The Department of Biotechnology Engineering was founded in 1993 to combine established principles of engineering with the emerging knowledge of modern biology. The Department's vision was to teach Biotechnology Engineering in a way that would stimulate original scientific research and innovative industrial practice. Graduates of the Department are now to be found in the leading research institutions and major industrial enterprises of Israel and the world.
The success of the study program is based on concepts and practices unique to the Department. Five specialization tracks, Food Biotechnology, Biomaterials, Environmental Science, Cellular Molecular Biology and Pharmaceutical Science produce engineers qualified to work in every one of the major areas of biotechnology today. The degree program places an emphasis on practical laboratory experience and includes a seven month internship of full-time employment in scientific research or industry. Interaction of faculty and students with researchers and industrialists on a daily basis gives rise to a study program that is relevant to Biotechnology today and anticipates the Biotechnology of tomorrow. For eight years in succession (2005-2012), ninety percent of the Departments' graduates were employed as biotechnology engineers, or began studying for higher degrees, within one year of graduating.
The Department now builds on the success of its B.Sc in Biotechnology Engineering by teaching an M.Sc program in Biotechnology. The M.Sc, inaugurated in 2010, addresses the interests of science and engineering graduates working in two important industrial areas, biotechnology product development and medical research and clinical trials. Scientists working in the biotechnology industry are provided with intellectual tools to analyze industrial processes and taught to translate their knowledge and skills into innovative commercial products. For the first time in Israel, medical science researchers are taught to plan, execute and analyze medical research and clinical trials in an academic context. The combined talents of senior faculty and seasoned industrialists bring to the M.Sc program state of the art science and technology. The M.Sc program is a unique opportunity for students to improve their industrial performance and broaden their employment opportunities.
Research carried out in the Department of Biotechnology Engineering includes, Biomaterial Science, Environmental Biotechnology, Biomedical Research, Biochemistry and the Study of Natural Materials. The research is interdisciplinary (Biotechnology Engineering with Mechanical Engineering, Program Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering) and is in collaboration with other academic institutions (Technion, Tel-Aviv University, The Weizmann Institute of Science, local research institutes). Research complements both the study program and specialization tracks of the Department by enriching the professional experience of teaching staff and providing opportunity to senior students to carry out internship projects. Research exposes faculty and students to state-of-the-art technologies that are essential for updated theoretical and laboratory courses.
Specific research topics carried out by faculty are as follows:Tissue EngineeringImmunologyDevelopment of therapeutics for liver diseaseThe fate of nano-materials in the environmentTherapeutic activity of natural productsEnzymatic fuel cellsMolecular modeling of bio-materialsPharmaceutical Science