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Systems Engineering and Modeling (Food, Water and Energy)

Specialization Overview

Systems Engineering and Modeling refers to application of engineering and biology to provide basic services for human needs (food, water, energy) and to manage waste flows in a manner that protects the environment and does not compromise the needs of future generations.

One can design new and improved processes to provide people with clean water and renewable energy.  One can design new and improved systems to eliminate or manage waste streams from many sources (food processing waste, agricultural waste, human waste).   Other applications include; detection and reduction of contaminants in the environment such as pesticides, heavy metals, and pathogens and biochemical processing of plant and animal materials to produce fuels and energy.

Careers in Systems Engineering and Modeling

Engineers working in these areas pursue careers as consulting engineers working in waste management, energy production and conservation and environmental stewardship. They may also function as environmental, energy, and sustainability specialists in corporations, and as public health engineers in health, education and safety agencies. Many engineers obtain graduate degrees in engineering, management, law, and planning.

Sample Curricula

student 1 sample - fall
course title
BEE 5951 Master of Engineering Design Project
BEE 4870 Sustainable Bioenergy Systems
CHEME 6660 Sustainable Energy Systems
CEE 4630 Future Transportation Systems
AEM 6580 Economics and Psychology of Sustainable Business
student 1 sample - spring
course title
BEE 5952 Master of Engineering Design Project
BEE 5330 Engineering Professionalism
BEE 4010 Renewable Energy Systems
BEE 6880 Applied Modeling and Simulation for Renewable  Energy Systems
CHEME 5880 Energy Seminar II
ECE 5990 Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering


student 2 sample - fall
course title
BEE 5951 Master of Engineering Design Project
BEE 4750 Environmental Systems Analysis
ECE 5870 Energy Seminar I
AEM 4110 Introduction to Econometrics
CEE 6120 Bridge Engineering
BTRY 6520 Computationally Intensive Statistical Methods
student 2 sample - spring
course title
BEE 5952 Master of Engineering Design Project
BEE 6880 Applied Modeling and Simulation for Renewable Energy  Systems
CS 5540 Computational Techniques for Analyzing Clinical Data
CS 6702 Topics in Computational Sustainability
EAS 6660 Applied Multivariate Statistics

Past MEng Project Titles

  • A Feasibility Study Of Utilizing Biomass at Cornell’s Combined Heat and Power Plant as a Means of Further Reducing Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Upgrading dilute ethanol from syngas fermentation to n-caproate with reactor microbiomes
  • Evaluating the Impact of Energy Savings Technologies in the Statler Hotel
  • Feasibility of Upgrades to the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility to Increase its Biogas Output
  • Model Lesson Curriculum for BEE3299 Sustainable Development Industrial Ecology & Sustainable Engineering
  • The design of and underground heat exchanger for the experimental hydroponic greenhouse
  • International transport and East Asian influence on the US surface Ozone -Policy perspective on geographical and seasonal influences