ENCH281-17S2 (C) Semester Two 2017

Principles Of Biology For Engineers

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2017
End Date: Sunday, 19 November 2017
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 July 2017
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 13 October 2017


An introduction to biology, bioprocessing and biotechnology for engineers.

The aim of this course is to introduce engineers to biology in a general way by providing a framework for understanding life at the cellular and molecular levels and introduce you to microbes and their central role in chemical and process engineering.  The course is especially designed for engineers and is a pre-requisite for ENCH323.  An understanding of basic chemistry is assumed, but if at any stage you feel that you do not understand the basics of biology and chemistry, then seek help from the course lecturers as soon as possible.

Summary of Course Content
Introduction to cell biology and biochemistry.  Structure and function of Biomolecules  (Lectures 1-12 - Lecturer Grant Pearce).
Introduction to cell structure and function, cell reproduction, introductory microbiology, genetic engineering, traditional and modern uses of microbes (Lectures 13-24 - Lecturer David Leung).
Metabolism, Energetics, industrial fermentations (Lectures 25-36 - Lecturer Matthew Stott).

Learning Outcomes

As a student in this course, I will develop the ability to:
An appreciation of the cell as a basic unit of life whether animal, plant or microbe and that the structure and functions of the cell impacts on all other levels of life including organisms, ecosystems and the biosphere (assessment item: final exam).

An understanding that if engineers want to manipulate biological processes, then it is crucial that they understand their molecular composition and metabolism (assessment items: test and final exam).

Analyse and interpret experimental data, as well as accessing and utilising literature on the molecular structure and biochemical interactions between the molecules of life (assessment items: lab quizzes and write-ups).

Understand the importance of microbes in industrial biotechnology (assessment items: lab quizzes and final exam).

As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
Completing tasks in a laboratory.  Important in many science- and engineering-related courses and jobs.  We will have lab. instructions on what is required in teach lab session.

Providing required information in a written form of acceptable standard.  This is necessary in most science- and engineering-related courses and jobs.  We will have previous  mid-term test and exam questions on the course Learn site and will provide feedbacks on any submitted answers to these questions.


Subject to approval of the Dean of Engineering and Forestry.


Timetable Note

Lectures: Three times a week
Please consult Learn for Lecture times and venues

Labs are schedules in the 4th Term of the second semester.  There are six labs supervised by BIOL teaching staff.  You will need to come equipped with a lab coat and safety glasses.  There is one lab that runs in CAPE.

Course Coordinator

For further information see Chemical and Process Engineering Head of Department


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Final Exam 50% Examined on Material taught in Lectures 13-36
Biochemistry Test 15% 50 minute test - 16 August 2017
Short lab Tests 35% Short lab test at the end of each lab worth 5% each

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $919.00

International fee $5,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Chemical and Process Engineering .

All ENCH281 Occurrences

  • ENCH281-17S2 (C) Semester Two 2017