Whiting School of Engineering

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Program: Courses

540.101 (E) Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Today

A series of lectures will introduce the student to the myriadof different career opportunities available to chemical and biomolecular engineers. Weekly seminars by invited guests in combination with department faculty will introduce students to important real world problems in molecular biotechnology, electronics, law, medicine, biopharmaceuticals, energy, and the environment. Students will learn how chemical and biomolecular engineering concepts can impact these areas and the role of engineers in industry, academics, medicine and the non-profit sector. A variety of different companies and institutions will be profiled on a weekly basis. Prerequisites: none
Betenbaugh / 1 credit, Fall (Freshmen Only)

540.202 (E) Introduction to Chemical and Biological Process Analysis
Introduction to chemical and biomolecular engineeringand the fundamental principles of chemical process analysis. Formulation and solution of material and energy balances on chemical processes. Reductionist approaches to the solution of complex, multi-unit processes will be emphasized. Introduction to the basic concepts of thermodynamics as well as chemical and biochemical reactions and computer programming. Prerequisites: 030.101, 171.101.
Dahuron, Prakash / 4 credits, Fall and Spring

540.203 (E) Engineering Thermodynamics

Development of classical thermodynamic relationshipsand constitutive equations for one and two component systems. The objectives of this course are two-fold: (a) to obtain a firm grasp of the basic concepts of thermodynamics; (b) to develop skills in applying thermodynamics to engineering problems. Topics covevered include: fundamentals of thermondynamics, PVT properties of pure substances, power cycle and refrigeration, introduction to phase equilibria, and chemical reaction equilibria. Applications include the analysis and design of engines, refrigerators, heat pumps, compressors, and turbines. Prerequisites: 540.202. Corequisite: 110.202.
Frechette / 3 credits, Spring

540.204 (E) Applied Physical Chemistry

Introduction of the methods used to solve thermodynamic problems faced by chemical and biomolecular engineers, including phase and chemical equilibria problems, the thermodynamic properties of interfaces, and the thermodynamics of macromolecules. The basic thermodynamic relationships to describe phase equilibrium of single-component and multicomponent systems are developed. Thermodynamic models for calculating fugacity are presented. Multicomponent phase equilibrium problems addressed include liquid-vapor, liquid-liquid, and liquid-liquid-vapor equilibrium. Basic thermodynamic relationships to describe chemical equilibria, the physical chemistry of liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces, and the conformation of biological macromolecules are also presented. Prerequisite: 540.203.
Gracias / 3 credits, Fall

540.301 (E) Kinetic Processes

Review of numerical methods applied to kinetic phenomena and reactor design in chemical and biological processes. Homogeneous kinetics and interpretation of reaction rate data. Batch, plug flow, and stirred tank reactor analyses, including reactors in parallel and in series. Selectivity and optimization considerations in multiple reaction systems. Non isothermal reactors. Elements of heterogeneous kinetics, including adsorption isotherms and heterogeneous catalysis. Coupled transport and chemical/biological reaction rates. 
Prerequisites: 540.203, 540.303 or permission of instructor
Cui/Goffin / 4 credits, Spring

540.303 (E,N) Transport Phenomena I 

Introduction to the field of transport phenomena. Molecular mechanisms of momentum transport (viscous flow), energy transport (heat conduction), and mass transport (diffusion). Isothermal equations of change (continuity, motion, and energy). The development of the Navier Stokes equation. The development of nonisothermal and multicomponent equations of change for heat and mass transfer. Exact solutions to steady state, isothermal unidirectional flow problems, to steady state heat and mass transfer problems. The analogies between heat, mass, and momentum transfer are emphasized throughout the course. Corequisite: 110.302 or equivalent.
Konstantopoulos, Prakash / 3 credits, Spring

540.304 (E,N) Transport Phenomena II 

Dimensional analysis and dimensionless groups. Laminar boundary layers, introduction to turbulent flow. Definition of the friction factor. Macroscopic mass, momentum and mechanical energy balances (Bernouilli’s equation). Metering of fluids. Convective heat and mass transfer. Heat and mass transfer in boundary layers. Correlations for convective heat and mass transfer. Boiling and condensation. Interphase mass transfer. Prerequisite: 540.303.
Drazer / 4 credits, Fall

