This program is designed to prepare students for employment in the bioenergy and bio-products industry, the water resource management (water and wastewater treatment) industry and in remediation of environmental pollution (soil and water). Students learn the science of water and wastewater treatment, measurement of environmental (soil and water) levels of nitrogen and phosphorus; composting, biogas, biodiesel and bioethanol production; production of bio-products such as chemicals used in the manufacture of biodegradable plastics, detergents, paints, adhesives etc. through hands-on and in-class sessions.
Graduates of this program will be well positioned to take up roles as operators in-training (OIT) in water and wastewater treatment (municipal and industrial) plants. Additionally, graduates will be prepared to take the state-administered wastewater operator license (Class II). Graduates of this program will also fill positions as technicians, analysts and sales representatives in water treatment equipment manufacturing firms, bioenergy (biogas, bioethanol, biodiesel, bio-butanol) plants (including farm-operated biogas plants) and research laboratories; in bio-products (biologically derived chemicals) and other fermentation-based plants; in soil and water conservation, in industrial water purification facilities, in grain handling, as analysts in environmental consultancies and energy firms, and in food processing plants (analysis of energy and water consumption and waste management).
Students of this program will be exposed to cutting edge technologies including respirometer for real-time analysis of anaerobic digestion, 20-liter biodigester for larger-scale anaerobic digestion, 10-liter bioreactors for fermentation studies (production of liquid biofuels and bio-derived chemicals), customized biomass pretreatment reactor for biomass hydrolysis, protein and DNA gel electrophoresis apparatuses, touch-screen Bio-Rad thermocycler (polymerase chain reaction machine), rotary shaker for miniature fermentation and wastewater analytical studies, apparatuses for analyses of nitrogen, phosphorus and chemical oxygen demand (COD), high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography for analyzing sugars, biofuels, aldehydes, and other bio-products.
Applied learning opportunities (including Internship and Practicum)
Students of this program are afforded ample opportunities to apply principles learned in the classroom to real world settings. For instance, the capstone course, Bioenergy and Biological Waste Management Projects (BIOWMGT 2040T) allows students to pursue design projects that tackle real-world problems in the field, as well as a laboratory-based project on some of the most relevant challenges in the industry. Additionally, assignments are geared towards solving existing challenges in the industry and often involve interfacing with industry experts. Internship and practicum allow students to hone their skills in the workplace while acquiring new ones. Students undertake their internship and practicum experiences with bioenergy plants (Quasar Energy Group), environmental engineering companies (Green Arrow Engineering), municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities, and local soil and water conservation.