Message from the Chair
UC Berkeley's Master of Bioprocess Engineering (MBE) degree program is driven by the increasingly important role of the bioprocessing field in the world economy. Chemical engineers with expertise in biotechnology and bioprocessing are key to the translation of fundamental research into application through commercial manufacturing processes and products. The bio-based production of pharmaceuticals, sustainable chemicals and fuels, and foodstuffs are just a few examples of industrial processes that require biochemical engineering design and development approaches. To be successful, practitioners must possess not only fundamental knowledge in biochemistry, molecular biology, and chemical engineering but also a hands-on skillset applicable to scaling technologies between laboratory, pilot, and commercial facilities.
Our new master's degree in Bioprocess Engineering is designed for the incoming student who possesses the interest and aptitude but not yet the hands-on experience to step into a bioprocessing role. The MBE program will bridge this expertise and experience gap for those who wish to pursue careers as Associate Scientists or Bioprocess Engineers in the bioprocessing field to design, develop, and implement real-time solutions and strategies. This has been a long-standing but unmet need of both graduates and industry: for students to matriculate from top-notch programs with the relevant skills and experience that can be applied immediately in the workplace. Our program will now fulfill this need.
The UC Berkeley MBE program is designed to provide students with an unique opportunity to integrate classroom learning with hands-on applications through industry internships. We will be partnering with a range of biotechnology companies with applications spanning the pharmaceutical, industrial biotech, and food tech industries. Beyond this, we are very fortunate to have a close relationship with the Advanced Biofuels Processing Demonstration Unit, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory operation that also has ties to industry and other academic institutions. Its world class expertise, equipment, and facilities are the perfect training setting to scale-up processes from the lab to commercial relevance.
I am personally excited about this new program. In addition to setting our graduates up for success with invaluable knowledge and tools, we have the unique opportunity to better match student capabilities with current and future industry needs. This, in turn, improves outcomes for both. In the context of the extraordinary stature of UC Berkeley's chemical engineering graduate program, our program portends an undeniable formula for student success.