540.305 (E) Modeling and statistical analysis of data for chemical and biomolecular engineers  

Collecting and analyzing data is an indispensable componentof any scientific enterprise. The sequence of operations that is typical in science is: hypothesis to data to inference. Since data is almost always imperfect (or incomplete), we have to rely on probability theory to infer the validity of the hypothesis. In this course, we adopt the Laplace-Bayes approach to probability theory and suggest how we can use this approach to reason in situations of imperfect data. Concepts such as determining the odds ratio, the role of Occam's factor, etc. will be discussed. We will motivate commonly encountered probability distributions using examples in Chemical Engineering. Modeling is an indispensable component of data analysis, and we will rely on Matlab and Python programming environments to become familiar with computational aspects of data analysis. Prerequisite: 540.202. Recommended corequisites: 540.203, 540.303, 540.304.
Asthagiri / 3 credits, Fall

540.306 (E) Chemical and Biological Separations

This course covers staged and continuous-contacting separations processes critical to the chemical and biochemical industries. Processes considered include distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, gas absorption, leaching chromatography, crystallization, precipitation, filtration, and drying. Particular emphasis is placed on the biochemical uses of these processes and consequently on how the treatment of these processes differs from the more traditional approach. Prerequisites: 540.202, 540.303 or permission of instructor
Betenbaugh / 4 credits, Spring

540.311 (E,W) Chemical Engineering Laboratory

Students are challenged with laboratory projects that are not well-defined and learn to develop an effective framework for approaching experimental work by identifying the important operating variables, deciding how best to obtain them, and using measured or calculated values of these operating variables to predict, carryout, analyze and improve upon experiments. Each student analyzes three of the following four projects: distillation, gas absorption, liquid-liquid extraction and chemical kinetics in a tubular flow reactor and also one of the projects in 540.313. In addition to technical objectives, this course stresses oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively in groups. Prerequisites 540.301, 540.304, 540.306  
Dahuron, Prakash, Katz / 6 credits, Fall

540.313 (E,W) Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Lab

Students are challenged with laboratory projects that are not well-defined and learn to develop an effective framework for approaching experimental work by identifying the important operating variables, deciding how best to obtain them, and using measured or calculated values of these operating variables to predict, carryout, analyze and improve upon experiments. Each student analyzes three biomolecular engineering projects and one of the projects in 540.311. In addition to technical objectives, this course stresses oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively in groups. Prerequisites 540.301, 540.304, 540.306, 540.490. 
Dahuron, Prakash, Gerecht, Ostermeier / 6 credits, Fall & Summer

540.314 (E) Chemical and Biomolecular Product and Process Design

This course guides the student through the contrasting aspects of product design and of process design. Product design concerns the recognition of customer needs, the creation of suitable specifications, and the selection of best products to fulfill the needs. Process design concerns the quantitative description of processes which serve to produce many commodity chemicals, the estimation of process profitability, and the potential for profitability improvement through incremental changes in the process. Students work in small teams to complete a major project demonstrating their understanding of and proficiency in the primary objectives of the course. Students report several times both orally and in writing on their accomplishments. Prerequisites: 540.301, 540.304, 540.311 or 540.313 or permission of instructor.
Dahuron, Prakash, Katz / 4 credits, Spring

540.402 (E) Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology of Mammalian Systems

This course provides details of the latest advances in cellular and molecular biology for mammalian systems, with special implications for biotechnology. Topics covered include tissue organization, gene expression, signal transduction, immunology, proteomics, genomics, and post-transnational processing. Special emerging areas in biotechnology involving mammalian cells will be described including nanobiotechnology for mammalian cells, metabolic and cellular engineering, stem cell therapies, and tissue engineering.
Gerecht / 3 credits, Fall

