We bring life to engineering
Our unique focus to design and develop processes, products and systems using basic biological, environmental science and engineering tools generates solutions to societal problems involving water, food, energy and public health. Students increasingly need to participate in problem-solving across traditional boundaries. Rapid technological changes are an added challenge, with implications driven by diminishing resources and a growing population. We aim to enable our students to drive innovation as our discipline continues to be transformed by our changing world.
About our department
Welcome to the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering (BEE) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Our department is one of the largest of its kind in the country, with a very diverse faculty, staff and student population. We serve three integrated functions: teaching the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students, research on problems in biology and the environment, and public outreach to help society implement new knowledge.
Low-cost microbe can speed biological discovery
To conduct low-cost and scalable synthetic biological experiments, Cornell researchers have created a new version of a microbe to compete economically with E. coli – a bacteria used to synthesize proteins.
Cornell researchers have used high-speed cameras to analyze what happens when raindrops hit a leaf of a wheat plant infected with rust – a pathogenic spore that has decimated crops globally.
Whirligig beetles – the world’s fastest-swimming insect – achieve surprising speeds by employing a strategy shared by fast-swimming marine mammals and water fowl.