UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Principles of Fermentation Processes

Focusing on how to specify the process and the fundamentals for characterisation

This module will strengthen your knowledge of fermentation processes and through a series of lectures and case studies will enable you to:

  • Define different modes of fermentation and know their limitations.
  • Develop a suitable medium and perform a material balance.
  • Interpret fermentation data and use it effectively.
  • Characterise the kinetics of cell growth and how they apply to different cell systems.
  • Determine fermentation productivity and yields.
  • Learn about new developments in fermentation technology (single use bioreactors)
  • Develop a strategy for fermentation process development.                            

This MBI is recommended for:

This module is suitable for scientists and engineers who wish to familiarise themselves with fermentation processes and those who wish to build underlying principles into their operational expertise in areas of:

• Research
• Process Development
• Manufacturing

    Module Leader

    Dr Frank Baganz currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London (UCL). He joined UCL as a lecturer in 1998 following the completion of his PhD in Yeast Molecular Biology and Fermentation from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

    He has established a track record in modelling, engineering and scale-up/down of fermentation, cell culture and biocatalytic processes. In particular, he established the engineering fundamentals of mixing and oxygen transfer in microwells and developed novel miniaturised bioreactors. His research also demonstrated the feasibility of predictive scale up from micro/mini reactors to lab scale reactors using established methods. In collaboration with Professor Gary Lye, he pioneered the use of microwell-based techniques to acquire information about fermentation and bioconversion. In recognition for his contributions to this area he received the 2010 Pharmaceuticals Division Plenary Award of the AIChE.

    Recently, he established research in the area of algal biotechnology. Working in close collaboration with Dr Saul Purton (ISMB) he is assessing the potential of microalgae for recombinant protein synthesis and the production and recovery of biofuels using scale-down approaches for cell and process characterisation.

    Programme Outline

    This module’s programme structure has been adapted to suit an online format. Participants will attend daily, live online case study sessions led by senior UCL academic staff. To complement the live sessions, participants will be provided access to a series of comprehensive pre-recorded lectures designed to strengthen understanding of key fermentation processes.

    Pre-Recorded Lecture Topics

    • Evaluation of Different Expression Systems
    • How Upstream can help ease Overall Processing
    • Biomass Growth Kinetics I
    • Biomass Growth Kinetics II
    • Fermentation Mass Balancing I
    • Fermentation Mass Balancing II
    • Fermenter Productivity and Operating Economics
    • Present and Future Fermentation Trends
    • Different Modes of Fermentation

    Live Sessions

    • Case Study: Mass Balancing
    • Case Study: Control of Substrate Concentration during Fed-Batch Operation
    • Case Study: Fermentation Simulation
    • Case Study: Microbial Media Development
    • Fermentation Bioreactors: Monitoring and Control
    • Introduction to Animal Cell Culture
    • Panel Discussion: Preset and Future Fermentation Trends
    Participant Feedback

    "This course will hugely benefit my current role. My PhD was on transcriptional regulation of B-cells and tumorigenesis driven by viruses; quite different to microbial fermentation. While I have been able to use my molecular biology skills extensively in my role at PBL, I lacked basic fermentation knowledge. This course has been incredibly helpful and I have put some of what I've learnt to use already" Fermentation Scientist, Porton Biopharma

    ‘The whole experience was fantastic. The course felt well organised and course content very relevant to what I expected. Overall I enjoyed and learnt a lot from the case study method of teaching’. Bioprocess Scale-Up Scientist, CPI