Bio systems engineers push a large all terrain vehicle.
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    • Price Faculty of Engineering
    • Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies

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    • PhD in Biosystems Engineering

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    Expected duration

    • 4 years

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    Program options

    • Graduate Specialization in Engineering Education

Program details

Expected duration: 4 years

Tuition and fees: Two years tuition, then continuing fees in subsequent years (refer to Graduate tuition and fees)

The PhD in Biosystems Engineering consists of coursework and a substantial research component. A minimum of 12 credit hours at the 7000 level or higher is required, and students must present, submit and defend a comprehensive thesis that constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the field of study.

The department offers a Graduate Specialization in Engineering Education (GSEE) at the doctoral level. The GSEE requires 12 credit hours of coursework at the 7000 level and a thesis on an engineering education topic.

Research areas


Environmental impact assessments of agricultural and food production; animal and plant growth environments; management and utilization of agricultural and food processing wastes; land application of manure; odour measurement and control; protection and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater; site preparation and selection; and environments in buildings designed for biological processes.

Food Engineering

Infrared processing of food; superheated steam drying; preservation and transport containers for meat; modified atmosphere storage of meat, fruits, and vegetables; fast freezing of fruits; mathematical modelling of food systems; compaction of flour; physical, thermal, and rheological properties of foods; and water activities of foods.


Computer analysis of images for grading, orientation, and automation; sensors and data acquisition for biological systems.

Post-Harvest Preservation of Grains

Inter-disciplinary research on grain storing and drying systems; computer simulation of stored-grain ecosystems, physical methods of controlling insects and microorganisms; machine vision for automated handling and classification of grain; properties of grains and oilseeds; expert systems for managing stored products.

​​​​​​​Power and Machinery

Harvesting and processing of new crops such as hemp and sea buckthorn; precision farming, equipment for manure handling; guidance systems for agricultural machinery; tillage and seeding.

Soil and Water

Irrigation and drainage engineering; soil-plant-water relations; flow and contaminant transport in porous media.


Structural aspects of light-frame buildings; bulk solids storage structures (bins and silos); bulk properties of grains and powders; flow of bulk solids; use of wood and other structural materials; expert system-based structural design.

Admission requirements

To qualify for the PhD in Biosystems Engineering program, you must normally have a minimum of an MSc in Biosystems Engineering. In exceptional cases, this requirement may be waived by the department for applicants with a graduate degree in a related area.

Students making exceptional progress while enrolled in the MSc program may request to transfer to the PhD program, upon the consent of the department head and based on a recommendation from the student’s advisory committee and the Biosystems Engineering Graduate Studies Committee.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.

In addition to the admission requirements described here, all applicants must meet the minimum admission and English language proficiency requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

How to apply

The biosystems engineering PhD program accepts applications for Fall, Winter and Summer admission. Applications are submitted online and must include the following before they will be reviewed by the admissions committee:

  • $100 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Uploaded copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Statement of intent
  • CV/Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if required

To find an advisor, explore the department of biosystems engineering's faculty and staff page and contact a faculty member whose research interests align with your own. Please note that your proposed advisor must hold a PhD or equivalent and be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (typically includes academic staff holding a rank of assistant professor or above).

Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.

Application deadlines

Canadian and US applicants

Term Application deadlines Apply
Fall 2021 May 1, 2021 Apply for Fall 2021 (Canada/US)
Winter 2022 September 1, 2021 Apply for Winter 2022 (Canada/US)
Summer 2022 January 4, 2022 Apply for Summer 2022 (Canada/US)
Fall 2022 May 1, 2022 Apply for Fall 2022 (Canada/US)

International applicants

Term Application deadlines Apply
Winter 2022 June 1, 2021 Apply for Winter 2022 (International)
Summer 2022 October 1, 2021 Apply for Summer 2022 (International)
Fall 2022 February 1, 2022 Apply for Fall 2022 (International)

Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated.

Learn more

Contact us

Admission and application inquiries

Faculty of Graduate Studies
Room 500 UMSU University Centre
65 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Phone: 204-474-9377
Fax: 204-474-7553

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Program inquiries

Price Faculty of Engineering
Room E2-290 Engineering & Information Technology Complex
15 Gillson St.
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6
Phone: 204-474-9809
Fax: 204-275-3773