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Biochemical Engineering Design Project (BIEN90002)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeBIEN90002
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This unit requires the students to undertake a major design task utilising the knowledge gained throughout the Biochemical engineering course. This comprises the following tasks: design of a process to meet a specified requirement; feasibility study of alternative processes which meet the specification; determination of sequence for investigation of a chemical manufacturing project and preparation of a report; consideration of environmental impacts and sustainability issues; preparation of flowsheets; confirmation of effects of market forecasts; economic evaluation; preparation of estimates for the minimisation of capital and production costs; specification of equipment; selection of construction materials; and specification of instrumentation location, staff and labour requirements and safety precautions. The HYSYS simulation package will be utilised where appropriate. There will also be a series of lectures on various aspects of design.

This subject forms the major capstone design project for the Chemical engineering Discipline and closely simulates the design procedures the graduate students will undertake in chemical industry process and design engineers. The pre-requisites ensure that the students bring together all of the undergraduate knowledge and skills imparted in earlier years of the degree program. All aspects of the safe and environmentally responsible design of a chemical process plant are covered in this unit through project based learning. Through a careful sequential approach, the students develop a feasibility study, an initial process scoping and development report, and finally, a detailed design report. Team work is emphasized throughout to mimic the typical team environment the students will encounter in the work place.


No new topics of a technical nature are introduced into this unit. The unit requires the students to integrate their skills and knowledge from earlier units into a single, design project executed in a team environment. The content therefore includes:

  • A feasibility study which includes market analysis, plant location and health and safety assessment and preliminary economic evaluation of the proposal
  • A process development report which includes the assessment of technology options to produce the required product, a mass and energy balance of the proposed process, as evaluation of the environmental impact of the process, a safety analysis, and a detailed process flow diagram of the proposed process
  • A detailed design report including the detailed process and mechanical design of a unit operation with the process, the full process control and operation as well as process and instrumentation diagram of the process, specification of all minor equipment items in the process, a full HAZOP of a section of the plant, a full economic analysis and sensitivity study of the proposed plant.

This subject has been integrated with the Skills Towards Employment Program (STEP) and contains activities that can assist in the completion of the Engineering Practice Hurdle (EPH).

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  • Complete a chemical engineering feasibility study for a proposed product/process
  • Conduct a process development assessment and mass and energy balances to determine the overall scope and intent of the project
  • Carry out the integrated process and equipment design for an industrial chemical process, which is initially poorly-defined and for which much of the design data is not available
  • Function as part of a team and manage their time effectively
  • Apply all of the hard and soft skills acquired in earlier units in an integrated way to develop a full chemical plant design package

Generic skills

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • Ability to apply principles of chemical engineering to the design and specification of equipment and/or processes which have not previously been encountered
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, with the capacity to be a leader or manager as well as an effective team member
  • Understanding of the principles of sustainable design and development
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • Openness to new ideas and conventional critiques of received wisdom.

Last updated: 8 June 2019