540.404 (E) Therapeutic and Diagnostic Colloids

The inefficient or inappropriate transport of particles in complex biological fluids in the body currently limits the effectiveness of nanoparticle-based strategies aimed at providing a variety of breakthroughs in medicine, from highly targeted drug and gene delivery systems to improved particles for advanced imaging and diagnostics. Many bodily fluids serve as barriers to particle transport to desired locations, and some are microporous, highly viscous and/or elastic in nature. This course seeks to provide a fundamental understanding of the phenomena, including fluid micro-, meso- and macrorheology, that governs nano- and microparticle transport in important biological fluids, including the blood, airways, mucus, and living cells. A comparison of macroscopic and microscopic particle transport behavior, including comparisons of ensemble-average transport behavior to that of individual particle behavior, is a common thread that runs throughout the course. The importance of particle physicochemical properties in achieving desired particle transport through biological barriers to desired sites of action will be addressed. The course will include a case study involving the design criteria of efficient synthetic systems for gene delivery in the lung airways.
Wirtz/ 3 credits, Fall

540.409 (E,Q) Modelling Dynamics and Control for Chemical and Biological Systems

In this class you will learn to model and control chemicaland biological processes. Previous ChemBE courses have usually focused on mathematical models of steady-state behavior; here, you will learn to model dynamics, that is, responses over time. In particular, you will model the transient response around a steady-state solution, and you will design appropriate control systems to maintain desired process behavior. In the chemical process industries, correct process control is essential for safety, environmental security, and economic optimality. In biological systems, complex control loops already exist to maintain homeostasis and enable interesting function. It is necessary to create models for these existing biological systems and then to identify appropriate means to judiciously interrupt the circuits to change the system’s behavior, for example by using a drug to combat a disease.
Gray / 3 credits, Fall

540.414 (E) Computational protein structure prediction and design

The prediction of protein structure from the amino acidsequence has been a grand challenge problem for over fifty years. With recent progress in research, it is now possible to blindly predict many protein structures and even to design new structures from scratch. This class will introduce the fundamental concepts in protein structure, biophysics, optimization and informatics that have enabled the breakthroughs in computational structure prediction and design. Problems covered will include protein folding and docking, design of ligand-binding sites, design of turns and folds, design of protein interfaces. Students will learn to use molecular visualization tools and write programs with the Rosetta protein structure software suite, including a computational project. Programming experience is helpful but not required. Prerequisites: 020.305, 540.230.
Gray / 3 credits, Spring

540.415 (E) Interfacial science with applications to nanoscale systems

Nanostructured materials intrinsically possess large surfacearea (interface area) to volume ratios. It is this large interfacial area that gives rise to many of the amazing properties and technologies associated with nanotechnology. In this class we will examine how the properties of surfaces, interfaces, and nanoscale features differ from their macroscopic behavior. We will compare and contrast fluid-fluid interfaces with solid-fluid and solid-solid interfaces, discussing fundamental interfacial physics and chemistry, as well as touching on state-of-the-art technologies.
Frechette / 3 credits, Fall

540.426 (E) Introduction to Biomacromolecules

This course introduces modern concepts of polymer physics to describe the conformation and dynamics of biological macromolecules such as filamentous actin, microtubule, and nucleic acids. We will introduce scattering techniques, micromanipulation techniques, as well as rheology applied to the study of polymers for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. 
Wirtz / 3 credits

540.432 (E) Metabolic Engineering

An overview on the latest advances to modulate intracellular pathways using recombinant DNA and other manipulation techniques for biotechnological, medical, environmental, energy, and other applications. Specific application areas include improved cellular performance for production of biopharmaceuticals, degradation of toxins, generation of novel drugs and cell therapies, production of biologicals in plants, and energy generation from microbial sources. Specific pathways considered include intracellular metabolism, glycosylation, apoptosis, and cell cycle. Techniques to be covered include both experimental and mathematical methods to manipulate and interpret changes in cellular behavior and the analysis of specific biochemical reaction pathways within cells and organisms.
Betenbaugh / 3 credits

