The Engineering Biotechnology Course

The central idea in the Engineering Biotechnology course is to treat within a single course all significant scientific and engineering issues that encompass converting genes, the starting material, to a final product that is manufactured for the market place. In our view, it is important to tell the whole story in a single course with sufficient depth so that the relevancy and significance of the emerging area of biotechnology can be communicated effectively.

Traditionally the concepts covered in Engineering Biotechnology course would be developed over many courses, biochemistry, cell biology or cell physiology, genetic engineering, biotransport phenomena, bioprocess engineering and unit operations. Although the current course does not cover the same material to the depth possible in the traditional courses, it does provide an engineering student with an important overview, and equip him with tools to pursue further study in biotechnology. The course builds upon the biological and engineering principles introduced in the Freshman course called, Chemical and Biological Foundations of Engineering. Because the material is organized on a topic relevancy basis and the style of instruction is 'lateral' rather than 'pyramidal,' the biological principles and engineering science can be commingled to provide a more complete picture.

This description excerpted from a paper presented at the 1995 ASEE conference, Anaheim, California.