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Bioprocess Engineering Curriculum Development And Assessment

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Biological and Agricultural Tech Session I

Tagged Division

Biological & Agricultural

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.281.1 - 14.281.19



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Paper Authors


Stacy Klein-Gardner

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Stacy Klein is the Associate Dean for Outreach and an Associate Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering in the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.

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Rick Williams East Carolina University

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Rick Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University.

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Stephanie Sullivan East Carolina University

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Stephanie Sullivan is a Teaching Instructor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University.

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Loren Limberis East Carolina University

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Loren Limberis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Bioprocess Engineering Curriculum Development and Assessment Abstract

East Carolina University’s new general engineering program is built around the goal of excellence in undergraduate education. The faculty of the program are encouraged to pursue novel approaches to engineering education in order to achieve this goal. The newly created concentration in bioprocess engineering provides an excellent opportunity to develop and implement a novel curriculum based upon proven pedagogical approaches designed to engage the students and improve their mastery of concepts. The objectives of this NSF sponsored CCLI grant (DUE #0737198) include the utilization of proven techniques to develop nine instructional modules for three bioprocess engineering courses (three modules per course) and to assess the effectiveness of the instructional modules. One module in the bioprocesses separation engineering course challenges students to determine a process to produce ethanol from locally grown feedstock. The unit ends with students developing a laboratory manual that allows for the evaluation of process efficiency of ethanol production of a locally grown feedstock. One module in the bioprocess validation and quality engineering course challenges students to understand the process validation required for bioproduct production. Ultimately, students must create a process validation for laboratory scale ethanol production based on the previous module’s ethanol laboratory manual. Pre- and post-tests have been created for both of these modules that include three types of questions: terminology, problems and skills from the unit, and a near-transfer question. Results of ethanol module's pre- and post-tests indicate a statistically significant growth in knowledge.

Project Introduction and Objectives

East Carolina University (ECU) is a large regional university that serves eastern rural North Carolina and the southeast region of the United States. The industries and businesses located among the small towns of eastern North Carolina have a need for a broadly skilled general engineer. The rationale for a general engineering program at ECU is made by Kauffmann et al.1 “Instead of the traditional engineering disciplines, these operations require engineering generalists with a strong theoretical background, broad knowledge in a range of areas, and specific skills in problem solving to give them a sound but flexible base for managing and implementing technology change and operations.” In 2004, East Carolina University initiated a bachelor’s degree program in general engineering (BSE) to fulfill this requirement. The BSE curriculum is implemented “through a concept and program identified as the Integrated Collaborative Engineering Educational Environment (ICEE). The ICEE program… emphasizes a broad but highly integrated foundation of engineering fundamentals and engineering sciences necessary for a general engineer.”1

The ECU engineering program features a common core that develops the fundamental engineering skills and four concentrations that build specialized knowledge: systems engineering, engineering management, biomedical engineering, and bioprocess engineering. The engineering graduates that specialize in the bioprocessing concentration will work in one of the fastest growing segments of the eastern North Carolina’s economy; bioprocessing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. These engineers will require the skills to support, operate, and

Klein-Gardner, S., & Williams, R., & Sullivan, S., & Limberis, L. (2009, June), Bioprocess Engineering Curriculum Development And Assessment Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4756

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