UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Year in Industry: Skills

Course Title

Level Four
Credits 1.5
Course Tutors Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore

Logbook (40%)

Skills portfolio (30%)

Poster presentation (15%)

Design project appraisal (15%)


Working for a year in industry enables the student to fulfil the requirements for a master level biochemical engineer degree by learning on the job:

  • Biochemical engineering practice learned in an industrial environment
  • Depth of advanced engineering knowledge by working along industrialists on complex industrial research and/or design projects
  • The ability to design whole bioprocess operations
  • The ability to design and undertake independent research projects
  • The ability to validate bioprocesses
  • The ability to employ knowledge gained through previous studies
  • The ability for self assessment by completing a skills portfolio
  • The ability to present complex contexts clearly in writing and poster
  • The ability to evaluate design projects

The logbook and the engineering/research skills portfolio will help the student to evaluate their practical gained knowledge. The logbook should show not only the experience but as well the ability to record the work in a way usable for others. The skills portfolio will reflect the learning outcome: the ability to use industry relevant applications of engineering analysis, the capability to work and learn independently and to be self-reliant, and further biochemical engineering skills and soft skills. The poster will give the student the opportunity to present his/ her work to their peer and members of the department. By appraising the design project of the year 3 students the student will proof a deeper understanding of the design process.


The student will spend a period of 9 to 15 months in a company performing (a) project(s) with emphasis on bioprocessing. During the time the student will be under daily guidance of an industry supervisor and in regular contact with the departmental supervisor.

  • Companies are legally bound to keep records of their work and hence the student will be required to write a logbook through out the industry placement. The industrial supervisor will give a detailed introduction in logbook writing since it is in the interest of the company to give all new employees the same introduction so that the quality and style is reassured.
  • The results of the work undertaken in the company will be presented as poster on the day of UG exam board (last week of term 3) for view and scrutiny by external and internal examiners. The student will receive help and feedback from both supervisors on the poster.
  • Once each term the student will return for a one day visit to advise and moderate the design work of the third year students (BENG3004). The aim is to allow the design groups to benefit from the knowledge gained by their peer in industry.
  • The student will benefit from a range of training activities in the company which can include technical and H&S workshops as well as workshops on team working, economical aspects of the industry and presentation skills. Usually companies are offering those CPD courses for their employees and are encouraging students to join them as well. These courses will not be assessed.
  • To review the skills gained during the year the student will compose a skills portfolio.

The industrial supervisor will be issued with the departmental requirements on the placement project(s) and the assessment guidelines (documents attached) before the start of the work placement to guarantee that the project(s) are in line with the departmental requirements and academically concise. The project description will be submitted by the student together with the host company at least a month before the start of the placement and assessed by the Teaching Committee with regard to the learning outcomes.

Throughout the Year in Industry the student will be supervised by the industrial supervisor on a day to day basis. The departmental supervisor will be in regular contact with the student and his/her industrial counterpart: at least once per months online, e.g. by Skype, or via phone and two site visits during the year. One visit will be in the first 2 months of the project, the second one in March/ April.

Method of Delivery

This course is part of the Year in Industry experience of the student. During the year in industry the student will work as part of a professional team alongside an industrial supervisor on one large project or a number of smaller projects. The project(s) will allow the student to get experience in and learn about bioprocessing and engineering practice.

The student will document the work during the year as logbook, present it as a poster and compile a skills portfolio. In addition the student will act as peer reviewer and adviser for the design project of the 3rd year students.