Advanced Course

Bioprocess Design

Course description

With recent advances in molecular biology and a growing biomass availability for use as industrial feedstock, the bio-based economy is getting a wider range of inputs. Scaling up the bio(techno)logy innovations and implementation in large-scale factories or biorefineries clearly is a present bottleneck: industries are struggling to get the bio-opportunities to the market, as experienced industrial bioprocess designers and operational experts are not readily available to meet the growing needs.

Teachers from universities and companies have joint forces and will present a program that centers around industrial fermentation processes, and is flanked by overviews on upstream and downstream processing. The focus of the course is on design of innovative microbial fermentations, for bio-products such as amino acids and monomers for bio-plastics, complemented with examples of marine and mammalian processes, for micro-algae products and bio-pharmaceuticals. A substantial part (ca. 40% of the time) will be dedicated to a case study, executed in teams of 4-6 participants, on the design of a bioprocess for the production of a chemical (1,4-butanediol). Basic theory on thermodynamic, microbial stoichiometry and kinetics, transport phenomena and scale up/down will be extensively applied and integrated. The team with the best design performance wins the Genomatica Bioprocess Design prize. There are several guest lecturers from leading universities and industries in the bioprocess field, providing latest insights in technology innovations, non-conventional feedstocks and new bio-product categories, complemented with views from the industrial practice.

The Advanced Course Bioprocess Design is cooperatively organised by BioTech Delft and graduate school VLAG.

30 October – 3 November 2023

Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

A limited number of fellowships is available for PhD students (reduced fee) and specifically for PhD students from graduate school VLAG and the Department of Biotechnology of Delft University of Technology.


Advanced Course Bioprocess Design

This one-week course is intensive and has long days. To ensure active participation by those attending, a combination of theoretical (lectures) and practical (exercises, case study) work is offered. The course will be given in English. A pocket calculator is required.


The core lectures are mainly scheduled in the mornings and will focus on the following themes:

  • Rates, thermodynamics and metabolism of micro organisms
  • Transport processes in bioreactors
  • Fermentation processes and their scale up features

In the early evenings, invited lectures are scheduled on e.g. examples of successful bioprocesses, downstream processing, novel feedstocks and economic aspects of bioprocessing.

Exercises and case study

For a better understanding of the lectures, the theory is applied in exercises on the Monday and Tuesday afternoons. From Wednesday on, the practical work continues in a case study on a real-life bioprocess design question where all theory will be needed.

Study load

The course (including preparatory materials) is valued 48 hours of work.

Who should attend?

The course is primarily aimed at academic and industrial specialists (MSc, PhD or equivalent experience)  that seek for refreshing and broadening their knowhow and practical insight in Bioprocess Design, to assist in progress towards the bio-based economy. A background in e.g. biochemical engineering, microbiology or biochemistry and a basic working knowledge of the other disciplines is expected.

Course registration

Please register clicking the tab Register to attend the course. Applicants will be handled in order of the date of receipt.


Programme for 2023:

Monday, 30-10-2023
Theme: Processes: DSP, pre-treatment
Micro-organisms: Rates and process reaction
08.45 Registration
09.00 Welcoming
09.30 Introduction and outline course Henk Noorman
09.45 Downstream Processing Michel Eppink
11.00 The process reaction for bioprocess design: a thermodynamic approach Sef Heijnen
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Exercise: obtaining the process reaction
17.30 Enzyme-driven lignocellulose conversion and consequences for process design Mirjam Kabel
18.35 Short Biotech Campus tour Henk Noorman
19.00 Social drink and buffet
Tuesday, 31-10-2023
Theme: Fermentors: design of transport
09.00 Gas transport Henk Noorman
09.45 Heat transport Henk Noorman
10.30 Mixing Henk Noorman
11.30 A Game of Balances Sef Heijnen
12.15 Lunch and Group picture
13.00 Exercise: Transport in fermentation Sef Heijnen
14.30 Exercise: Transport processes Sef Heijnen
16.00 Exercise: Mixing Sef Heijnen
17.45 Industry Lessons: Developing Scalable Processes Jason Crater
Wednesday, 01-11-2023
Themes: Scale-up of fermentation processes, case study
09.00 Industrial microbial fermentation Henk Noorman
09.45 Algal processes Rene Wijffels
10.45 Introduction to the case study Amit Deshkmukh / Henk Noorman
11.15 Metabolic design: example and exercises I Ruud Weusthuis
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Animal Cell Cultivation for Production of BioPharmaceuticals Dirk Martens
14.15  Metabolic design: example and exercises II Ruud Weusthuis
16.00 Case study part 1: Calculation of the process reaction stoichiometry
17.30 Scale-up/scale-down approach Henk Noorman
Thursday, 02-11-2023
Theme: Case study
09.00 Case study part 2: Quantification of in- and outputs (rates, composition) and fermentor broth mass
10.45 Multilevel engineering of microbial ethyl acetate production Ruud Weusthuis
11.45 Lunch
13.00 Reporting results
13.30 C1 feedstocks fermentation Liang Wu
14.45 Case study part 3: Vessel geometry and quantification of transport processes inside the fermentor
19.00 Course dinner
Friday,  03-11-2023
Theme: Case study
09.00 Scale-up/scale-down: characteristic times and gradients  Sef Heijnen
09.45 Case study part 4: Full scale conditions and scale-up/scale-down
11.30 Monascus ruber as cell factory for lactic acid production at low pH Ruud Weusthuis
12:45 Lunch
13:30 Case study: final presentations by the design teams. Genomatica design prize
15.15 Keynote lecture:

