Technical electives offered by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering for students entering the program Fall 2010 to Spring 2012 may be found under the acronym "CHBE" in the course catalog and on Testudo, our online service where you will also find admission, registration, financial, class scheduling, residency, and other important information. Please note that not all electives will be available in every semester or year. Please check Testudo for course availability each semester!

If you entered the program from Fall 2010 to Spring 2012, do not register for courses that use the "ENCH" prefix. Select courses that use the "CHBE" prefix, as shown below.

Please use the following policies to guide you as you select your courses each semester:

  • Nine (9) credits of approved technical electives are required to fulfill degree requirements.
  • The ChBE program allows students to take up to 6 credits of the independent study (research) course CHBE 468; however, a maximum of three credits of CHBE 468 can be used to fulfill technical elective requirements.
  • The senior CHBE technical electives are 400-level chemical engineering courses, including CHBE 468x, and a limited number of approved 400-level technical courses from outside chemical engineering (see below).
  • Students should select electives with the help of an academic advisor.
  • Normally at least two of the three technical electives should be CHBE 4XX; the third elective may be chosen from CHBE or from the approved list of non-CHBE technical courses.
  • Any other classes, including 400-level Biosciences courses, will be considered only through the Department's exemption request procedure. Business or non-technical courses are normally not approved.
  • It is recommended that technical electives be taken during the senior year.

Questions about the undergraduate program may be sent to Kathy Gardinier at

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Electives

Approved electives from other departments are below.

Course Number
Course Title/Description
CHBE 453 Applied Mathematics and Distributed Parameter Systems
Prerequisite: CHBE 250. Mathematical techniques applied to the analysis and solution of chemical engineering problems. Use of differentiation, integration, differential equations, partial differential equations and integral transforms. Application of infinite series, numerical and statistical methods.
CHBE 454 Chemical Process Analysis and Optimization
Prerequisites: MATH 246, CHBE 426 and CHBE 440. Applications of mathematical models to the analysis and optimization of chemical processes. Models based on transport, chemical kinetics and other chemical engineering principles will be employed.
CHBE 451 Photovoltaics: Solar Energy
Formerly ENCH 468L
Prerequisite: Permission of Department. Credit only granted for ENCH 468L or CHBE 451.
The emphasis of the class is on developing a conceptual understanding of the device physics and manufacturing processes of crystalline and thin-film photovoltaic cells, and to develop elementary computational skills necessary to quantify solar cell efficiency. The class material includes detailed, system-level energy balances necessary to understand how solar energy fits into the complete energy generation, conversion, and storage picture. Quantitative comparisons of PV technology to solar chemical conversion processes and biofuels are made.
CHBE 455 Model Predictive Control
Prerequisite: CHBE 442. Spring Semester. Introduction to sampled-data systems and the z-transform. Dynamic response of discrete systems. Impulse and step response model identification from process data. Formulation of process control as a linear least squares problem involving model prediction. Multi-input multi-output processes. Robustness with respect to modeling error. Extension to constrained and nonlinear processes.
CHBE 468 Undergraduate Research
Prerequisite: Permission of both department and instructor. Repeatable up to 6 credits; however, a maximum of three credits of CHBE 468 can be used to fulfill technical elective requirements.
Investigation of a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Comprehensive reports are required.
CHBE 470 The Science and Technology of Colloidal Systems
Prerequisites: CHBE 302, CHBE 424, CHBE 426, and CHEM 482. Formerly ENCH 468C. Introduction to colloidal systems. Preparation, stability and coagulation kinetics of colloidal suspensions. Introduction to DLVO theory, electrokinetic phenomena, rheology of dispersions, surface/interfacial tension, solute absorption at gas-liquid, liquid-liquid, liquid-solid and gas-solid interfaces and properties of micelles and other microstructures.
CHBE 471 Particle Science and Technology
Prerequisites: Knowledge of undergraduate engineering thermodynamics, and transport phenomena; knowledge of numerical methods for solving systems of ordinary differential equations. Particles are everywhere. We breathe them, eat them, and use them to make many non-particulate materials. Knowledge of particle science and technology is important for manufacturing, for occupational health and safety, as well as environmental considerations. In this multidisciplinary course, the focus will be on the study of the science and technology relevant to multiphase systems consisting of solid and/or liquid particles surrounded by a gas. These topics fall loosely under the headings of powder and aerosol technology. Team design projects will be an integral component of this course.
CHBE 472 Control of Air Pollution Sources
Sources and effects of air pollutants, regulatory trends, atmospheric dispersion models, fundamentals of two-phase flow as applied to air pollution and air pollution control systems, design of systems for control of gases and particulate matter
CHBE 473 Electrochemical Energy Engineering
Formerly ENCH 468K
Prerequisite: Permission of Department. Credit only granted for ENCH 468K or CHBE 473.

