Teaching

Prof. Abbas teaches four courses:

Engineering Principles for Biological Scientists (BBE 4744- Fall)

Course Description:

Material and energy balances applied to processing systems. Principles of fluid flow, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer applied to food and bioprocess unit operations such as pumping, heat exchange, refrigeration and freezing, drying, evaporation, and separation. Applications of nanotechnology in food processing, quality and safety.

Biological Process Engineering (BBE4713/5713- Spring)

Course Description:

Embracing emerging challenges in sustainable biochemical production, environment protection, biomedical engineering and alternative energy
resources, this course explores the principles and potentials in applying biological tools for chemical transformation processes. Focus is on
fundamentals of engineering principles involved in biological processing and bioreactors. Contents will cover biocatalysis fundamentals, bioprocessing engineering and application, microbial growth, and bioreactor analysis and design. Brief survey on related biotechnologies including bioseparation, biosensors and bioassays, and other emerging frontier biotechnologies will also be provided.

Nanobioengineering & Nanobiotechnology (BBE 4743/5743-Spring )

Course Description:

This course will educate on the interdisciplinary areas of bionanotechnology/nanobiotechnology and nanobioengineering, including engineering principles and inherent technological applications. The course focuses on three different perspectives in the field:

  • How does nature refine structure and functionality at the nanoscale;  
  • How is nanoengineering and nanotechnology used to understand, monitor and control biological and environmental processes and phenomena;
  • How can biological sciences inspire new engineering and nanotechnological concepts.

Following a general introduction to the nanoworld and a description of the different properties emerging at the nanoscale and related visualization methods, we will discuss bionanomaterials and biological nanomachines. Subsequent chapters will address synthesis methods, properties and applications of engineered nanomaterials. We will also address the engineering aspects (micro-and nanofabrication, self-assembly, micro- and nanofluidics) of biosensors, lab-on-chips and biological/medical microdevices. The presentation of new emerging directions and applications of bionanotechnology will conclude this course. The knowledge gained in this course will enable the students to think and use nanotechnology as a new approach to address physical, chemical, biological, and environmental phenomena, but also as a powerful tool to develop new products for different industries (food, agriculture, health, cosmetics).

Bioinspired approaches to sustainability: greening technologies and lives (Grand Challenge course GCC 3015/5015- Spring)

Course Description:

How can we build a sustainable society? From designing cities and technologies that use green energy to health care and agriculture that can sustain billions, the sustainability challenges that face us today are immense. The field of biomimicry seeks solutions to such problems by looking to the diverse ways in which organisms have adapted to varied and sometimes extreme environments. With over 1.3 million described species (and likely over 8 million in existence), chances are a species out there has evolved some solution to a particular problem. But how do we go about figuring out which species this might be? And which trait holds the adaptation in which we are interested? What might be some limitations associated with copying this adaptation – how might we build on it instead? This course explores bioinspired approaches to sustainability solutions. The first half of the class communicates tools from biology for discovering and researching systems relevant for bioinspired approaches. The second half of the class explores tools from design, art and engineering for implementing such solutions. Throughout the course, students work in teams of complementary expertise to identify a sustainability problem, research a relevant biological system, and build a prototype bio-inspired solution to their focal problem. This class will not only communicate essential concepts, but also serve as an incubator for inter-disciplinary ideas; the course will also touch on translation of ideas into patents & publications.