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Information for Prospective Graduate Students

A Top-Quality Program

The Purdue University Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering is consistently ranked among the top in the nation. In fact, our graduate program has been ranked #1 by US News & World Report for the fifth consecutive year.

Degree Programs

We have master's and doctoral-level programs available in the following areas of specialization:

  • Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Agricultural Systems Management
  • Biological Engineering and Technology
  • Biological and Food Process Engineering
  • Ecological Sciences and Engineering
  • Fluid Power (Engineering)

Graduate Research Opportunities

Grad student conducting an experimentWithin the above degree programs our faculty teach and conduct research in the following broad areas:

In addition, we are a member department of Purdue's Ecological Sciences and Engineering interdisciplinary graduate program.

Excellent facilities and internationally-known faculty support approximately 110 graduate students per year.

We are always looking for outstanding students to join our innovative research programs.  Both Masters and PhD degrees are offered in a variety of fields.  To find out more about specific research opportunities, please contact individual faculty members, or browse the web site.

To learn more about the Purdue ABE graduate program, consult our Graduate Student Manual.


We welcome your application for admission to our graduate program.  In order to receive maximum consideration for financial support, your application and all supporting documentation should be received on or before the dates listed below:

Fall Summer preceding Fall Spring of following year
January 1 (supporting materials by January 15) January 1 (supporting materials by January 15)  October 1 (supporting materials by October 15

In order to receive maximum consideration for financial support, submit your application by the above dates.

For additional details on application requirements, see:

Submit your application online via the Graduate School’s application website.  For more information contact Graduate Program Administrator (765) 494-1166.


Prestigious fellowships are available for outstanding graduate students who plan to complete a Ph.D. Nearly all graduate students in our department are supported by fellowships or research assistantships, which fund both Ph.D. and M.S. students. Research projects that fund assistantships change each year, so contact specific faculty (see below) to determine opportunities for which you may be qualified.

We encourage all applicants to complete the Fellowship Applicant Essay, which you can access and submit via the application website.

Please note the dates above (Applying) in order to receive maximum financial consideration.

Research Areas for Potential Graduate Students in Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Faculty Name Research Areas
Irrigation Design and Management.  Hydraulic network analysis using FEM. Irrigation scheduling. Expert Systems. Land and water resources planning. International development. Engineering education and administration.
Forage and biomass harvest and handling livestock feeding, fluid power; systems management
Food Process Engineering. Food Rheology. Food Extrusion, evaporation. Food processes simulation.
Ecohydrology and Ecological Engineering. Measurement and modeling of solute and sediment transport at various spatial/temporal scales, interaction of terrestrial and aquatic processes affecting water quality and linking these processes to develop integrated watershed/water quality management technology.
Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering. Cold climate hydrology, remote sensing and large-scale data analysis.
Sadegh Dabiri
Fluid Mechanics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Multiphase Flows, Cavitation
Meng Deng Convergence of materials science, micro/nano-scale engineering, and cell biology/medicine, fundamental understanding of cellular processes in tissue development and engineering effective biomaterial systems for treatment of various diseases such as tissue/organ loss
Information Systems Soil and Water Resource Engineering. Hydrologic/water quality modeling. GIS, expert systems, simulation. Management of natural resources including water quality.
Abigail Engelberth

Bioseparations for the recovery of valuable co-products from biomass either prior to processing or from waste streams.  Modeling of Bioprocess recovery and process integration for economic determination of co-product value.

Precision agriculture, sustainable agricultural production systems, and agricultural systems management.
Agricultural Safety and Health. Rural Rehabilitation. Loss prevention in the agricultural workplace through injury prevention strategies, enhanced emergency first response and the application of assistive technology
Soil Erosion Mechanics, Prediction, and Control.  Soil detachment, transport, and deposition processes. Process-based soil erosion modeling. Soil amendments for erosion control. Water quality monitoring and modeling.
Soil and Water Engineering. Hydrology and hydrologic modeling. GIS, watershed management, and water quality.
Nadia Gkritza Economic analysis of highway investments and modeling, transportation and energy interdependencies, highway safety and sustainability.
Air Quality and Building Environmental Control. Field and laboratory research of agricultural dust, gases, and odors; measurement, emission rates and control. Odor evaluation. Biofiltration of air for advanced life support.
Grain post-harvest and powder technologies with focus on: 1. Characterization and flow characteristics of biofeedstocks, 2. Logistics of biomass and solid biofuels for heat, power, and fuel production, 3. Value-addition to bioprocessing coproduct streams, and 4. Grain post-harvest and processing operations.
Biosensors and Single molecule spectroscopy for quantification of proteins and transcripts at single cell resolution. Technologies for high-speed screening and super-resolution microscopy of biomarkers in tissues for cancer screening, targeted Drug Delivery using nanomaterials, novel Nanoscale devices. Devices for pathogen detection for health monitoring.
Fluid Power System Design, Modeling and Multi-domain Simulation. Energy saving actuators, advanced transmission concepts, drive line control, computer based optimization of positive displacement pumps and motors.
Sensor Development for agricultural automation applicable to robotics and farm machinery. Electromagnetic devices for sensing technology. Color machine vision. Electro hydraulics and feedback control systems.

Bioprocess Engineering: Bioseparations (liquid chromatography, membrane separations, microfluidics). Biocatalysis for biofuels (enzymes, cellulose pretreatment, fermentation, process  scale-up).  Pathogen Detection (food safety).

Fluid power. Design of machines and systems. Sustainable technologies for developing countries. Modeling, simulation, and control of dynamic systems. Autonomous and drive-by-wire technologies for vehicles.

Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering. Multi-scale hydrological processes modeling, transfer across hydrological scales, dryland water management, water-energy-food nexus.

Bioprocessing. Conversion of renewable resources to fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Biocatalysis Enzymes for lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis, biotransformation of natural raw materials to value-added products.

Colloidal and Interfacial Phenomena. Pore formation by antimicrobial peptides in lipid bilayers, molecular dynamics simulation of protein conformation, oxidative stability in food emulsions, , pasting behavior of starch.

Jiqin Ni Waste Management to protect water and air quality. Anaerobic digestion for renewable energy production and pollution control. Air pollution monitoring, evaluation, and modeling. Data acquisition and control software programming. Sensor development.
Food and Bioprocess Engineering. Heat and mass transfer in foods. Computer-aided process design. Continuous fermentors. Experimental and computer-aided research in optimization of food and bioprocesses.
Biosensors. Lab-on-a-chip MEMS devices for cell sensing. Biomimetic sensors for environmental monitoring Bio-nanotechnology. Bioregenerative Life Support. Nutrient delivery systems for use in microgravity.

Biomaterials. Materials to measure, control, and mimic living cells. Biosensors. Nano/micro biosensors for cell physiology.  Applications in cell transplantation, bioreactors, implantable devices.

Physical Properties of Biomaterials. Magnetic resonance detection of quality in agricultural materials and food products; measurement of grain storability and quality; biomedical and bioprocess engineering.

Bioprocessing, Bioproducts. Biofuels processing/separation, chemical synthesis/modification of biomaterials, synthesis of DNA-protein bioconjugates, bioproducts development.

Systems Biology. Interdisciplinary research: mechanisms of development and regulation of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins. Finite-element modeling of biological systems. Quantitative image analysis, microscopy, and data-driven modeling.
Andrea Vacca

Fluid Power Systems. Specific emphasis on design, modeling and testing of novel concepts for Hydraulic Valves and Hydrostatic Pumps/Motors. Formulation of new approaches to model fluid properties. Aims of the research are: reduction of fuel consumption of current systems, improvement of controllability and reduction of noise emissions.