Research

The overarching goal of agricultural and biological engineering work is to enhance complex living systems involving agriculture, food, environment and energy. The ABE department works toward this goal by applying principles from many scientific and engineering disciplines.

Geographically located in an area of intense agricultural production, with access to good transportation facilities and surrounded by a large concentration of agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturers and food processors, the department is in an enviable position to serve all areas of the agricultural community.

Many agricultural engineering graduates who have been educated and trained in the modern teaching facilities and research laboratories of the University of Illinois Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building are employed throughout the nation. Interaction and cooperation with these graduates and other alumni scattered throughout the world help maintain a viable, useful research program.

Research Areas

  • Autonomous Systems and Robotics
  • Bio-based Processing and Production Systems
  • Biomass and Renewable Energy
  • Precision and Information Agriculture
  • Agricultural and Biosystems Management
  • Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Food Quality and Safety
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Land and Water Resources
  • Spacially Distributed Systems
  • Structure and Facilities for Living Systems
  • Indoor Environmental Control
  • Bio-sensors, Bio-instrumentation, Bio-informatics and Bio-nanotechnology
  • Intelligent Machinery Systems
  • Automation of Biological Systems
  • Advanced Life Support Systems

Research Groups

  • Bioenvironmental Engineering
  • Biological Engineering
  • Food and Bioprocess Engineering
  • Off-Road Equipment Engineering
  • Soil and Water Resources Engineering

Research Laboratories

  • Air Quality Lab
    The air quality laboratory contains state-of-the-art instruments for measuring size distributions of both airborne particles and particles dispersed in liquid media.
  • Animal Environmental Research Lab

    Containing five environmental control chambers and three convective calorimeters this newly remodeled laboratory is customized for animal heat, moisture and gas production measurements. The entire building is HEPA filtered and animal care certified for a wide range of research related to animal environment, animal behavior, and gas emissions.

  • BioEnvironmental and Structural Systems (BESS) Lab
    The BESS Lab is a research, testing and educational laboratory dedicated to providing unbiased engineering data to aid in the selection, design and development of commercial agricultural products.
  • BioMASS Laboratory

    The laboratory for Biological Modeling, Analysis, and System Simulation specializes in biological system modeling, simulation, and analysis ranging from microscale ecosystems associated with denitrification to macroscale life support systems for future space missions.

  • Distributed Autonomous Systems Lab
    The Distributed Autonomous Systems Lab conducts research in autonomous decision making to enable the next generation of robotic systems.
  • Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI)

    The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) is a new research and development organization that harnesses advanced knowledge in biology, the physical sciences, engineering, and environmental and social sciences to devise viable solutions to global energy challenges and reduce the impact of fossil fuels to global warming.

  • Illinois Laboratory for Agricultural Remote Sensing (ILARS)
    The mission of ILARS is to conduct applied research and work with industry and government agencies to develop "real world" precision and site-specific tools for agriculture and natural resources management.
  • Room Ventilation Simulator (RVS)
    The RVS is ideal for studies of airflow patterns and spatial distribution of contaminants within a ventilated room.
  • Storm Water Pollution and Erosion Control Research and Training Center
    The Storm Water Pollution and Erosion Control Research and Training Center, located on the university's South Farms, features a 300-feet-long and 13-feet-high dirt berm with three drainage ditches that can be discharged into a small pond. The research facility is being used to study the processes of erosion and test how different vegetation, commercial products, and other erosion control methods can reduce the degradation of soils and soil structures caused by storm water and other weather-related factors.
  • Waste Management Lab
    This laboratory develops and evaluates novel technologies for converting agricultural waste to value added products such as renewable energy, while at the same time reducing the negative environmental impacts created by agricultural waste.

Through our various Extension and Outreach programs, ABE provides practical, research-based information and programs to help families, farms, businesses and communities in Illinois and throughout the world.