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UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering

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Find out what biochemical engineering is and how biochemical engineers are making an impact on the world: courses, taster sessions, work placements and open days.

UCL Open Days

There are regular UCL-wide undergraduate and postgraduate open days at which UCL Biochemical Engineering hold admissions talks followed by tours of the pilot plant and labs, giving prospective students an opportunity to find out about our programmes, meet the academic team and speak to our students about what it’s like studying here. We also run virtual events for those unable to come to UCL in person.

You can sign up to UCL+ to receive invitations and updates to all these events at UCL

Taster Days

Choosing a degree subject can be daunting. Our taster days give Year 12 students with an interest in Biochemical Engineering the chance to experience studying a degree with us. Attendees will spend a day with current students and lecturers, learn about the subject, work on an interactive exercise with presentations and visit our laboratory teaching facilities. The courses are part of the University of London Taster Day initiative and are run with UCL Widening Participation.

These courses are a great way of enhancing a UCAS application and giving pupils a taste of what biochemical engineering is all about. We run two taster days in the summer: one that covers the manufacture of biofuels and the other that looks at manufacturing new medicines.

    1. Manufacturing Biofuels: Introduction to Biochemical Engineering

    In this practical course, we'll explore the fundamentals of manufacturing with biology: using case studies and practical examples of how Biochemical Engineers are helping to develop sustainable biofuels and improve access to affordable vaccines. There will the opportunity to design and conduct an experiment, as well as visit the UCL Pilot Plant to see first hand how process engineering and R&D in this area leads to advances in the pharmaceutical and industrial biotechnology sectors. This course is particularly suitable for students who are would like a degree where they can combine maths with sciences, or who are interested in new applications of chemical engineering.

    2. Manufacturing New Medicines: Introduction to Biochemical Engineering

    In this course we'll explore the fundamentals of how Biochemical Engineers are helping to develop new advanced medicines including cell and gene therapies There will the opportunity to visit the UCL Pilot Plant to see first hand how process engineering and R&D in this area can impact how new and improved medicines will be made in future. This course is particularly suitable for students who are would like a degree where they can combine maths with sciences, or who are interested in a career in the fast-growing sectors of biotechnology, stem cells, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and gene therapy.

    Find out more about Taster Days

    Placements

    We are working closely with the In2Science and Nuffield charities to offer work experience weeks for Year 12 students from a low-income background. For 2 to 6 weeks you will work alongside professionals depending on the scheme.

    If you are enthusiastic about Biochemical Engineering or Bioprocessing of New Medicines this is a great way to get hands-on experience and meet our researchers.

    To apply for a placement visit:

    School Visits and Teaching Materials

    Our researchers are involved in a range of outreach activities organised by the UCL Faculty of Engineering and UCL Widening Participation. Our STEM ambassadors take part in school visits talking about their personal journeys into biochemical engineering.

    One of our researchers recently co-created the programme “How Many Engineers Does it take to make Ice Cream?” that is run by the Brilliant Club in schools in Greater London. You can also learn about automation in the “Robot Racing with GERTI” sessions. And pupils can get support to solve engineering problems in The Primary Engineer programme.

    We work closely with the UCL Engineering Faculty schools engagement team, you can find out more about their schedule of activities here:

    Science and Engineering Fairs and Festivals

    We have a strong presence at science fairs and festivals: The “Big Algae Experiment”, an open source algae bioreactor and phone app, for example, has been rolled out with school groups at the New Scientist Festival, the Latitude Festival and elsewhere. The department was present at last years SmashfestUK showing how to obtain clean water in the event of a natural disaster. Together with the University of Manchester, our doctoral students demonstrated at the Manchester Science Festival how to make medicine by producing edible beads. We also took part in designing the “Engineer your Future” installation at the Science Museum, London. As part of the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) the department hosted a one-day residential course.