanical Engineering compared to Biological Engineering
An Alternative to Mechanical Engineering
Agricultural Engineering draws on mechanical engineering concepts for design and development of particular applications. The following examples illustrate this:
Example 1. Fluid Power
The Agricultural Engineering Option emphasizes design of fluid power systems for power transmission and motion control, for mobile equipment or food processing facilities.
Example 2. Power Generation and Transmission
The Agricultural Engineering Option emphasizes design of power generation and transmission systems for off-road equipment, food manufacturing, feed delivery, etc.
Example 3. Bio-fuels
The Agricultural Engineering Option emphasizes design of processing systems to turn bio-mass into alternative fuels such as ethanol.
In addition, the B E major offers emphasis in the application of engineering to bio-based energy, natural resource protection, design of structures, food manufacturing, and biological production and processing.
The B E major is relatively small (50 graduating students per year), which means there are great opportunities! Some highlights are:
- Small classes
- Close to 100% career placement
- Great scholarship availability
- Non-public departmental computer lab available to B E students 24 hours per day.
- Internships, co-op, and/or wage positions with in the department are readily available.
The Agricultural Engineering Option of B E and Mechanical Engineering require common courses that can be used for either program. Certain first and second year courses that are unique to Mechanical Engineering can still be used if a student switches to the Biological Engineering major, which has a great deal of flexibility in using credits from other engineering programs. This is illustrated in the two tables below:
|ENGL 15 – Composition & Rhetoric||ECON 102, 104 – Economic Principles|
|CHEM 110 – Chemical Principles I||First Year Seminar|
|MATH 140 – Calculus I||PHYS 211 – Mechanics|
|MATH 141 – Calculus II||PHYS 212 – Electricity and Magnetism|
|EDSGN 100 – Intro. to Engineering Design||MATH 231 – Calculus of Several Variables|
|M E 300 – Thermodynamics||MATH 251 – Differential Equations|
|E MCH 211 – Statics||E MCH 212 – Dynamics|
|E MCH 213 – Strength of Materials||CAS 100A/B – Effective Speech|
|General education requirements are the same, including GA, GS, GH, GHA|
|Course taken for ME:||Counts in B E as:|
|CHEM 112 – Chemical Principles II||Technical Elective or Basic Science|
|CMPSC 200 – Programming||Technical Elective (up to 6 credits)|
|MATH 220 – Matrices||Technical Elective or Basic Science|
|PHYS 214 – Waves and Quantum Physics||Technical Elective or Basic Science|
|BIOL 141 – Introductory Physiology||Ag/Biological Elective or Basic Science|
|Other ME courses||Engineering Science/Design (up to 6 credits)|
|With the Ag Engineering Option of the B E major, the Off-Road Equipment minor can be accomplished without taking extra credits if the student plans carefully with help from a B E advisor|
For more information about the Biological Engineering major and Agricultural Engineering Option, please contact:
Dr. Megan Marshall, Instructor
Biological Engineering Program Coordinator
224 Agricultural Engineering Building
University Park, PA 16802