Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2023/2024 | Previous academic years:  2022/2023  |  2021/2022  |  2020/2021  |  2019/2020 
Bachelor's degree in Agricultural, Food and Rural Environment Engineering at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Credits: 3 Type of subject: Optative Year: 4 Period: 2º S
Department: Estadística, Informática y Matemáticas
ARRARAS VENTURA, ANDRÉS (Resp)   [Mentoring ]

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Module/Subject matter



General proficiencies

CG7: Knowledge of basic, scientific, and technological matters that enable continuous learning, as well as a capacity to adapt to new situations and/or changing environments.
TC3: Oral and written communication skills in English.
TC6 Ability to learn autonomously.
TC7 Ability to solve problems with creativity, initiative,  methodology, and critical thinking.
BC1: Students are able to demonstrate they have acquired knowledge and understanding in a field of study based on the basic foundations gained within their general secondary education together with the support of advanced textbooks and aspects of the latest advances in the field.
BC2: Students can apply their knowledge to a job or vocation in a professional manner and have the competences which are generally shown through the elaboration and defence of arguments and problem solving in their field of study.
BC3: Students have the ability to collect and interpret relevant data (generally within their field of study) in order to make judgments which include reflection on relevant issues of social, scientific or ethical nature.
BC4:Students can convey information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialized or non-specialized audiences.
BC5: Students can develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy.


Specific proficiencies

SC1: Ability to solve mathematical problems that may arise in engineering. Aptitude for applying knowledge towards: linear algebra, geometry, differential geometry, differential and integral calculus, differential equations and partial derivatives, numerical methods and numerical algorithmic methods, statistics, and optimization.
SC3 Basic knowledge of the use and programming of computers, operating systems, databases and computer programmes with engineering applications.
SC17: Ability to take decisions with the resources available to work in multidisciplinary groups.
SC18 Ability to transfer technology; understand, interpret, communicate, and adopt advances in the field of agriculture.
SC20: Ability to recognize, understand, and utilize the principles of engineering and food technology: food engineering and basic operations, food technology, food industry processes, modelling and optimization. Quality management and food safety, food analysis, traceability
SC28: Ability to recognize, understand, and utilize the principles of agricultural and landscape Engineering, environmental legislation and management, sustainable development principles, market and professional strategies, assessment of environmental assets, hydrology, erosion, plant material production, use, and maintenance, ecosystems and biodiversity, physical environment and climate change. Analysis, management, and land use planning. Landscaping
principles. Specific design and graphic expression tools, practical development of environmental impact studies, environmental and landscaping restoration projects. Projects and maintenance plans for green spaces. Development projects. Tools for spatial and landscape planning. Projects and works management and planning
SC30: Ability to recognize, understand, and utilize the principles of the basis and technology of rural construction; soil mechanics, materials, strength of materials, structural design and calculation, agricultural construction, infrastructure, and rural roads.


Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is able to:

  • LO1: Understand the basic principles of modeling and simulation, with a special emphasis on environmental and food science applications.
  • LO2: Understand the fundamentals of MATLAB with the aim of writing simple programs and designing graphical user interfaces.
  • LO3: Apply suitable computing techniques to simulate processes arising from a variety of applications, such as groundwater and porous media flow, contaminant transport, atmospheric chemistry, heat transfer in the food industry, predator-prey interactions or pattern formation in biological systems.
  • LO4: Analyze, visualize and interpret simulation results through graphics and animations.



Online material is made available to students throughout the course. This includes lecture notes corresponding to each lesson, MATLAB script files and related multimedia material. The formative activities and methodologies to be used, together with an estimate of the expected number of hours for each one of them, are provided in the following table:

Methodology - Activity 
Number of hours
A1: Reading
A2: Self-study
A3: Discussions and/or group tutoring (via forum)
A4: Individual tutoring (via e-mail or in person)
A5: Writing of individual reports 8
A6: Design of a group project
A7: Oral presentation


Relationship between formative activities and proficiencies/learning outcomes

Proficiencies Formative Activities
CG7 A3, A4, A5, A6, A7
TC3, TC6, TC7 A3, A4, A5, A6, A7
BC1, BC2, BC3, BC4, BC5 A3, A4, A5, A6, A7
SC1, SC3, SC17, SC18, SC20, SC28, SC30 A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7






Continuous assessment is considered throughout the semester, based on the following activities:

Weight (%) It allows
test resit
required grade
LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 Participation in the forum discussions 10 No  
LO2, LO4 Writing of individual reports for lessons 1 and 2 50 Yes, by rewriting the reports based on the instructor's suggestions  
LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 Writing and oral presentation of a group project for lesson 3 40 Yes, by rewriting and presenting the project based on the instructor's suggestions 5

If the minimum required grade for the writing and oral presentation of the group project is not reached, the final mark will be, at most, 4.9/10




This subject introduces the student to the principles of modeling and simulation of various phenomena arising in environmental and food science processes. In doing so, the fundamentals of the MATLAB programming language are presented. Special emphasis is given on the use of visualization tools and the design of graphical user interfaces. Simulation results obtained from different models are analyzed in detail.



1. Introduction to MATLAB

Getting started. Vectors and matrices. Flow control structures. Functions. File input and output.

2. Visualization and interaction tools
Two- and three-dimensional graphics. Animations. MATLAB toolboxes. Graphical user interfaces.

3. Fundamentals of modeling and simulation techniques
From physical phenomena to computer models: modeling steps. Fundamental laws. Environmental and food processing models. Discretization methods. The PDE Modeler App.



Access the bibliography that your professor has requested from the Library.

Basic bibliography:

  1. D.J. Higham, N.J. Higham. MATLAB guide. 3rd ed., SIAM, 2017.
  2. E. Holzbecher. Environmental modeling using MATLAB. 2nd ed., Springer, 2012.
  3. M. Özilgen. Handbook of food process modeling and statistical quality control with extensive MATLAB applications. 2nd ed., CRC Press, 2011.

Additional bibliography:

  1. D. Holdsworth, R. Simpson. Thermal processing of packaged foods. 2nd ed., Springer, 2007.
  2. C. Moler. Numerical computing with MATLAB. SIAM, 2004.
  3. M.H. Trauth, E. Sillmann. MATLAB and design recipes for Earth Sciences. Springer, 2013.