Biochemical Engineering



Lab equipment

UCL Biochemical Engineering has played a key role in the emergence of the advanced bioindustry and has extensive industrial collaborations in both research and training.

Research in the department benefits from strategic oversight provided by the Advisory Board to the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering (ACBE) which comprises leading figures from the international bioindustry. The ACBE Advisory Board oversees activities and synergy between the department’s three main research programmes:

  • The Biocatalysis-Chemistry-Engineering Interface (BiCE) programme is concerned with the synthesis of complex chiral pharmaceuticals and the integration of biocatalysis and chemistry to achieve greater selectivity. It is advised by a Steering Group comprising 13 leading chemical and pharmaceutical companies.
  • The Innovative Manufacturing Centre (IMRC) for Bioprocessing focuses on new technologies for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals including human proteins, genes and vaccines. It is advised by a Steering Group comprising of 12 leading biopharmaceutical companies and their suppliers.
  • The Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing (RegenMed) programme is concerned with the bioprocessing issues that will underpin the emerging classes of regenerative medicines based on human cells and tissue. It has collaborations with most of the leading national and international companies in this sector.

The outputs of these research programmes can be accessed through our HEFCE-funded Bioprocess Enterprise activities. This provides opportunities for shorter term industry collaborative research and consultancy and the supply of UCL Ultra Scale-Down (USD) devices.

The Department also represents the largest source of trained new staff for the international bioindustry and related sectors such as engineering design, consultancy and management. The department hosts an EPSRC-funded Engineering Doctorate (EngD) Training Centre involved in the enhanced doctoral level training of future industry leaders. Over 60% of doctoral programmes in the department are collaborative with industry involving over 40 companies. A part-time Masters programme involving modular courses for companies is also available via the MBI ® Training programme. To date over 1000 individuals from over 200 companies have taken MBI ® modules and over 70 industrialists contribute to Masters level training provision.

All research and training provision in the department benefits from outstanding laboratory, computing and large scale bioprocessing facilities following capital investments worth over £30 million in recent years. This ensures all our graduates are familiar with the latest technologies and have experience of large scale bioprocessing.