Department establishment: 1986-1987
Q1. What exactly is Biochemical Engineering?
Biochemical Engineering involves all the designing and engineering aspects related to production of useful products from microorganisms like pharmaceuticals, enzymes, chemicals, food technology etc and we deal with stuff like reactor designing , process designing. Its kind off like chemical engineering but instead of chemicals we use Live organisms.
Q2. What makes the field interesting?
Its very new aspect of engineering. It is a very diverse field in itself as it involves areas like immunology, bioinformatics, nano-biotechnology,biophysics, microbiology,tissue culturing ,etc .all these areas are gaining huge importance as they primarily cover majority of our everyday needs ,be it in the field of medical or cosmetics or waste management or even in national security(related to biological wars).so basically it has an importance in almost every field today.
It also deals with process engineering and designing for bio production processes, etc. Now a days it’s also being used to replace some of the chemically synthesized products by bio based products and we are also involved in Bio based waste treatment technology, biofuels and stuff like that. So to say if its interesting , you can conclusively say that it’s a branch where there is always something new and fascinating coming up .
Q3. How much biology is actually involved?
IIT BHU’s curriculum we do have some pure bio based subjects like microbiology and biochemistry, but other than that the subjects do involve bio but are quite interesting as they involve both mathematical concepts and bio like microbiological engineering, downstream processing, genetics, bioinformatics etc.
Basically the physics and chemistry that was being applied on inanimate,non-living objects in the 11th-12th is being now applied on biological beings ,their cells .In a way you can say that now you are studying a living system.
Q4. What’s Difference between ‘Biochemical’ and ‘Biomedical’?
The difference lies in the name itself. While biomedical deals to hybridize Engineering and Technology to field of medical science, biochemical aims to hybridize the same to field of chemistry and chemical processes.
Q5. Why Biochemical?
As said earlier, it’s very new and hybrid branch having a large scope for people with a knack in innovations. Also very few of actually good institutes provide it, including IIT’s. There are even less then 100 seats including all IIT-BHU, IIT-D and IIT-KGP. Definitely biochemical is not as lucrative as the core electrical,mechanical and computer science subjects but in this field there is immense diversity . for eg: bio-informatics and genetic coding are branches of biochemistry which require the concepts of programming .
Biophysics involves the application of physics on cells and cellular movements. Recently with the help of microbiologists it was possible to find organisms which can survive in sub-freezing temperatures, thus this led to possibility of life in space .so biochemical engineering finds its scope in even space research assistance. The scope is limited in India but there is immense scope globally .
Q6. Main attraction?
The Course structure is about to get revised according to current scenario in coming semesters. Plus Prof. Pradeep Srivastava is the head of TBI (Technology Business Incubator). It’s a government initiated and funded project of over 1 Cr.
Q7. Future prospectus?
Not many core employments are currently available in India. But opportunities do avail in following areas:
Biotechnology, Environmental engg, Food industries, Health care, Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical, Plant design, Water and waste treatment, etc
Q8. Areas of research?
Biochemical Signaling, structural Enzymology, autoimmunity, spectroscopy, genomics, bioinformatics, Signal transduction, Enzymology & signaling mechanism, Membrane trafficking, Molecular microbiology, gene regulation, Mitochondrial biogenesis, Protein trafficking, cellular architecture, autophagy and adoptive cell therapy, Regulation of Gene Expression, Protein Processing & Folding, biophysics, neuroscience, computation and modeling, etc.
The areas of research in this field are immense with it finding applications in every aspect of human life , even in space research for detecting life on other planets to use of biological weapons in war. so the research scope of this field is just endless .