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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.

Eligibility and requirements


CHEN40005 Process Equipment Design (prior to 2010) OR

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
CHEN90012 Process Equipment Design
Semester 1
Semester 2


CHEN40007 Process Engineering (Prior to 2010) OR

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
CHEN90013 Process Engineering
Semester 1



Non-allowed subjects

Credit will not be given for this subject and the following subjects:

CHEN40009 Design Project

BIEN40002 Biomolecular Engineering Design Project

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
CHEN90022 Chemical Engineering Design Project
Semester 2

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • First Report (15%): Team report submission of a feasibility study of up to 30 pages. Time commitment of approximately 40-50 hours. Peer assessment is required and considered in the marking of these reports. Intended learning outcomes (ILOs) 1 to 5 are addressed in this report. Due approximately one third of the way through the semester (on or around week 4)
  • Second Report (30%): Team report submission of up to 100 pages (not including supporting material such as appendices, diagrams, tables, computations and computer output). Time commitment of approximately 70-80 hours. Peer assessment is required and considered in the marking of these reports. ILOs 1 to 5 are addressed in this report. Due approximately two thirds of the way through the semester (on or around week 8)
  • Final Report (55%): Individual report submission of up to 100 pages (not including supporting material such as appendices, diagrams, tables, computations and computer output). Report includes components generated as a team. Time commitment of approximately 170-180 hours. ILOs 1 to 5 are addressed in this report. Due end of semester.

Hurdle requirement: An aggregate mark of 50% or more and a mark of 50% or more in the final report is required to pass the subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorColin Scholes
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours1 x 2 hour lecture + 1 x 3 hour consultation session per week
    Total time commitment400 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

    Dr Colin Scholes

    Email: cascho@unimelb.edu.au

Time commitment details

Estimated 400 hours

Additional delivery details

A self-learning engineering design project, conducted as a team, aided by lectures and consultation sessions.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts


    Recommended texts and other resources


  • Subject notes


    The subject is developed through team work and through a series of lectures, guest speakers, and weekly consultancy sessions. The deliverables in the project are managed carefully and teams are expected to meet deadlines as required during the unit. The consultancy sessions include meetings with industry engineers to provide real-work input into the students design and decision making process.


    Prior to the start of this unit, a substantial database of technical reports, journal articles, web sites and patents is set up. These are all relevant to the particular chemical/biological process being evaluated. Students have access to this database through the subject LMS site upon the start of the project. In addition, lecture notes and weekly consultancy sessions with experienced engineers provide additional resources for their learning. All lecture notes, discussion, progress updates etc are communicated through the project LMS site.


    The unit is run in close consultation with industry engineers both with respect to setting up the project as well as weekly consultancy sessions with industry engineers. Guest lecturers from industry are also invited to convey the industry relevance of the project undertaken.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 8 June 2019