Biosystems engineers are part of a new, rapidly developing discipline. These engineers design, analyze, manufacture, and manage biological products and systems. They may work in food and bioprocessing, plant and animal welfare, or environmental engineering. Typical jobs include designing equipment to produce pharmaceuticals, pet food, or human foods; controlling tissue growth for new biological products; developing biological sensors to minimize stress or enhance productivity; controlling the environments in greenhouses and animal facilities; resolving waste management, water quality, and other environmental concerns; and developing biodegradable products.
Food and industrial processing companies, pharmaceutical and health equipment manufacturers; environmental consulting firms; biotechnological companies; federal, state, and local research, regulatory, and educational agencies; and greenhouse and animal housing manufacturers all hire biological systems engineers.
To be a biological systems engineer you should have a strong interest in biology. You may want to improve food, nutrition, and health for humans and animals; create new foods; or address problems like waste management, water pollution, and waste reduction. In college you will take courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, communications, computer science, economics, and a wide variety of engineering sciences including heat flow, environmental engineering, water movement, fluid mechanics, instrumentation, controls, properties of agricultural materials, engineering analysis, and engineering design.
In high school, take mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, English, and computer science. It also helps to get involved in activities that give you experience in communicating, leading groups, solving problems, analyzing situations, and resolving conflicting views.
-- Glenn J. Hoffman and Donald M. Edwards, University of Nebraska, Lincoln