UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Bioprocess Systems Engineering

Course Title BENGM023
Level Four
Credits 0.5
Course Tutors Dr Sofia Simaria
Assessment Three-hour written exam (65%)
Two case study reports (35%)
Prerequisites Project Appraisal for Bioprocesses (BENG 3006), Computer Aided Bioprocess Engineering (BENG 3009), Fermentation and Bioreactor Engineering (BENG 2010), Bioprocess Recovery and Purification (BENG 2011) or courses with similar content.


This course is designed to provide students with skills in advanced modelling, optimisation and statistical techniques such that they are adequately equipped to address problems related to evaluating the cost-effectiveness and robustness of alternative bioprocess design strategies.

Learning Hours


Lectures: 30h
Computer lab sessions: 20h


  • Discrete-event simulation Introduction to queuing systems; Basic concepts of discrete-event simulation; Use of simulators.
  • Uncertainty analysis Identification of sources of uncertainty and variability in bioprocessing; Monte Carlo simulation to address uncertainty
  • Multi-criteria decision-making Basic concepts; Weighted sum method; Generation of non-dominated solutions/Pareto front
  • Optimisation: mathematical programming Linear programming (LP) formulation; Graphical, simplex method and sensitivity analysis; Mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulation and branch-and-bound method.
  • Optimisation: meta-heuristic approaches Combinatorial optimisation: typical problems and bioprocess-related examples; Constructive heuristics, local search and local optimality; Meta-heuristics: overview of most popular methods; Application of genetic algorithms to bioprocessing problems
  • Research showcase’ Presentation of current (or past) research within the Decisional Tools group directly linked with the subjects taught.