Bioprocess Engineering

Subject BTCH90006 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 52 contact hours comprising 3 x one-hour lectures per week, 2 x two-hour practical sessions, and 1x one-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

411-203 Fluid Mechanics or equivalent

650-141 Biology of cells and Organisms or equivalent

640-311 Physics or equivalent

610-171 Fundamentals of Chemistry or equivalent

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof David Dunstan


Subject Overview:

As a background to fully understand bioprocess engineering an overview of the structure and function of biological macromolecules including biochemical pathways, genetics and cellular control processes, cell structure and function, microorganism oxygen requirements, microbial diversity and a survey of microbial groups will given. The methods for characterisation of these, cultivation and enumeration of microorganisms will be described in detail with surveys of applications in biochemical and environmental engineering. Enzymic processes, kinetics, batch growth and product formation, sterilization, fermentation, mixing and separation techniques and design and the application of models to batch cultures will be clearly explained.


The objectives of this subject are to provide students with:

  • An understanding of what constitutes a biochemical engineering process and how chemical engineers use microorganisms and enzymes to produce a wide range of food, chemical and pharmaceutical products.
  • An understanding of how the same techniques are applied by environmental chemical engineers to purify liquid wastes (such as sewage, food and chemical plant wastes) prior to their discharge to the environment.
  • An understanding of basic biochemistry and microbiology to enable them to tackle biochemical engineering design problems in subsequent courses.
  • An enhanced ability to communicate intelligently with specialist microbiologists, biochemists and geneticists.
  • Practical skills in the observation, handling and culture of microorganisms, and have learned how to present in a written report experimental results from a microbiological investigation.
  • The ability to use the biological knowledge gained to better understand the living world and the interaction of living organisms with the environment.
  • An understanding of the kinetics of enzyme and microbial processes and the factors affecting the design and operation of fermentation equipment.
  • A deepened understanding of the factors affecting biological systems, which will expand their abilities to apply science and mathematics to the solution of quantitative problems in practical situations.

Two practical work assignments each not exceeding a total of 1000 words one due early in the semester (15%) and one due mid semester (15%) with a total of 30% contributing to the final assessment mark. One three-hour examination at the end of semester 1 contributing 70% to the assessment.

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Madigan, M.T. and Martinko, J.M, 2006. Brock Biology of Microorganisms. Eleventh Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J. (There are multiple copies of this and previous editions of this book available on 7 day loan in the Engineering Library)

Prescott, L.M. Harley, J.P. and Klein, D.A. 2002 Microbiology Fifth edition. McGraw-Hill, Boston (especially relevant for Mrs Cain’s section)(There are multiple copies of this and the sixth edition of this book available on short-term loan from several branches of the University Library)

Schaechter, M., Ingraham, J.L. and Neidhardt, F.C., 2006. Microbe, ASM Press, Washington, DC (especially relevant for Dr Tribe’s section) (Several copes are available on short-term loan, see University Catalogue for details).

Prescott, L.M. Microbes in Motion 3. CD-ROM, McGraw-Hill 2002 ISBN 0-07-248522-1 (available on overnight loan in the Engineering library.

Bailey J.E. and Ollis, D.F. Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals, 1986, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill NY

Schuler, M.L. and Kargi F. Bioprocess Engineering – Basic Concepts, 2002 2nd edition, Prentice hall PTD, Upper Saddle River NY. (Multiple copies of this book are available on 7 day loan (Engineering library)

Other modern biochemical engineering texts are also worth consulting.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:

  • Capacity for independent thought;
  • Ability to analyse and solve open-ended problems;
  • The ability to comprehend complex concepts and communicate lucidly this understanding;
  • Awareness of advanced technologies in the discipline; and
  • Ability to work in a team (practical work component).

Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an internet-enabled computer.

This subject is co-taught with the undergraduate subject 411-393 Bioprocess Engineering .

Related Course(s): Master of Science (Biotechnology)

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