BBE 3013

Engineering Principles of Molecular and Cellular Processes

Applied engineering principles in biological processes. Classification of microbes of industrial importance. Parameters for cellular control. Modeling of cell growth/metabolism, enzymatic catalysis, bioreactor design, product recovery operations design. Case studies.


Special Topics Course - 3D Printing of Biomolecular Models

This 1 credit course will be offered as a hands-on introduction to molecular model construction using 3D printing technologies. The goal of the course will be to introduce students to the potential to construct small biomolecules (including proteins) using 3D visualization software, then exporting these structures into 3D CAD software and eventually printing out the structure using a 3D printer. Several current models that illustrate enzyme active sites, bound substrates/products/intermediates will be used for case studies. Examples will be selected for students to construct a 3D model. Then, based on student numbers, project complexity and time requirements, we will attempt to print out and complete a final project for each student. Prerequisites. Though not required, a general understanding of chemistry is expected, along with either some biology or biochemistry. We will discuss cases studies where some knowledge of chemical reactions would be beneficial as well. All software utilized for this course will be available online, and some classes will be held in a computer lab.

ESPM 3605/5605

Recycling: Extending Raw Materials (Spring Semester)

Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

Meets Liberal Education Requirement of Technology and Society 


  • What are the processes used to produce our greatest commodities and how do these processes differ when recycled materials are substituted in these processes?
  • Are we running out of our valuable natural resources?
  • Will we have enough raw materials to support our economy well into the future?
  • What role does recycling play in our waste management and disposal hierarchy?

This course addresses these questions and others in a sustainability framework related to the role recycling plays in raw material consumption and utilization. Related issues will be explored including how policy and personal habits impact recycling, and the benefits and burdens that recycling has on our economy, environment, public health, and energy consumption. Specific topics covered include;

  • Arguments For and Against Recycling
    • Human Factors Affecting Participation and Perception
  • Metals Recycling
    • Aluminum
    • Iron or Steel
    • Copper, Lead, and Gold
  • Plastics Recycling
    • Conventional Oil Based Plastics
    • Bioplastics (PLA, PHB, Starches)
  • Water Recycling
    • Municipal Drinking Water
    • Municipal and Industrial Wastewater
  • Glass Recycling
    • Food and Beverage Containers
    • Specialty Glasses (Lead CRTs, Window Glass)
  • Oil Recycling (Motor Oils and Cooking Oils)
  • Paper Recycling
  • Municipal Waste Handling versus Recycling
  • Hazardous Waste Handling and Management
    • Heavy Metals (Mercury and Lead)
    • Radioactive Materials
  • Tires and Asphalt
  • Transportation
  • Economics and Governance (Who is responsible and who should pay?)

Description:  The course covers a broad range of topics related to recycling and natural resource utilization. We begin by reviewing the history of waste management and reuse as it developed into recycling efforts. Specific recycled materials studied include aluminum, steel, glass, paper and plastics. We also look at the roles humans play in waste management and resource management strategies, including personal choices, education and decision making related to economics and political or personal philosophies. Finally, we review the potential consequences of poor waste or resource management strategies on the environment, public health, and energy consumption, and places where recycling is improving versus places where we, as a society, continue to fail.  

Class Time: 50% Lecture, 20% Film/Video, 20% Discussion, 10% Web Based.         

Work Load:  10 pages reading per week, 3 exams, 1 paper, ~10 homework assignments.   

Grade: 20% Exam 1, 20% Exam 2, 20% Exam 3 (final exam), 20% reports/papers, 15% written homework, 5% attendance and participation. Slight difference in the weighting of points for graduates students enrolled for ESPM 5605.