Mission, objectives, outcomes, and ABET information


The definition of Ecological Engineering is engineering that incorporates ecological principles into the design of both natural and human-dominated systems. Ecology is used as its fundamental design paradigm, emphasizing resiliency, adaptation and systems approaches to develop engineered solutions that are sustainable, intrinsically incorporate a broad range of biological systems as components, and emphasize mutual improvement of both human and natural environments. This focus on incorporation of ecological principles in engineering design to promote development of robust, sustainable systems sets it apart from other engineering disciplines.

The Ecological Engineering BS program graduates students capable of analyzing problems that occur at the interface between humankind and the environment and synthesizing solutions to the benefit of both. These students are capable of addressing crucial environmental issues including habitat loss, fisheries, and pollution at the system level. Many of these issues are not amenable to simple solutions. The systems perspective often suggests solutions that are not intuitively obvious to observers focused on specific aspects of the system under consideration.

The Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering (BEE) mission statement states: Our mission is to achieve national and international recognition as a center for excellence for integrated research and education in the programs broadly defined as Ecological Engineering, Biological Engineering and Water Resources Engineering, while maintaining strong outreach links to the agricultural and natural resources communities. Our stakeholders will include links to the agricultural and natural resources communities. Our stakeholders will include environmental and ecological consulting firms, ecotechnology providers, entrepreneurial enterprises building new 21st-century biology and ecology based industries, public resource management agencies, and stakeholders in the state with interests in these focus areas.

Our educational mission is to balance innovative undergraduates and graduate programs taking advantage of our unique strengths and a relevant outreach program that takes advantage of emerging technology to deliver information to a broad clientele on adoption and use of sustainable engineering technology. Our department will produce ecological engineering graduates that are work-ready and entrepreneurial systems thinkers capable of contributing to the future prosperity and sustainable future of the State of Oregon and the global community.


The Bachelor of Science and Honor's Bachelor of Science degree programs in Ecological Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org/.


Our educational objectives were developed to link the Department’s mission to the student outcomes. The outcomes are then supported by the specific course learning objectives.  In Fall 2014, three PEOs for Ecological Engineering graduate objectives were drafted and evaluated by the Industrial Advisory Board:

  1. Our graduates will be employed as practicing engineers, engaged in advanced studies, or applying engineering problem-solving skills within non-traditional career paths;

  2. Our graduates will bring creative, innovative, and ethical, ecologically-derived, systems-level approaches to solving global problems; and

  3. Our graduates will provide ethical leadership and management skills within their organizations and in their communities.


The OSU Biological & Ecological Engineering department prepares its EcoE graduates to achieve Program Educational Objectives through developing the following abilities while enrolled in the EcoE program, as established by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.

  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.

  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.

  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.

  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks and meet objectives.

  6. Ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.

  7. Ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Student Data


Year (Fall term) Undergraduate students Graduate students
2021-2022 ~ 11
2020-2021 92* 17
2019-2020 84 27
2018-2019 92 34
2017-2018 104 28
2016-2017 107 10
2015-2016 112 21

*Starting in the 2020-2021 academic year, all first year College of Engineering students are declared as General Engineering so their enrollment numbers are not captured here.