RAS Design and Operation Certificate Program

Recirculating Aquaculture System Design & Operation

Cornell University

eCornell, Cornell University is working with the Aquacultural Engineering Society to offer a Certificate in Recirculating Aquaculture System Design & Operation. Companies are seeking qualified individuals to work with these systems at all levels. Earning a certificate in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Design and Operation identifies you as an individual who has obtained third party verification of a basic competency level in the area. This certificate distinguishes you from others who have not spent the time to learn about RAS and signifies that one's knowledge and skills are up to date with current principles involved in designing and operating RAS.
  • Examine how to design a recirculating aquaculture system, component, or process to meet production objectives
  • Determine how to best select appropriate water quality targets
  • Develop a capability to design pumping systems
  • Build an analytical capability to quantify costs of production
  • Identify the critical factors for managing a fish farm


The following topics will be covered:

  • Overview of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) engineering
  • Water quality objectives, monitoring and measurement
  • Fish growth and system staging
  • Engineering design of individual unit processes
  • System management
  • Fish health management
  • Economic and risk evaluation
  • A downloadable PDF version of the complete Recirculating Aquaculture Systems book
  • One final assessment
Members in good standing with AES, World Aquaculture Society (WAS), or an approved affiliate organization. The certificate program in RAS Design and Operation is intended to validate, or certify, the competency of an individual that is involved in this area of aquaculture production. Basic competency requires a demonstration of knowledge about the fundamental principles of designing and operating RAS. The AES is providing an independent certification of such competency as a service to the aquaculture industry.
Michael TimmonsMichael Timmons is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. His program is centered on entrepreneurial-driven enterprise. He provides a foundation of information related to the production of aquaculture products, both fresh and saltwater, with an emphasis on sustainable and environmentally friendly engineering technologies. He works with private industry to improve technology of water recirculating systems for producing fish and shellfish. Each year for the last 15 years, he conducts a 1-week short course on the principles of recirculating aquaculture.


  • Single course Certification
  • $150 USD 
  • 3-month duration (90 days from the date of enrollment), 10 - 12 hours total for entire certification
  • Grading Scheme - 90% or higher = complete


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