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CHNG9304: Biochemical Engineering (2020 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CHNG9304: Biochemical Engineering (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Kavanagh, John
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: CHNG3804 OR CHNG5804.
Brief Handbook Description: Biochemical engineering is increasingly playing an important role in technology to modern society. The engineers with knowledge of various aspects of biochemical processes are tremendously valuable. The course will examine cutting edge examples of biochemical technologies across a broad range of applications relevant to chemical engineering. The specific objectives of this course are to understand the history and scope of the biotechnology industry; examine the role of biochemical engineering in the industrial application of biotechnology and its development. We will provide an understanding of the major fundamental aspects of biochemical engineering and implementing the knowledge acquired to some selected industrial applications.

In addition to the above fundamentals, there will be considerable time spent during the semester on advanced topics related to biochemical engineering and associated technological developments.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: CHNG9304 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 1.00 1 13
3 Project Work - own time 4.00 1 13
4 Laboratory 4.00 1 2
5 Independent Study 3.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: face to face interaction, promote peers interaction and problem solving ability

Project Work - own time: Self directed group learning sessions

Laboratory: Each group will conduct three experiments from weeks 3 to 11. Sessions will be allocated at start of semester.

Independent Study: Students are expected to spend time for ‘self directed learning’ outside the specified contact periods.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Students practice calculating parameters of biochemical reactions.
Practice in conducting experiments, writing lab reports and evaluating different experimental methods.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
Students are introduced to concepts and principles of biochemical engineering and practice applying these in the context of a biomaterial production process. Students conduct background research on various biochemical production processes. (2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4)
Students practice analysing process requirements, calculating the relevant parameters, and optimising production costs. (3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
Students work under guidance through the steps of designing of a biomaterial production process. (4) Design (Level 3)
Students conduct open-ended review of research and technical literature in specialised topics as part of design project, lab work and group presentation.
Students practice written, oral and graphic communication through group presentation & lab work.
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
Students undertake group research and presentation task. (7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
1. Undertake an independent review of relevant research and technical literature.
2. Clearly and succinctly communicate technical information in spoken, written and graphic form.
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 3)
3. Complete and document a lab experiment to given specifications.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4)
4. Explain key concepts and principles of biochemical engineering, including the role of enzymes, immobilisation, kinetics, bioreactors, bioremediation and waste water treatment.
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
5. Analyse the process involved in producing a given biomaterial and determine the steps required.
6. Optimise a biomaterial production process.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
7. Calculate critical parameters of biochemical reactions and engineering processes.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Quiz No 25.00 Week 8 4, 7,
2 Continuing Projects No 15.00 Week 13 4, 5, 6, 7,
3 Lab Report Yes 20.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4,
4 Final Exam No 40.00 Exam Period 4, 7,
Assessment Description: 1. Quiz will be conducted in week and focus on understanding of key concepts and calculation of reaction parameters.

2. The Continuing Projects task requires students to work through the process of designing and optimising a biochemical production processes.

3. Lab Report. Students will be required to conduct an experiment in groups and produce a report as group on the experiment conducted. They will have two weeks from the date of the experiment to produce the report. There will also be an oral test on theory and experimental procedure the week before the experiment takes place.

4. The Final Exam will be an in-depth assessment of understanding of key concepts and ability to undertake essential calculations for design of biochemical production processes.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioprocess Engineering Principles

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
Week 2 Introduction to Biochemistry and Microbiology
Week 3 Bioreaction modelling
Week 4 Bioreactors
Week 5 Week in Industry for BE students - introduction to Heat and Mass Transfer for MPE
Week 6 Mixing, heat and mass transfer
Week 7 Mammalian cell bioreactors
Week 8 Assessment Due: Quiz
Week 9 Bioseparations
Week 10 Enzymatic processes
Week 11 Wastewater treatment
Week 12 Guest Lecture TBD
Week 13 Bioprocess Economics and Course Review
Assessment Due: Continuing Projects
STUVAC (Week 14) This week is left free for independent study
Exam Period Any Exam or Quiz worth more than 30% of the final assessment will be scheduled in this two week period.
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Chemical & Biomolecular) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Chemical & Biomolecular) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) Yes 10%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3) Yes 0%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 3) No 5%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 3) Yes 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 36%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) Yes 5%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 44%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.