The schedule is found in the syllabus. It will be updated continually throughout the semester so please keep an eye on the document.
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES
This course is intended to be an introductory course in biochemical engineering, focusing on the application of chemical engineering and biochemistry principles to the design and optimization of processes in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, energy, healthcare and food industries. Topics covered will include enzyme catalysis, metabolic engineering and regulation, molecular cloning to create industrial cell lines, fermentation, microbial growth, bioreactor design, cellular oxygen supply, tissue engineering and product recovery and purification.
The expected outcomes for the students of this course are:
- To understand what biochemical engineering is, and what careers are possible in the field of biochemical engineering;
- To understand essential aspects of biology and biochemistry in the context of developing cell-based processes;
- To understand the current tools (both experimental and analytical) utilized in biochemical engineering research, development and design;
- To develop the necessary skills to understand and critically analyze biochemical engineering journal articles;
- To be able to analyze and interpret experimental biochemical data;
- To acquire an appreciation for the role of biochemical engineering in both industry and academia; and
- To hone both research skills and oral and written communication skills through class assignments.
Lectures are scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. in LGRT 201. You are expected to complete any reading assignments before each lecture period and to participate in classroom discussion.
Reading assignments as well as homework, projects, and other announcements will be posted on the website. Please keep up to date as the dates may shift as the class progresses.
TEXTBOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS
The required textbook for this class is: Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts, Second Edition by M.L. Shuler and F. Kargi, Prentice Hall (2002)
- Readings: It is critical that you keep up with the reading assignments (hopefully you’ll find most of them very interesting so it shouldn’t be hard) as class lectures will give overviews of the reading with an additional focus on recent advances in the field of bioengineering.
- Homework: Homework will be assigned regularly and you will always have a minimum of one week to prepare solutions. You are encouraged to discuss the course material and problem sets with other students, but each of you is responsible for working out your own solutions to the homework problems. Homework assignments will be graded by the TA and returned to you the following week. Homework will be collected at the beginning of the class period it is due. You should be prepared to discuss the homework in class. Late homework will not accepted. PERIOD. Your homework solutions should be neat, typed (if not mathematical in nature), concise, and grammatically correct. The lowest homework grade for the semester will be dropped in the calculation of your final grade. I realize that some students obtain access to the Instructor’s Manual, which has the book problem solutions. If you use these solutions to assist you in solving any book-assigned homework problems, this constitutes cheating and you will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.
- Research Project: Student groups will compose a research proposal, which will involve identifying an important bioengineering research question, reviewing the necessary literature to properly define the scope and impact, and outlining a reasonable approach to answering the question. Good sources for identification of novel questions are recent research articles in high impact journals (e.g., Science, Nature, Nature Biotechnology, etc.). Generating and communicating ideas are critical in the establishment of a successful career in either research or academia. Details of the project are forthcoming.
- Class Participation: All students who participate in class will receive full credit. Class discussions are strongly encouraged as the class is composed of students from diverse backgrounds. Students should feel comfortable asking questions for clarification of material or initiate a more in-depth discussion of the material.
There will be two mid-term exams for the class. They will be on October 14th and November 30th.
Numerical grades will be assigned for each homework assignment, examination, and project. Your final grade will be computed based on your performance in all aspects of the course with weights as follows:
Homework and class participation 20%
Midterm exam 1 25%
Midterm exam 2 25%
Research project 30%
In borderline cases, your grade may be raised if you are close to a cutoff point for the class and if justified by your attendance and participation in class.
Although many of the assignments for this class involve discussion with your classmates, you alone are responsible for individual assignments. The exams require independent thinking and, therefore, individual efforts on homework assignments will be good practice for you. The University policy on academic honesty will be strictly enforced. The details of this policy as well as examples of violations are outlined in the “Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities” document.