Introduction to Biosystems Engineering is designed as a coherent, dynamic educational resource targeted at 1st- and 2nd-year university-level students. It is designed as a coherent resource, also available for download as individual digital chapters. The chapters are intended to stimulate interest and curiosity across the breadth of Biosystems Engineering and provide an international perspective. Faculty anywhere in the world can select interesting and engaging chapters of local relevance.

This resource will grow over time with chapters contributed by Biosystems Engineers around the world. While the inaugural chapters are aligned with six ASABE technical communities, contributions of new chapters across the full scope of ASABE technical communities are very welcome. See How to Contribute a Chapter.

Development of this resource was supported by ASABE’s Harold Pinches and Glenn Schwab Teaching Materials Fund and Virginia Tech Publishing.

This educational resource is available as:

Instructors adopting or reviewing this text are encouraged to record their use on this form. This helps the book's sponsors to better understand this open textbook's impact.

Citation: Holden, N. M., Wolfe, M. L., Ogejo, J. A., and E. J. Cummins. (2021) Introduction to Biosystems Engineering, ASABE and Virginia Tech Publishing., CC BY 4.0,

Introduction to Biosystems Engineering

Energy Systems

  • Bioenergy Conversion Systems
  • Biogas Energy from Organic Wastes
  • Biodiesel from Oils and Fats
  • Baling Biomass: Densification and Energy Requirements

Information Technology, Sensors, and Control Systems

  • Basic Microcontroller Use for Measurement and Control
  • Visible and Near Infrared Optical Spectroscopic Sensors for Biosystems Engineering
  • Data Processing in Biosystems Engineering

Machinery Systems

  • Traction
  • Crop Establishment and Protection
  • Grain Harvest and Handling
  • Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems in Agricultural Machinery

Natural Resources and Environmental Systems

  • Water Budgets for Sustainable Water Management
  • Water Quality as a Driver of Ecological System Health
  • Quantifying and Managing Soil Erosion on Cropland
  • Anaerobic Digestion of Agri-Food By-products
  • Measurement of Gaseous Emissions from Animal Housing

Plant, Animal, and Facility Systems

  • Plant Production in Controlled Environments
  • Building Design for Energy Efficient Livestock Housing

Processing Systems

  • Freezing of Food
  • Principles of Thermal Processing of Packaged Foods
  • Deep Fat Frying of Food
  • Irradiation of Food
  • Packaging

Available Compilations

The entire textbook may be downloaded as a PDF or EPUB and chapters are available as individual PDF files.

Published January 2021 – The August 2020 list of chapters comprise the inaugural compilation of chapters:
Holden, N. M., Wolfe, M. L., Ogejo, J. A., and E. J. Cummins. (2020) Introduction to Biosystems Engineering, ASABE in association with Virginia Tech Publishing.