Lessons from the industry: developing scalable bioprocesses

Noelia Gudino
16:15 Genomatica design prize and Farewell drink

The course will be held at:

Biotech Campus Delft (DSM)
Alexander Fleminglaan 1
2613 AX Delft, the Netherlands

Contact course organisation:

Department of Biotechnology
Delft University of Technology
Van der Maasweg 9
2629 HZ Delft
The Netherlands
P +31 (0)15 278 1922 / 8311


Deadline for registration is 09-10-2023

The course fee is:

Early Bird €2.500,-*
Regular Fee €2.750,-
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME/Startups/scaleups) €1.750,-**
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME/Startups/scaleups) of Biotech Campus Delft €1.250,-**
PhD Students €1.250,-**

*To be eligible for the reduced early bird fee you need to register before 21-08-2023. If this date is exceeded, the regular fee applies.

**A limited number of fellowships is available for PhD students and SME’s (small/medium enterprise). Fellowships will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. To apply as to one of these fellowships, please include a copy either of your registration as a PhD student from your university or a proof of the SME-status of the company you work at.

The fee includes course materials, lunches and the buffets and the course dinners as indicated on the program. The fee does not cover other meals or lodging. Hotel accommodation can be arranged at your request.

The course fee is preferably paid by bank transfer. Payment by PayPal is possible. TU Delft employees can use their internal (project) code.

Preparatory texts will be sent one month before start of the course and after receipt of the course fee. The complete set of course books will be supplied at the start of the course.

In the event of your cancellation before 04-09-2023, a full refund will be granted. After this date, a 25% fee charge can be made.

Delay of payment past the final deadline as indicated on the invoice may result in cancellation of entry to the course. Re-entry is only possible in case of vacancies and the regular fee will be applied. Payment terms and deadlines will be indicated on the invoice and/or provided in an e-mail after registration, but the course fee should always be paid before the start of the course.

When the number of participants is too low to have a fruitful course, the Institute BioTech Delft will cancel the event no later than six weeks before the start of the course. The course fee will be reimbursed within three weeks after cancellation. In case a speaker will not be able to present his/her lecture, due to unforeseen circumstances, BioTech Delft will arrange an equivalent replacement.


Course leader

Prof. Henk Noorman

Henk Noorman was trained as Chemical Engineer from Groningen University (NL). He obtained a PhD in Bioprocess Technology from Delft University of Technology (NL, 1991), on microbal systems modeling. He became a post-doc fellow in a Nordic research consortium, and co-ordinated a fermentation scale-up project among academic groups in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. He then joined Gist-brocades and DSM in Delft (NL) and worked on fermentation development and implementation projects, mainly in the area of antibiotics and bio-based products. He also has been project manager for innovation projects, and received the DSM R&D Award 2010. Henk Noorman is currently working as Senior Science Fellow Bioprocess Technology in the DSM Biotechnology Center and involved in numerous projects in Industrial Biotechnology, Food Specialties, Anti-Infectives, and the Corporate Research Program. In addition he is honorary professor at Technical University Delft working on Bioprocess Design and Integration. Teaching activities include courses in Delft, Wageningen (NL), Brac (Croatia) and Shanghai (China).

