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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Mechanical

Undergraduate Course: Bio-Inspired Engineering 4 (MECE10015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will explore how inspiration can be drawn from biological molecules and systems for the development of new technologies. Students will learn about the fundamental building blocks of life, encounter examples of bio-inspired structures and devices, and analyse the technologies critically using mathematical or computational tools as appropriate. In the second coursework assignment students will use their new-found knowledge to design a novel solution to a problem.
Course description The following topics will be covered:

1. How and why biology can inspire engineers
2. The fundamental building blocks of life
3. Synthetic biomolecular nanostructures and their applications
4. Energy, forces and electricity in biology
5. Bio-inspired computers and robots
6. Apparatus for biological experiments
7. Biomanufacturing
8. Safety and ethics
9. Current research in this area in the School of Engineering (non-examinable) to be delivered by active researchers
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  75
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 76 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 100%
Feedback Quizzes (not part of the formal assessment) will be provided to allow students to test their knowledge on selected topics.
We will go through extended problems in class. Classes will be highly interactive, enabling students to assess their progress. Students will be given the opportunity to discuss the course material and the coursework assignments in class and/or office hours, which will allow them to seek oral feedback on their progress. They can also seek feedback and advice by email or via the discussion boards on Learn.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and use important biological terminology and principles;
  2. Describe, analyse and critically assess examples of bio-inspired engineering, with reference to the advantages and limitations of the approaches used;
  3. Create solutions to engineering problems using ideas derived from biological systems;
  4. Appreciate cutting-edge research in the area of bio-inspired engineering.
Reading List
No specific textbook is required but students may find it helpful to consult a biology/biochemistry textbook such as:

- Biochemistry, Berg et al., W.H. Freeman
- Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al., Garland Science
These are available in the University library.

- Reference will also be made to scientific papers that can be accessed through university subscriptions to journals or on an open access basis.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsBio-inspired Engineering,Synthetic Biology,Bioengineering,Bionanotechnology,biomolecules
Course organiserDr Katherine Dunn
Tel: (0131 6)50 4845
Course secretaryMiss Catherine Davidson
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