Undergraduate training

CeBER offers the chance for undergraduate BSc(Eng) students in the Department of Chemical Engineering to specialise in Bioprocess Engineering. This is facilitated through a number of courses which form part of the Department’s science specialisation electives and advanced engineering elective offerings (detailed below) as well as through vacation work opportunities and final year research projects (CHE4045Z). Further information about the courses can be found in the UCT Engineering and Built Environment (EBE) Undergraduate Handbook.


Course entry requirements: BIO1000F, CHE1005W

Co-requisites: CHE2005W

The course aims to introduce engineers to the fundamentals of biotechnology, pertinent to bioprocess engineering. This is achieved by building an understanding of the key concepts and elements of biotechnology, including molecular components, information transfer and metabolism; the basic concepts of applied microbiology, including microbial cell structure, microbial classification, cell division and nutritional requirements; and the basic concepts of molecular biology and genetic engineering, especially recombinant DNA technology. Using these, a working knowledge of microbial growth kinetics, enzymology and bioenergetics is built. Further, a working knowledge of mixed microbial culture dynamics is established. Skills are developed to enable quantitative descriptions of microbial transformations. Further a practical working knowledge of enzymology, microbial growth, kinetic studies and aseptic transfer are developed.


Course entry requirements: CHE2005W, CHE2006S (or similar)

The course aims to develop an advanced understanding of the fundamental engineering science of bioprocess engineering. The course will build on an adequate understanding of life sciences to address the process requirements of microbial and enzymatic processes. The fundamentals of biokinetics and bioreactor systems will be addressed. Sterilisation, aseptic operation and clean room technology will be covered, as will downstream processing for product recovery. Study of important bioprocesses will be included, with examples drawn from those of significance to South Africa. The course includes selected case studies and visits to local bioprocess industries.


Course entry requirements: CHE3068S

This course aims to give advanced students an opportunity to apply all of their acquired knowledge of the fundamentals of bioprocess engineering and biotechnology to the integrated design of a complete bio-manufacturing plant.