ENCH281-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Principles Of Biology For Engineers

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


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 ENGR407.  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:

  • Appreciate that a cell as a basic unit of life whether animal, plant or microorganism, 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 I (as an engineer) want to manipulate biological processes, then it is crucial that an understanding of the molecular composition, metabolism and/or organismal limitations/capabilities of the process is understood (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, and between microorganisms and the environment (assessment items: lab quizzes and write-ups).
  • Understand the importance and capabilities of microorganisms in industrial processes (assessment items: lab quizzes and final exam).

    Transferable Skills Register
    As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
    1. Completing tasks in a laboratory. Important in many science- and engineering-related courses and jobs. A laboratory manual with instructions on what is required in each lab session will be provided.
    2. 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 ENCH281 mid-term tests and end-of-term exam questions available on Learn, 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.


Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 E7 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 09:00 - 10:00 A4 Lecture Theatre (20/7-10/8, 24/8, 14/9-21/9)
Ernest Rutherford 140 (28/9-19/10)
16 Jul - 12 Aug
20 Aug - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 12:00 - 13:00 A3 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 12:00 - 15:00 Civil - Mech E201 Mech Computer Lab 8 Oct - 14 Oct
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 16:00 Ernest Rutherford 451 Biology Lab 10 Sep - 21 Oct
02 Tuesday 15:00 - 18:00 Ernest Rutherford 451 Biology Lab 10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

David Leung


Grant Pearce and Matthew Stott

Lab Technicians

Craig Galilee and Jackie Healy


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Final Exam 50% Duration: 3 Hours
Lab book questions 35% Questions marked at the end of each lab, 5% each, for 7 labs in Term 4
Test 17 Aug 2018 15%


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).

Additional Course Outline Information

Assessment and grading system

Test 15% 17 August 2018
Lab book questions marked at the end of each lab, 5% each for 7 labs = 35%
Final exam 50%, 3 hours in duration

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $937.00

International fee $5,125.00

* 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

  • ENCH281-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018