Bioenvironmental Engineering involves the development, use and regulation of biological systems for remediation of contaminated environments (land, air and water), and for environmentally-friendly processes -green manufacturing technologies and sustainable development. It is the optimal use of nature, in the form of plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and algae to produce renewable energy, food and nutrients in a synergistic integrated cycle where the waste of each process becomes the feedstock for another process.
It offers ways to make environmental processes work more efficiently, sustainably, creating less pollution, thus enhancing effective treatment and utilization of wastes and wastewaters. It provides the opportunities for applying the 4R strategy (REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, RECOVER), bioremediation, screening for useful extremophiles (e.g. thermophiles, psychrophiles, etc.) and wastes as resources, converting wastes to profit.
In December 2002, the Department of Science Engineering in the faculty of engineering at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) a research group named Environmental Biotechnology Engineering Research Group (EBERG) was setup with six pioneer members. In April 2004 the group changed its name to Bioenvironmental Engineering Research Group (BERG) in order to widen the scope of expertise and activities as a result of increase in our membership and research focus in the new Department of Biotechnology Engineering which was carved out of Department of Science in Engineering.
On 23rd February 2005 the IIUM approved the application of BERG to be upgraded into a research unit known as Bioenvironmental Engineering Research Unit(BERU). In February 2010 the Ministry of Higher Education(MOHE) Malaysia recognized BERU as a Centre of Excellence for Green Technology based on the niche “Bioconversion and utilization of waste into value added products”.
On application for upgrading to a research centre, the IIUM Research Board Meeting no. 2/2011 approved the upgrade of BERU to Bioenvironmental Engineering Research Centre (BERC).
Bioenvironmental Engineering Research Centre (BERC) provides engineering and scientific solutions using, experimental, analytical, and computational techniques necessary for dealing with problems involving water supply, wastewater treatment, waste management, environmental pollution control (land, and water), and environmental impact assessment of engineering projects etc.
Emphasis is on employment of biotechnology principles and environmentally friendly technologies/techniques to solve diverse environmental problems. The scope of activities of BERC is centred around three core specialities; Environmental Management, Waste Utilization Engineering and Technology, Nanotechnology Applications in Environmental Management.