ENCH281-16S2 (C) Semester Two 2016

Principles Of Biology For Engineers

15 points, 0.1250 EFTS
11 Jul 2016 - 13 Nov 2016


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.  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.

Learning Outcomes

As a student in this course, I will develop the ability to:

  • Appreciate 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).
  • Understand 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).

    Transferable Skills Register
    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 each 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.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Subject to approval of the Dean of Engineering and Forestry.


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

David Leung


Kim Baronian and Grant Pearce

Lab Coordinator

Jackie Healy

Lab Technician

Craig Galilee


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Test on lectures 1 - 12 16 Aug 2016 15%
Lab Test (at the end of each lab) 35%
Exam on lectures 13 - 36 50%


Recommended Reading

Campbell, Neil A. , Reece, Jane B; Biology; 8th ed; Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2008 (There are no required books but Campbell and Reece. 2008. biology. 8th edition is widely used).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $901.00

International fee $4,863.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Chemical and Process Engineering.

All ENCH281 Occurrences

  • ENCH281-16S2 (C) Semester Two 2016