BBE 4302/5302 (3 Credits) Biodegradation of Bioproducts, Spring

Bio-based products such as wood and wood composites are susceptible to degradation by biological organisms. Smart use and treatment of bioproducts can increase their service life and save money, but this requires familiarity with potential degraders. Understanding biodegradative pathways is also helping researchers develop novel means for processing raw materials, for bioengineering products, and for understanding nutrient cycling via plant decomposition in nature. This course explains organisms that modify or deteriorate lignocellulosic bioproducts, covers avoidance and control of these organisms, and explores their potential utilization in biotechnology. These ideas are bridged by biology and ecology concepts. This course is required for certain undergraduate tracks managed by Dept. Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering.

BBE 4608/5608 (3 Credits) Environmental and Industrial Microbiology, Fall

Microbiology remains a frontier, but has developed significantly in recent years. Growth in this research area is largely due to vast improvements in molecular tools (for example: DNA fingerprinting and sequencing) and other biochemical techniques, often driven by interest in emergent applications for these unique organisms. These applications include those related to protecting environmental quality as well as those related to making novel products, including materials, fuels, and chemicals. This course is therefore designed to introduce students to the taxonomy, biology and ecology of microbes, and to focus on key applications for which these microbes can be applied.