The lecture will start from the basic electrochemical thermodynamics and kinetics, with emphasis on electrochemical techniques, fundamental principle and performance of batteries, and supercapacitors.
CHBE 475 Ethics in Science and Engineering
Prerequisite: 12 credit hours of laboratory science or engineering and permission of instructor. The course will examine ethical issues in science and engineering and their resolutions. The main topics will be ethics and scientific truth (including issues of proper data analysis, proper data presentation, and record-keeping), ethics and other scientists and engineers (including issues of attribution, confidentiality, conflict of interests, mentoring, and inclusion of under-represented groups), ethics and the practice of engineering (including responsibilities of engineers to clients, ecological issues, and conflicts of interest), and ethics and society (including funding priorities, moral issues, and human and animal subjects). Class meetings will be organized around discussions, case studies, and student reports. The course is aimed at postdoctoral students, graduate students and advanced undergraduate students who wish to ponder the important contemporary questions about the ethics of how science and engineering get done.
CHBE 476 Molecular Modeling Methods
Statistical mechanics will be introduced to give the fundamental background for atomic to mesoscale molecular modeling. Classical atomic-level simulations methods (Monte Carlos and Molecular Dynamics) and the procedures to develop intra and intermolecular potentials will be covered. This course will also discuss the theory and application of coarse-grained molecular simulations, mesoscale simulations and other modern simulation techniques. A broad range of applications will be included throughout the semester, e.g., phase behavior of small molecules, kinetics, and biophysics.
CHBE 477 Mesoscopic and Nanoscale Thermodynamics: Fundamentals for Emerging Technologies
Prerequisite: The course assumes that students have had a prior course in classical thermodynamics. Interdisciplinary course primarily for graduate and senior undergraduate students from engineering or science departments. New emerging technologies deal with bio-membrane and gene engineering, microreactor chemistry and microcapsule drug delivery, micro-fluids and porous media, nanoparticles and nanostructures, supercritical fluid extraction and artificial organs. Engineers often design processes where classical thermodynamics may be insufficient, e.g., strongly fluctuating and nanoscale systems, or dissipative systems under conditions far away from equilibrium.
CHBE 480 Bionanotechnology: Phyical Principles
Bionanotechnology focuses on Physics at nano/micro scales. Biomolecular building blocks. Simplest biomolecular assembly: protein folding. Nanoscale intermolecular interactions important for biology. Protein-ligand binding. Protein higher-order assembly: filaments, networks. Protein filaments and motility. DNA, RNA and their assembly assisted by proteins. Viral capsid assembly. Lipid assembly into micelles, bilayers. Lipid-protein co-assembly in membranes. Lipid and polymer structures useful in medicine. Targeted delivery of drugs, genes by nano/micro structures. Cellular assembly in the eye, in insect wings. Cellular assembly at surfaces: gecko feet, duck feathers. Cellular assembly in the presence of crystals: biomineralization.
CHBE 481 Transport Phenomena in Small and Biological Systems
Prerequisites: A prior course in transport phenomena such as CHBE 422 or CHBE 424, or permission of the instructor. Interdisciplinary course primarily for senior undergraduate and graduate students from engineering or science departments. The course's main goal is to make the students familiar with the fundamental physics and modeling of transport phenomena in small and biological systems, and their current scientific and engineering utilization in microfluidics, nanofluidics and biological systems.
CHBE 482 Biochemical Engineering
Prerequisite: CHBE 440. Introduction to biochemical and microbiological applications to commercial and engineering processes, including industrial fermentation, enzymology, ultrafiltration, food and pharmaceutical processing and resulting waste treatment. Enzyme kinetics, cell growth, energetics and mass transfer.
CHBE 484 Metabolic Pathway Engineering