540.433 (E) Engineering Aspects of Controlled Drug Delivery

This course addresses the fundamental engineering behind the development and understanding of controlled drug delivery systems. Focus is placed on the encapsulation and delivery of therapeutic proteins and genes from polymeric devices due to their increasing prevalence and importance in pharmaceutical products. Routes of drug delivery to be covered include oral, transdermal, pulmonary, injection, and surgical implantation. Topics include biological barriers to drug delivery, drug pharmacokinetics, particle targeting via receptor-ligand interactions, intracellular transport of collodial particles and synthetic gene delivery vectors. Prerequisites: 540.301 and either 540.303 or 580.461. Otherwise, permission may be given in special cases by instructor.
Hanes / 3 credits

540.437 (E) Design of Biological Molecules and Systems

One of the most promising strategies for successfullydesigning complex biomolecular fuinctions is to exploit nature's principles of evolution. This course provides an overview of the basics of molecular evolution as well as its experimental implementation. Current research problems in evolution-based biomolecular engineering will be used to illustrate principles in the design of biomolecules (i.e. protein engineering, RNA/DNA engineering), genetic circuits and complex biological systems including cells. Prerequisite: 020.305.
Ostermeier / 3 credits, Spring

540.440 (E) Micro and Nanotechnology

Micro/Nanotechnology is the field of fabrication, characterization and manipulation of extremely small objects (dimensions on the micron to nanometer length scale). Microscale objects, because of their small size, are expected to be at the frontier of technological innovation for the next decade. This course will include a description of the materials used in microtechnology, methods employed to fabricate nanoscale objects, techniques involved in characterizing and exploiting the properties of small structures, and examples of how this technology is revolutionizing the areas of Electronics and Medicine.
Gracias / 3 credits, Spring

540.442 Logic and Decision-making in Biomolecular Systems
In this course we explore the design principles by which biomolecular networks can make decisions and orchestrate complex processes such as self-assembly, signal transduction, homeostasis or apoptosis.  We will also explore how we can in turn design complex biomolecular networks.  The course will introduce principles from electrical circuit theory, computing and control theory and show how these tools can be applied to these systems. Topics will include the design and analysis of molecular logic circuits, transcriptional and translational control, signal transduction cascades, biomolecular oscillators and cycles, molecular folding and self-assembly, molecular computing, and biological and in vitro self-assembly processes.  Students should be familiar with programming and chemical engineering principles. Schulman / 3 hours

540.490 Chemical and Laboratory Safety

This course is meant to provide the student with a basic knowledge of laboratory safety; hazards, regulations, personal protective equipment, good laboratory practice, elementary toxicology, and engineering controls. It has been developed by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering to assist with regulatory compliance, minimize hazards, and reduce the severity of any incidents that may occur in the department’s laboratories. The course is a prerequisite for 540.311/313. It is required of all Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering undergraduates. In addition once per year a three-hour refresher seminar must be taken by all students involved in laboratory research.
Staff / 1 credit, Fall

540.501-506 Undergraduate Independent Study

Students do a reading course in specialized areas not directly available by lecture courses. Assignments and problems are prescribed by a faculty member.
1-3 credits

540.521-528 Undergraduate Research

Students do individual projects (or in collaboration with faculty and/or graduate students) in areas basic to chemical engineering.
1-3 credits



500.101 (E) What is Engineering?

This is a course of lectures, laboratories, and special projects. Its objective is to introduce students not only to different fields of engineering but also to the analytic tools and techniques that the profession uses. Assignments include hands-on and virtual experiments, oral presentations of product design, and design/construction/testing of structures. Open to freshmen only.
Karweit  / 3 credits

500.200 (E,Q) Computational Techniques in Engineering and Science.

This course introduces a variety of techniques for solving problems in enginerring and science on a computer using Matlab. Topics include structure and operation of a computer, the programming language Matlab, computational mathematics, and elementary numerical analysis. Pre-requisite: 110.109
Karweit / 3 credits



.Nano and Micro Technology

.Cell and Molecular Biotechnology

.Interfacial Phenomena

.Computational Biology and Functional Genomics

.Molecular Thermodynamics

.Drug Delivery, Biomaterials, and Tissue Engineering