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Teaching Of Engineering Biotechnology

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

The Biology Interface

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1077.1 - 8.1077.7

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Raj Mutharasan

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

Session: 2613

Teaching of Engineering Biotechnology

Raj Mutharasan Department of Chemical Engineering Drexel University, Philadephia, PA 19104


The goal of this project is to develop a pedagogically novel approach to teaching of modern discoveries of biotechnology at a level most students of engineering can comprehend and apply. Topics in molecular biology, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, drug delivery, and FDA regulations are combined cohesively in modular form. The primary focus is to broaden the development of an engineering student of Junior or Senior standing. One might even term our motive as developing a ‘liberal engineering studies’ emphasis. The pedagogical focus is on breadth rather than depth, and on cross-curricular education.

The talk will summarize our experience in teaching this course over the past eight years as a full 3-credit course and as a module in a multi-unit course over a three week period. Assessment includes student surveys and comparison of their assessment of this course with other traditional disciplinary courses.

Introduction With the advent of significant fundamental advances in biosciences, increasing number of products, particularly therapeutic biologics are manufactured using biological agents such as cells and bacteria. New applications of genetic engineering in many industrial segments are reported at an increasing rate due to applications of DNA microarray technology. Consequently, a larger number of engineers of tomorrow would need to be familiar with the fundamental precepts of biosciences and genetic engineering applications. The central idea in the Engineering Biotechnology course aimed at junior and senior students of engineering 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

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Mutharasan, R. (2003, June), Teaching Of Engineering Biotechnology Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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