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Professional Development-styled Short Courses for a Highly Effective Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory Experience

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Remote and Network-based Laboratories

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1075.1 - 25.1075.23

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Paper Authors

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Rick Williams East Carolina University


Loren Limberis East Carolina University

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Loren Limberis joined the engineering faculty at ECU in Aug. 2006. He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Utah. Limberis taught for several years as an Assistant Professor at the College of New Jersey and was a research analyst with Southwest Research Institute prior to his academic career. His research interests focus on designing techniques to utilize nature’s highly complex and sophisticated biological systems to develop biohybrid devices for use in biotechnology applications.

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Rebel Umphlett BioNetwork Capstone Center

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Rebel Umphlett is Director, Aseptic Facilities and Operations.

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David Hobson Yarley BioNetwork Capstone Center

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David Yarley is the Director of BTEC Training and the Validation Academy at the BioNetwork Capstone Center. Yarley has 23 years of industrial experience in the biopharmaceutical industry including production management, business development, and project engineering. He received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering at North Carolina State University and his M.S. degree in chemical engineering at the University of Virginia.

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Professional Development-Styled Short Courses for a Highly Effective Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory ExperienceProfessional development-styled short courses often provide working engineers an intensivehands-on learning experience that is difficult to achieve within the confines of the dailyworkplace. Can this model be extended into engineering education and provide engineeringstudents hands-on laboratory experiences that are difficult to achieve within the confines ofcampus? This collaborative project between the Engineering Department at _____and theBioNetwork Capstone Center, an industrial-scale training facility located at theBiomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), answers this question whileaccomplishing the following objectives: Develop and integrate two 2-day BTEC short course laboratory experiences into the___bioprocess engineering curriculum. These short courses are a required and gradedcomponent of two bioprocess engineering courses. Develop companion web-based materials to provide students with prerequisite material,maximizing the time spent on hands-on laboratory activities on-site at BTEC, as well asproviding an opportunity for students at other institutions to enroll. Enhance ___ engineering students’ competiveness in the workplace by providing hands-on experiences in critical areas that are deemed important by the bioprocess industry. Provide the ___ engineering students a foundation for life-long learning through exposureto professional development type courses. Provide a model for other institutions to develop custom short courses for integration intotheir curricula.The project culminated in the development and delivery of two 2-day short courses that wereintegrated into the bioprocess engineering curriculum at ___ as a graded component of twoseparate bioprocess engineering courses. The first short course, titled IndustrialChromatography, was integrated into ___’s course BIOE 4010, Bioprocess SeparationEngineering. The second short course, titled Bioprocess Facilities and Aseptic Manufacturing,was integrated into ___’s course BIOE 4020, Bioprocess Plant Design, and Simulation andAnalysis. Each course consisted of prerequisite content in addition to the 2-day on-sitelaboratory experience, thus allowing for the maximum possible hands-on experience while on-site at BTEC. The effectiveness of each short course was measured using pre- and post-tests ofmaterial and concepts taught and reinforced through each course and a student survey of eachcourse’s learning objectives. In addition, a survey of the students’ attitudes toward professionaldevelopment and attending such a course as a mandatory and graded component of theirengineering course was conducted both prior to and after attending the short courses. Allassessment metrics show that both short courses were highly effective laboratory experiencesthat provided the students with unique experiences that are not easily attainable through an on-campus laboratory. In this paper we present our rationale for developing the short courses, eachshort course’s objectives, an overview of the laboratory experiences and prerequisite material ofeach course, and details of the assessment instruments and results of the assessment.

Williams, R., & Limberis, L., & Umphlett, R., & Yarley, D. H. (2012, June), Professional Development-styled Short Courses for a Highly Effective Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory Experience Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas.

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