Introducing Molecular Biology to Environmental Engineers through Development of a New Course


  • Daniel B. Oerther University of Cincinnati


Technology from molecular biology increasingly is used by engineers to monitor biological unit operations.  Training engineering students in molecular biology represents a significant challenge to engineering education.  At the University of Cincinnati, the author has developed a new course, “Molecular Methods in Environmental Engineering.”  This course employs a team project to teach graduate engineering students the fundamentals of molecular biology as quantitative measurement tools used to improve existing designs and explore new biological unit operations.

Author Biography

Daniel B. Oerther, University of Cincinnati

Daniel B. Oerther joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati in 2000. For ten years, he has been adapting methods from molecular biology to identify, enumerate, and measure the physiology of microorganisms in biotechnology processes including wastewater treatment and bioremediation. His research links the results of novel molecular biology assays with mechanistic modeling of bioreactor performance.