Agricultural Engineering

Engineering a Sustainable Future

The state of North Carolina leads the way in the development of biotechnological solutions for a modern society. The state is home to nearly 60 biotech companies including four of the six world leaders in plant agricultural biotechnology. It is also home to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, a non-profit organization with the mission to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina and the world through support of biotechnology research, business, education, and strategic policy.

Located in the heart of the state, NC State is a leading land-grant university with a strong history of biotechnology programs and initiatives both in the U.S. and internationally. The university’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering integrates a strong foundation in engineering science with agricultural, biological, chemical, environmental, and ecological principles to engineer a sustainable future worldwide. The department’s research focuses include bioprocess engineering, controlled environments for agriculture, data analytics and integrated modeling, ecological engineering, environmental engineering, precision agriculture and machine systems, sustainable waste management. Additionally, the university minor in biotechnology provides state-of-the-art, laboratory-based education in molecular biotechnology.

NC State is home to the Genetic Engineering and Society Center (GES) and the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Plant Health Science and Technology. The GES is a unique example of engaged scholarship. It serves as a regional, national and international hub of interdisciplinary research, analysis, and inclusive dialogue on the opportunities and challenges associated with genetic engineering and society. The center is distinctive in the nation and the world in its integration of approaches from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The Center for Plant Health Science and Technology provides scientific support for regulatory decisions and operations of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Program, which affects the import and export of plant materials into and out of the United States.

Sample Lecture/Training Sessions Topics:

  • Introduction to biotechnology and genetic engineering
  • Biotechnology policy and regulations in the U.S.
  • Roles of various government agencies
  • International biotechnology policy and regulations
  • Commercialization of biotech crops
  • Environmental risk assessment of GMO crops
  • Usage of biotech crops in the U.S. and worldwide
  • Environmental and economic impact of biotech crops
  • Food safety assessment of biotech crops
  • Coexistence of biotech, conventional, and organic crops
  • Communicating about biotechnology to the public and policymakers
  • Laboratory analysis techniques of biotech crops and safety reviews
  • Intellectual property and technology transfer

Off-Campus Site Visits:

2016 photo of Catherine Doyle (right), learning cassava mosaic disease field diagnosis and whitefly collection methods in Zambia. The man in the foreground is Titus Alicia, a research scientist from the National Crops Resources Research Institute of Uganda. Photo credit: Linda Hanley-Bowdoin.

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