URBANA – U.S. News & World Report recently announced its 2010 ranking of the best engineering schools in the United States. U.S. News surveyed 198 programs to get the information used in the ranking. This year, the top-ranked graduate program in agricultural and biological engineering was awarded to the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The University of Illinois program received the highest ranking tied with Purdue University, followed by Texas A&M University, Cornell University, and University of California Davis to fill the top five spots.
“We have an excellent graduate program and appreciate the recognition for being among the best,” said K.C. Ting, head of the U of I Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “We have set our goal to continue to stay sustainable and competitive by keeping our program relevant, impactful, significant, and exciting.”
The U of I Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering is affiliated with both the College of Engineering and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). The department offers graduate programs at the master’s and doctorate levels. Faculty conduct research in all major areas of agricultural engineering, including automation, bioenergy and sustainability, biosystems and nanotechnology, building environment, food process and bioproducts, indoor air quality, emission control, off-road equipment, precision agriculture, safety in agriculture, soil and water resources engineering, and water quality and sustainability.
“The mission of our department is to integrate life and engineering for the enhancement of complex living systems that involve agriculture, food, environment, and energy,” Ting said.
The U of I department’s undergraduate program also ranks best in the nation and has held this honor for four consecutive years. The undergraduate program offers two curriculum paths for students, including engineering science and design and technology management. Currently, there are 272 undergraduate students enrolled in these programs.
Ting gives much of the credit for the rankings to outstanding faculty, staff, and students. “We have very high-quality people,” Ting said. “And, in the last few years, we have hired six new faculty members in areas that are new to us. The undergraduate program formerly called agricultural engineering is now agricultural and biological engineering, to reflect some of the changes that have taken place.
“We know what we need to do to keep our program going well, and we’re doing those things. We don’t think of it as staying ahead. We just want to stay great.”
For more information about the U of I Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, visit http://abe.illinois.edu.
LeAnn M. Ormsby, MBA
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois
1301 W. Gregory Drive, Room 62
Urbana, IL 61801