CHEM ENG 7064 - Upstream Bioprocessing and Bioformulation

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The aims of the course will be to introduce and expand on fundamental process and technological tools for the upstream and bioformulation of biopharmaceutical production processes. This course will include topics on cell line development, media development, production parameters and fermenter design, scale-up and technology transfer, harvesting and extraction, formulation development, product complexity and analysis. By the end of the course, students will be able to

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM ENG 7064
    Course Upstream Bioprocessing and Bioformulation
    Coordinating Unit School of Chemical Eng and Advanced Materials(Ina)
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Luis Toronjo-Urquiza

    Course coordinator: Luis Toronjo-Urquiza

    E-mail: /

    Office: Annex Building, Room A207

    Consulting times: Monday 10:00-12:00 pm / Thursday 2:00-4:00 pm

    UofA profile:
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 State what is upstream processing and how it plays a role in the development and production
    2 Identify and produce the different cell expression systems, their strength and weaknesses
    3 List and identify the main reasons for specific cell media strategies
    4 Identify the main advantages and disadvantages of reactors the different bioreactors and scaling strategies
    5 Compare and list the different strategies for upstream process optimisation and development
    6 Apply the principles of product engineering and how they affect the engineering of the process
    7 Describe utilise and interpret the different methods of assessing metabolic elemental balance in bioreactors
    8 Describe utilise and interpret the gas-liquid mass transfer of bioreactors
    9 Explain apply and calculate centrifugation steps in process recovery
    10 Explain apply and calculate homogenisation steps in process recovery
    11 Explain apply and calculate filtration steps in process recovery

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.

    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency:


    - 1.1. Comprehensive, theory-based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.

    - 1.2. Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.

    - 1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

    - 1.4. Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.

    - 1.5. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.

    - 1.6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.


    - 2.1. Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem-solving.

    - 2.2. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

    - 2.3. Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.


    - 3.1. Ethical conduct and professional accountability.

    - 3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

    - 3.3. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.

    - 3.5. Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Recommended Resources
    The course is advanced and textbooks will not cover all the nuances and changes of its state of the art. However, some of the material delivered in this course can be supported with the following textbooks:

     - Shuler M.L. & Kargi F., Bioprocess Engineering 2nd Edition (Prentice-Hall International)

     - Pauline M. Doran, Bioprocess Engineering Principles (2nd Edition, 2003)

     - Michael Levin, Pharmaceutical Process Scale-up, CRC Press, 2006

     - Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell (Sixth edition)

     - Wei-Shou Hu, Cell culture bioprocess engineering (Second edition)
    Online Learning
    A range of online resources will be provided via MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The activities for this course are structured by week and include the following activities:

    - Online Theory Lectures

    To be viewed before the Workshop session

    - Practice Workshops

    Solve problems together in class and go through solutions.

    - Tutorials

    The student can book 1 on 1 appointments with the coordinator during consulting times.

    - Practicals

    The student will perform industrially relevant practicals associated with the content of the course

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Activity Contact Hours Workload hours Expected total workload hours
    Online Lectures 0 30 30
    Workshops 24 36 60
    Tutorials 10 0 0
    Practicals 36 36 72
    TOTAL 70 102 162
    Learning Activities Summary
    Block 1: Upstream Process Engineering Principles

     - Generating and Choosing production systems
     - Cell line and media development
     - Reactor and scaling engineering
     - Optimisation and Product engineering

    Block 2: Upstream Process Engineering and Application

     - Kinetics and Yields
     - Reactor metabolism
     - Gas-liquid mass-transfer
     - Centrifugation
     - Disruption
     - Filtration
    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative Learning outcomes
    Mini quizzes 5 Individual Formative and summative 1-6
    Midterm Quiz 15 Individual Summative 1-6
    Practical quizzes 10 Individual Formative and summative 1-11
    Practical Exam 20 Individual Summative 1-11
    Problems 10 Individual Formative and summative 7-11
    Final Examination 40 Individual Summative 1-11
    TOTAL 100

    This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    In this course the following assessments will be completed:

    Mini-quizzes (individual) (5%)

    - Weekly quiz taking place during the workshop
    - It will be submitted to MiUni
    - Students will be given feedback on their answers during next week's meeting
    - This runs during the first block of the course

    Mid-Term Quiz (individual) (15%)

    - At the end of Block 1 students will have a Summative assessment of all the content
    - The quiz will take place during the last workshop of Block 1
    - It will be submitted to MiUni
    - Students will be given feedback on their answers during 1 to 1 tutorials if requested

    Practical quizzes (individual) (10%)

    - The quiz will take place during the practical sessions
    - It will be submitted to MiUni
    - Students will be given feedback on their answers during next week's meeting
    - This runs during both blocks of the course

    Pracrtical Examination (individual) (20%)

    - At the end of the course students will have a Summative practical assessment of all the content
    - The examination will take place in person in the laboratories
    - Students will be given feedback on their answers during 1 to 1 tutorials if requested

    Problems assignment (individual) (10%)

    - Student will submit a battery of problems to MiUni
    - This task is individually graded
    - This runs during the second block of the course

    Final Exam (individual) (40%) - undertaken during the exam period

    - Final exam is mathematical and problem-solving based
    - The problems will be similar to the ones used during workshops
    All quizzes, tutorials and practical reports will be submitted via MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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