Degree Overview

The bioresource science and engineering (BSE) degree is for students seeking training in chemical and physical sciences and chemical engineering as applied to manufacturing fiber products, fuels and chemicals from biomass resources. It emphasizes the application of mathematics, chemistry and engineering to paper and bioresources-based industries.

BSE is a capacity-constrained major. Its curriculum is compatible with a fifth-year, double degree with chemical engineering and provides extensive faculty contact and active student groups and is an engineering program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Please contact chemical engineering student advisors if you plan to apply for a double-degree in BSE and chemical engineering.

The BSE program focuses on the development of process engineers who optimize the manufacture of value added products from sustainable natural resources. Students learn the fundamentals of science and engineering related to the conversion of biomass to fuels, chemicals, and pulp and paper products. The BSE program has a strong research component.

BSE graduates begin careers in manufacturing, engineering, technical service and management training. Positions include process engineer, technical sales engineer, product development engineer, environmental engineer or scientist and research engineer as well as many other specialties that require a fundamental chemical engineering background.

BSE students are supported by the Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation for scholarships, internships and a path to full-time employment. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid available to BSE students. For more information, view the frequently asked questions about the BSE major and view scholarship opportunities for SEFS students and those available to BSE students only.

Sample Areas of Research

  • High-speed chemical analysis of biomass
  • Use of natural non-wood products to make paper and other bio-products
  • Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol
  • Biofuel and bioenergy options from wood
  • Surface and colloid science in bioprocessing
  • Fiber composites
  • Sensor development for biorefineries
  • Fiber production from agriculture residues
  • Bioconversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals
  • Life cycle assessment of biofuel systems
  • Thermal conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals
  • Supercritical processes in biorefineries
  • Production of unique nanocarbon structures from biomass

Educational Objectives

The BSE program has three broad educational objectives. These objectives are the long term goals that is set for students. Each objective is supported by a number of program outcomes which are those skills and abilities we expect students to have when they graduate from the program so they can achieve the objectives. By graduating, students will

  • Engage in successful careers demonstrating engineering excellence.
  • Be leaders in identifying and creatively resolving – using sound professional judgment – significant bioresource issues.
  • Develop the intellectual maturity to serve their profession and community.

The following are the Bioresource Science and Engineering student outcomes that prepare BSE graduates to attain the educational objectives listed above. Each graduate will have the ability to:

  • Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.
  • Apply the engineering design process to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration for public health and safety, and global, cultural, social, environmental, economic and other factors as appropriate to the discipline.
  • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.
  • Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plans tasks to meet deadlines and meet objectives.
  • Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • Recognize the ongoing need to acquire new knowledge using appropriate learning strategies and to correctly apply this knowledge.
  • Apply knowledge of fiber and paper science, environmental science, chemistry and engineering as it pertains to the bioresource, paper and allied industries.

Back to Top