Course board

Prof. Sef Heijnen

After his MSc studies in Chemical Engineering, Sef Heijnen worked at DSM (then: Gist Brocades) for 15 years and in this period he also completed his PhD thesis in bioprocess technology at Delft University of Technology. In 1988, he became full professor and group leader in Cell Systems Engineering within the Department of Biotechnology of Delft University of Technology. He has an impressive track record: he is (co-) author of over 400 scientific publications, has supervised nearly 60 PhD students and is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He is recipient of several science and education awards. His research interests are (1) metabolic engineering and systems biology applied to industrial microbial processes using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Penicillium chrysogenum and Escherichia coli, (2) metabolome measurement and 13C-tracer analysis in steady state and dynamic conditions, and (3) thermodynamic and kinetic modelling of metabolism, fermentation design and scale-up and scale down of industrial processes. Prof. Heijnen teaches a wide variety of courses, and was elected at TU Delft’s 2003 ‘Leermeester’ (best lecturer).

Prof. Ruud Weusthuis

After studying Biology in Groningen (1984-1989) R. A. Weusthuis obtained his PhD in Microbial Biotechnology at the Delft University of Technology (1989-1994). He joined Wageningen University and Research and headed the Bioconversion group (2004-2008). In 2007 he started working at the Wageningen University, and is active as Associate Professor Microbial Biotechnology. He focuses on the design of breakthrough technologies for the production of chemicals by microorganisms, integrating reactor and cell engineering.

Guest lecturers

Jason S. Crater

Biotechnology Advisor & Consultant

Emeryville, CA USA

Jason has over 13 years of experience in industrial biotechnology working on developing, scaling, and deploying novel bioprocess technologies. He’s visited 20 countries and over 30 different fermentation facilities, spent over 2 full years abroad supporting technology deployment and scale-up efforts, and commercialized 5 different fermentation products. He currently provides advising and consulting services to various companies in the industrial biotech sector. Prior to starting his independent consulting business, he built and led Geltor’s Process Technology team in developing and commercializing new bioprocesses to manufacture animal-free, sustainable proteins for the Beauty & Personal Care and Food & Nutrition sectors. Prior to Geltor, he held several positions at Genomatica during his 10 years working on developing and scaling Genomatica’s portfolio of commodity and specialty fermentation products. Jason earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. He also attended TU Delft’s Advanced Course in Bioprocess Design back in 2014!

Dr. Amit T. Deshmukh

Amit studied Chemical Engineering from 1996 to 2000 at the University of Pune, India. In 2005, he traveled to Germany to pursue MSc. in Chemical Engineering with specialization in Bio-chemical engineering at Technische Universität Dortmund. From 2008-2012, he did his PhD in the group of Prof. J.J. (Sef) Heijnen at the Delft University of Technology, Delft. During his PhD, he worked on elucidating in-vivo enzyme kinetics in P.chrysogenum. For last four years, he working as a lead scientist at DSM Biotechnology Center, Delft, carrying out R&D activities for industrial scale fermentation. His work involves scale up/down of fermentation processes, specifically for production of penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics. He is also part of teaching activities that include courses in Delft (NL) and Shanghai (China).”

Prof. Michel Eppink

Synthon Biopharmaceuticals BV, Nijmegen and Bioprocess Engineering & Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Dr. Dirk Martens

Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Prof. René Wijffels

Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Dr. Liang Wu

DSM Biotechnology Centre, Delft, the Netherlands

Noelia Gudino

Genomatica Inc., San Diego, CA, USA


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    Hall of Fame

    Winners of the Genomatica Bioprocess Design Prize

    During the course you will work in a team to design a bioprocess. At the end of the week, the team with the best design performance wins. We proudly present the winners of the last years below:


    From left to right: Noelia Gudino (keynote speaker), Amit Deshmukh (case study teacher), Ruud Weusthuis (course board), Rafael Fernandes, Zhihao Wang, Neerajha Nagarajan, Lara Munkler, online Sef Heijnen (course board), Mattijs Kaemingk, Nicolas Hardy and Henk Noorman (course board).


    From left to right: Henk Noorman (teacher), Henrique Cardoso de Menezes de Avelar, Marcel Girard, Jonas Bafna-Ruhrer, Ailen Soto, Stella Gonidi and Amit Deshmukh (teacher).


    From left to right: Rita Esteves Marcal, Gemma Mannarino, Miki Segami and Amit Deshmukh (teacher).


    Milica Randelovic, Abhilash Konda, Thanos Pappas, Hirono Suzuki and Nikolaus Vollmer (not on picture)


    Christian Sudfeld, Connor Galleher, Willi Gottstein, Hamad Al-Mansour and Javier Pavez


    Elco Backus, Stephen Fullmer, Noelia Gudino, Esther Volz, Ana Parruca da Cruz and Zulhaj Rizki


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