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


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