This course will cover state of the art metabolic engineering, with a focus on the analysis and engineering of metabolic pathways through (chemical) engineering principles, Topics covered include: (1) overview of biochemistry and metabolism; (2) metabolic flux analysis and isotope labeling illustrated with examples from the recent scientific literature; (3) technologies for engineering metabolic pathways; (4) metabolic control analysis and pathway regulation; (5) applications of metabolic engineering to synthesis of biofuels and therapeutics; (6) specialized and related subjects such as protein engineering and synthetic biology.
CHBE 485 Biochemical Engineering Laboratory
Prerequisite: CHBE 482. Six hours of laboratory per week. Techniques of measuring pertinent parameters in fermentation reactors, quantification of production variables for primary and secondary metabolites such as enzymes and antibiotics, the insolubilization of enzymes for reactors, and the demonstration of separation techniques such as ultrafiltration and affinity chromatography.
CHBE 486 Heterogeneous Catalysis for Energy Application
Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CHBE 302, CHBE 424, and CHBE 440; and permission of instructor. Credit only granted for: CHBE 486 or ENCH 686. Additional information: This is a pilot course.
Introduction to heterogeneous catalytic science and technology for energy conversion and hydocarbon processing. Preparation and mechanistic characterization of catalyst systems, kinetics of catalyzed reactions, adsorption and diffusion influences in heterogenious reactions. An overview of heterogeneous catalysis in various energy-related applications, including petroleum refining, chemicals from biomass, valorization of shale gas, and CO2 utilization will be introduced.
CHBE 487 Tissue Engineering
Formerly: ENCH 468T
Prerequisite: Must be in a major within the ENGR-Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department; or permission of Department. Also offered as: BIOE411. Credit only granted for BIOE 411, CHBE 487, or ENCH 468T.
A review of the fundamental principles involved in the design of engineered tissues and organs. Both biological and engineering fundamentals will be considered. Specific tissue systems will be emphasized at the end of the course.
CHBE 490 Introduction to Polymer Science
Prerequisites: CHBE 424 and CHBE 440. Also offered as ENMA 495. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: CHBE 490 or ENMA 495. The elements of the polymer chemistry and industrial polymerization, polymer structures and physics, thermodynamics of polymer solutions, polymer processing methods, and engineering applications of polymers.
CHBE 495 Nanoparticle Aerosol Dynamics and Particle Technology
Prerequisites: Must be in a major within the ENGR-Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department; and permission of Department.
NanoParticles (NA) ( < 100 nm), and their science and technology play an important role in nature and industry. From air quality standards, nuclear reactor safety, inhalation therapy, workplace exposure, global climate change, to counterterrorism, aerosols play a central role in our environment. On the industrial side, NA plays an integral part of reinforcing fillers, pigments and catalysts, and the new emerging field of nanotechnology, they are the building blocks to new materials, which encompass, electronic, photonic and magnetic devices, and bio and chemical sensors.
CHBE 496 Processing and Engineering of Polymers
Prerequisites: None. A comprehensive analysis of processing and engineering techniques for the conversion of polymeric materials into useful products. Evaluation of the performance of polymer processes, design of polymer processing equipment.


Approved Electives From Other Departments

For the most up-to-date course descriptions and information on prerequisites, please see Testudo, the online course catalogs, or the departments offering the courses.

Course Number
Course Title/Description
BSCI 4XX 400-Level Bioscience Courses
Certain courses will be approved on a case by case basis and will be considered only through the Department's exemption request procedure.
BCHM 462 Biochemistry II
CHEM 425 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
CHEM 474 Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 482 Physical Chemistry II
ENES 489P Special Topics in Engineering: Hands-On Systems Engineering Projects
ENFP 489I Industrial Fire Safety
MATH 461 Linear Algebra for Scientists and Engineers