Bioproducts and Bioprocessing - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Bioproducts and Bioprocess Engineering provides a specialization in the application of biological/biochemical principles to solve complex problems that are needed in developing systems for processing and converting biological materials to fuels, products and chemicals. Because of this, the program is inter-disciplinary in nature.

This graduate certificate program is designed for individuals holding baccalaureate degrees in biosystems engineering, or other appropriate engineering/science fields with an interest in biofuels, bioenergy, and bioprocess engineering. Students can complete the certificate program in one academic year (fall and spring semesters) by passing four of the courses listed below (total of 12 credit hours), and attending (in-person) all required one-week labs for each course[SA1] .

The mission of the Department of Biosystems Engineering is to develop and disseminate engineering knowledge to solve problems in agriculture, food, forestry, bioenergy and bioproducts, natural resources, and the environment. This mission is crucial to the overall mandate of Auburn University (the 1862 land-grant university for Alabama) that includes service to the citizens of the state of Alabama through instruction, research and outreach programs and preparing Alabamians to respond successfully to the challenges of a global economy.

As the world population increases to over 9 billion by 2050, there will be a corresponding increase in energy needs, and products that are currently manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels. According to Energy Information Administration (, world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% by 2050. Biological resources have the greatest potential to supplement these needs since biological materials are the only renewable source of carbon. Therefore carbon-based products such as liquid fuels, chemical, materials, and products (e.g. plastics) that are currently manufactured from fossil fuels can be obtained from biological sources (e.g. dedicated energy crops, agricultural wastes, forest residues, and municipal wastes). An added benefit to the use of biological resources is that reduction in the amount of net emission in the atmosphere thus potentially reducing the greenhouse gas problem that is currently associated with the use of fossil-based fuels. Secondly, our interaction with several industries, entities and government agencies in Alabama indicate that there is need for graduates that can develop solutions to the challenges faced by these stakeholders and employers when they process, handle, preserve and convert biological materials to value-added products. These industries include food industry, agricultural biotechnology companies, agricultural commodity processing companies, bio-industrial production companies, bioremediation companies, and pharmaceutical/nutraceutical companies.

The biosystems engineering department has a 100 year history of developing engineering-based solutions to address issues related to production, collection, conversion, and utilization of natural resources in a sustainable manner to food, feed, fuels and other value-added products, all of which require a combined knowledge of engineering and biological/biochemical principles. Graduates from this program will be competent in designing and developing systems that process and convert biological materials into fuels, chemicals and products.

 [SA1]Can this be done off-campus if the student has access to equipment required for the lab work?