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Unit of study_

CHNG3804: Biochemical Engineering

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. At the completion of this unit of study students should have developed an appreciation of the underlying principles of biochemical engineering and the ability to apply these skills to new and novel situations. The students will be able to critically analyse different types of biochemical engineering processes and to improve these processes consistent with the principles of biochemical engineering. Students are encouraged to engage in an interactive environment for exchange of information and develop problem-solving skills for successfully handling challenging engineering situations. This course will be assessed by projects, an interview and a final exam.


Academic unit Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Unit code CHNG3804
Unit name Biochemical Engineering
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

CHNG2801, CHNG2802, CHNG2803 AND CHNG2806 or equivalents

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator John Kavanagh,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home extended release) Type E final exam Final exam
Take home exam
40% Formal exam period 72 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO9 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Projects #1
Design Project #1
25% Week 08
Due date: 09 Oct 2020
5 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Interview
Interview to assess project knowledge and check contribution.
10% Week 10 10 minutes per student
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Assignment group assignment Project #2
Design Project #2
25% Week 12
Due date: 06 Nov 2020
5 Weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type E final exam = Type E final exam ?


  • Assignments #1: Design project requiring groups of students to work through the process of designing and optimising biochemical production processes. Weeks 3-8
  • Assignments #2: Design project requiring groups of students to work through the process of designing and optimising biochemical production processes. Weeks 7-12
  • Interview: Students will be quized on the topics of their 2 projects.
  • Final Exam: An in-depth assessment of understanding of key concepts, and the ability to undertake essential calculations for design of biochemical production processes.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO5 LO9
Week 02 Introduction to biochemistry and microbiology; industrially important microorganisms Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 03 Strain development and GM technology Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 04 Modelling cell growth Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO7
Week 05 Bioreactor design and operation Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 06 Heat and mass transfer and mixing in bioreactors Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 07 Bioreactor designs and operational considerations #1 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 08 Bioreactor designs and operational considerations #2 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 09 Bioseparations #1 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 10 Bioseparations #2 Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 11 Wastewater Treatment Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 12 Bio-process economics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9

Attendance and class requirements

  • Tutorials: Face to face interaction/online, promote peers interaction and problem solving ability.
  • Project work (own time): Self directed group learning sessions.
  • Independent study: Students are expected to spend time for ‘self directed learning’ outside the specified contact periods. 3 hours per week is expected.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Campbell, Biochemistry. John Vondeling, 1999.
  • Pauline M. Doran, Bioprocess Engineering Principles. Academic press, 2004.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Identify the key microorganisms used in biochemical engineering and critically review literature on the future directions of biochemical engineering.
  • LO2. Compare process options using metabolic pathway diagrams to determine process yields and design options
  • LO3. Evaluate strain development and selection options for industrial bioprocesses
  • LO4. Develop models for growth and production of bioprocesses
  • LO5. Analyse and design bioprocesses including bioreactors and separation processes
  • LO6. Apply biochemical engineering design principles to exisating and new bioprocesses
  • LO7. Communicate clearly in written, graphical and oral forms
  • LO8. Work effectively in a team to design biochemical engineering processes.
  • LO9. Use professional judgement to determine whether proposed solutions are practical, ethical and financially viable

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Feedback from previous years has been taken into account in updating this unit.


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