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Bioenvironmental Engineering (CHEN90011)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCHEN90011
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This is a specialised elective subject covering a range of environmental and waste treatment topics of key importance to society and of relevance to most chemical engineering industries. The subject builds on core chemical engineering knowledge and is complementary to the material presented in the Bioprocess Engineering subject and the Biochemical Engineering course. In this subject, students will develop a broad understanding of the nature of waste streams and the principles underlying their treatment. The subject will allow students to learn how to apply chemical and bioprocess engineering knowledge in the design and operation of a range of processes used to treat a variety of domestic, industrial and agricultural wastes. In addition to traditional processes, emphasis is placed on how improved processes can be developed to meet future challenges.

The principles and technical knowledge developed in this subject are central to chemical engineers working on waste treatment in chemical industries and for municipal water and environmental management.


Topics covered include: the characteristics of liquid and solid wastes and the objectives of waste treatment; important waste assay procedures; primary, secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment processes; physical and chemical treatment processes for both liquid and solid wastes; biological waste treatment and the role of various microbial groups: anaerobic, facultative, aerobic and aerated lagoons and factors affecting their design; activated sludge and related processes; adherent growth processes and associated design considerations; biological and physico-chemical removal of nitrogen and phosphorus; anaerobic processes and their use in liquid and solid waste treatment; treatment and disposal of biosolids; recycling and reuse of wastes; sustainability and cleaner production.

A practical laboratory session using a bench scale wastewater treatment system will also be conducted.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  • Understanding the important characteristics of waste streams and the engineering and biological principles underlying their treatment
  • Design key elements of a wastewater treatment plant
  • Analyse the performance of a bench scale activated sludge unit

Generic skills

  • Capacity for independent thought
  • Ability to comprehend complex concepts and communicate lucidly this understanding
  • Awareness of advanced technologies in the discipline
  • Ability to work in a team (practical work component).

Eligibility and requirements


(Prior 2013) CHEN90008 Biology for Engineers


(Prior to 2014) CHEN30014 Bioprocess Engineering OR BTCH90006 Bioprocess Engineering


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
CHEN90031 Bioprocess Engineering
Summer Term
Semester 1



Non-allowed subjects

CHEN40014 Bioenvironmental Engineering

CHEN40010 Biochemical/Environmental Engineering 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.

This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Student Equity and Disability Support.

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


Additional details

  • One written 90 minutes test (15%); held mid-semester. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 1 and 2 are addressed in the mid-semester test
  • Practical work report (15%), of no more than 2000 words, associated with the laboratory experiments with a time commitment of approximately 13-15 hours (in addition to the time spent in the laboratory). Due approximately half way into the semester (On or around week 7). ILO 3 is addressed in the practical work report
  • One written three hour end-of-semester exam (70%). The examination paper will consist of problems designed to test whether the student has acquired understanding of the fundamental engineering and biological principles underlying waste treatment processes. ILOs 1 and 2 are addressed in the examination.

Hurdle requirement: A mark of 40% or more in the end of semester examination is required to pass the subject

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorGreg Martin
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursAn average of 3 hours of lectures per week + 2 x 3 hour practical work sessions per semester + 1 x field trip per semester.
    Total time commitment200 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 Greg Martin

    Email: gjmartin@unimelb.edu.au

Time commitment details

Estimated 200 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts


    Recommended texts and other resources


  • Subject notes


    The subject will be delivered primarily through lectures. In addition, students will also complete a laboratory practical and go on at least one industry field trip which will reinforce the material covered in lectures.


    Students will have access to lecture notes and lecture slides. The subject LMS site also contains numerical solutions for practice problems.


    Visits to one or more municipal wastewater treatment plants will be conducted in the subject. A number of engineers working in the industry will present lectures.

  • 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: 30 July 2019