June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.289.1 - 22.289.14
Biology across the curriculum: Preparing students for a career in the life sciencesAddition of biological applications into the chemical engineering undergraduate curriculum isbecoming more common now, in a response to the pervasive use of biology in more and moreaspects of modern technology. Likewise, as recommended in the National Academy ofEngineering’s, “Educating the Engineer of 2020”, “Engineering schools should introduceinterdisciplinary learning in the undergraduate environment, rather than having it as anexclusive feature of the graduate programs.” Thus, including biological problems inundergraduate courses serves two purposes, namely, to teach students to apply their fundamentalengineering principles to new and different fields and also to help prepare more students foreventual careers in the life sciences.The Bioengineering Educational Materials Bank has been in operation since early in 2007 withproblems for the Material and Energy Balance Course. Since then five additional core courseshave been added: Kinetics and Reactor Design; Process Dynamics and Control; Heat and MassTransfer; Fluid Dynamics; and Thermodynamics. Workshops were held for faculty to learnbasic principles of biology and how engineering principles are applied in many different aspectsof modern biotechnology, from kinetics of biological reactions to fluid transfer and processdynamics problems in whole organisms. Problems are organized by textbook sections relevantfor each course. There are close to 200 problems posted on the website and the solutions to theproblems are available only to registered faculty. To date the website has had over 1100registrations by students and faculty, including faculty from chemical engineering departmentsfrom around the world.Beta testing is in progress for the newly posted course materials. To date, the data has beenanalyzed only for the material and energy balance course problems. For that study, 199 studentsfrom six universities were tested with a set of simple bio and non-bio concept questions, inaddition to questions about familiarity with the material. Data showed that students from classesthat included the BioEMB problems were able to perform better on the bio-based problems thanstudents whose teachers did not include the BioEMB problems in their course. Additionally, theperformance on the non-bio questions did not show statistical differences in performance acrossthe sites that would have suggested that inclusion of the additional BioEMB problems could havedistracted the students from learning the fundamental chemical engineering principles.The presentation will include an introduction to some of the material on the website and a briefsummary of the workshop content and initial beta testing results.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015