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The M.Sc. and Ph.D. Graduate Programs in Bioresource Engineering

Bioresource Engineering is an interdisciplinary program that integrates engineering, design and the biological sciences. It is a unique profession that applies engineering principles to the enhancement and sustainability of the world’s natural resources.

The department offers facilities for research in the areas of computer modelling and simulation, electrotechnology for biotech applications, food storage and processing, agricultural structures, plant and animal environments, hydrology, waste management, bioremediation, environmental and ecosystem design and control, artificial intelligence, irrigation, drainage, agricultural machinery, mechatronics, soil mechanics, post-harvest technology, cultivation and tillage, remote sensing, machine learning, machine vision, GIS, fermentation and brewing, heat and mass transfer, non-thermal pasteurization and bioenergy. The Department has a comprehensive inventory of well equipped laboratories for conducting research in all these areas.

In addition, a number of research assistantships to qualified postgraduate students with stipends up to $20,000 per year are offered.

Description of Graduate programs

1. M.Sc. Thesis Option (46 credits)

The various areas of bioresource engineering include plant and animal environments; ecological engineering (ecosystem modelling, design, management, and remediation); water resources management (hydrology, irrigation, drainage, water quality); agricultural machinery, mechatronics and robotics; food engineering and food processing; postharvest technology; waste management and protection of the environment; artificial intelligence; bioenergy. Science and Engineering graduates with a flair for research in these areas can pursue this program and would be suitable for individuals who intend to follow a career in Bioresource Engineering.

2. M.Sc. Applied - Non Thesis Option (45 credits)

The non-thesis option is aimed at individuals already employed in industry or seeking to improve their skills in specific areas (soil and water, structures and environment, waste management, environment protection, post-harvest technology, food process engineering, environmental engineering) in order to attain a higher level of engineering qualification. Candidates must be qualified to be members of a Canadian professional engineering association such as the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) and must maintain contact with their academic advisor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering before registration to clarify objectives, investigate project possibilities, and plan a program of study.

3. PhD. Standard Program (0 credits)

The course of study set out for a PhD program will depend on existing academic qualifications of the candidate and on those needed for effective pursuit of research in the chosen field. Candidates are encouraged to take an additional course of study of their own choice in some field of the humanities, sciences, or engineering not directly related to their research. The course of study will be established by consultation of the candidate with a committee which will include the Research Director and at least one other professor. Candidates for the PhD degree will normally register for the MSc degree first. In cases where the research work is proceeding very satisfactorily, or where the equivalent of the MSc degree has been completed previously, candidates may be permitted to proceed directly to the PhD degree.

4. M.Sc. Integrated Food and Bioprocessing (IFB) (45 credits)

This graduate program provides students with the tools to understand how agriculture and food production interact in order to better manage agricultural, food and biomass systems for the adequate supply of wholesome food, feed, fiber, biofuel and any other bio-based material.  This course-based program will present students with the skills needed to assess existing production, delivery and quality management systems, introduce improvements and communicate effectively with policy makers and with colleagues in multi-disciplinary teams. The goals of the proposed program are to provide up-to-date world class knowledge on techniques for adequate process design and management of our biomass production strategies to deliver quality food, natural fiber, biochemicals, biomaterials and biofuels, in a sustainable and environmental friendly way for the benefits of all.  Training activities will include laboratory research and/or industrial/government internships.

5. M.Sc. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) (45 credits)

Integrated Water Resources Management is a one year program providing an essential approach for sustainable management of our natural watershed resources. The 13-credit internship is a central feature of this Master’s program. The degree gives students the unique opportunity to study the biophysical, environmental, legal, institutional, and socio-economic aspects of water use and management, in an integrated context. The degree is directed at practicing professionals who wish to upgrade and/or focus their skill set to address water management issues. As a graduate from this program, you will be well suited to opportunities in diverse fields of employment, such as Water Resources Consultant, International Development Project Manager, Researcher with Government or University, Public Policy and Governance Development and Climate Change Impact Assessment Officer.

6. M.Sc. Thesis Option - Neotropical Environment (46 credits)

This option is a joint offering between McGill University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. This interdisciplinary option encourages and promotes ethically sound and socially significant scholarship valuable in the global context of environmental problems. Participation in the MSE-Panama Symposium presentation in Montreal is a requirement of this program. This program trains students in the socio-political aspects of the Tropical Environment.

7. M.Sc. Applied - Neotropical Environment Option (45 credits)

The non-thesis option is aimed at individuals already employed in industry or seeking to improve their skills in specific areas of the Tropical Environment. Participation in the MSE-Panama Symposium presentation in Montreal is a requirement of this program.

8. M.Sc. Applied - Environmental Engineering Option (45 credits)

The Environmental Engineering program emphasizes interdisciplinary fundamental knowledge, practical applications in diverse environmental contexts and functional skills needed for solving environmental problems. The primary objective of the program is to train environmental professionals at the advanced level. The program is thus designed for individuals with a university undergraduate degree in engineering. Through this program, students will master specialized skills in their home disciplines and acquire a broader perspective and awareness of environmental issues.

9. M.Sc. Bioresource Engineering: Environment - MSE Option (46 credits)

The thesis option allows individuals to broaden their knowledge of environmental engineering through research in coordination with the McGill School of Environment. 

10. M.Sc. Applied Bioresource Engineering Environment - MSE Option (45 credits)

The non-thesis option is aimed at individuals already employed in industry or seeking to improve their skills in specific areas with the cooperation of the McGill School of Environment.

11. PhD. Neotropical Environment (9 credits)

This is a research-based degree with a team of co-advisors from McGill and Latin America with the requirements of a one year residency in Panama or tropical Latin America, three interdisciplinary courses, at least two of them focusing on North-South issues, proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese, one time off-campus (Panama) fees, possibility of NEO specific fellowships. Only the accredited professors listed on the NEO web site can accept students in the option.

12. PhD. Bioresource Engineering: Environment - MSE Option (9 credits)

The Ph.D. Bioresource Engineering: Environment – MSE Option is coordinated through the McGill School of Environment (MSE). This option is intended for students who want to take an interdisciplinary approach in their graduate research on environmental issues. Students will learn how knowledge is transferred into action with regards to the environment and how to develop an appreciation of the role of science, politics, economics, and ethics.