Biochemical engineers apply the principles of biology, chemistry, and engineering to produce useful products such as biopharmaceuticals, biofuels, biopolymers and industrial enzymes. Biochemical engineering includes cell culture processes and separation processes for biopharmaceutical production, food processing, biofuels and biological waste treatment. As a biochemical engineering major at UC Davis, you'll learn to grow cells in bioreactors and to separate their products from solutions using the most up-to-date processes and equipment available. You'll also have the opportunity to participate in independent research projects under the supervision of the most highly regarded researchers in the nation.
Graduates from the biochemical engineering program are ideally prepared to enter emerging industries in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biofuels and industrial enzyme fields. Students learn how to grow both naturally and genetically modified organisms in bioreactors and how to separate and purify the active products from those cultures. They also learn how to operate processes in compliance with the good manufacturing practices required by regulatory agencies. The products they produce promise to cure many of humankind's most serious health problems. Graduates are also well prepared to make contributions to renewable energy, food processing and environmental remediation. In the capstone design course, students use computer software tools to design a biomanufacturing facility and perform an economic analysis as well as an environmental, health and safety impact analysis.
As a biochemical engineering major, you will begin your study with an extensive series of foundation courses in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. At the upper division level, you will take advanced courses in specific topics in biochemical and chemical engineering. These courses will include fundamental process engineering courses (transport phenomena, thermodynamics, kinetics, process control, engineering economics) as well as specific courses in bioreactors, bioseparations, biotechnology facility design, regulatory compliance, technoeconomic analysis and biochemical engineering laboratory.