Biotechnology and Food Engineering

Modern biotechnology and food engineering are fields of high technology engineering, combining biology and life sciences with engineering, by using living material in production. The most characteristic feature of biotechnology is the use of living cells, or metabolic compounds of living organisms, e.g. enzymes, in production. Biotechnology has a long history, being perhaps the oldest technology harnessed by man.

The first applications were invented accidentally e.g. making wine, beer, yoghurt, or baking bread or making sauerkraut. Nowadays, biotechnology comprises a lot more: antibiotics, targeted drugs, functional food, enzymes produced by cultivating microbes, research of hereditary diseases etc. Microbes can also be used in ore beneficiation in mining industry, e.g. in concentrating iron or nickel. Currently, microbes are also used in producing renewable liquid or gaseous fuels e.g. from food waste.

Degree Programme in Biotechnology and Food Engineering offers both daytime studies for young adults with vocational education or high school background, or studies taking place in the evenings for adults, already working in the field. All tuition is in Finnish. The programme provides the learners with practical experience and professional knowledge in the field.

Specialisation Options

There are two specialization options in the Degree Programme of Biotechnology and Food Engineering

  • Bioprocessing and quality management
  • Biomedicine

Career Prospects

The ever more stringent requirements of using renewable sources, especially in energy production, offer great challenges and opportunities for engineers of biotechnology and food engineering, not only in Finland but also worldwide.

Engineers, graduated from Biotechnology and Food Engineering Degree Programme work for example as experts, or supervisors, both in food industry and in biotechnological production. Typical job descriptions include production, research and development, marketing, management, or environmental protection positions. Both biotechnology and food engineering are research intensive fields aiming at new sustainable, and safer or healthier products. Also improving quality and quality controls systems play an important role in the field. Engineers that have focused on research and development typically act as experts in use of modern laboratory equipment.

Contact Information

Carola Fortelius
Head of Degree Programme in Biotechnology and Food Engineering
tel. +358 9 7424 6136

Liisa Heikkilä
Programme Coordinator
tel. +358 9 7424 6137

Video: How to study if there is harmful microbes in the food?