Biotechnology and Biochemical

Biotechnology refers to the integrated use of biological and engineering sciences in order to achieve the controlled and deliberate application of the capabilities of biological organisms, systems and processes in technically useful operations. It finds extensive applications in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, environmental pollution control, product manufacture, service operations, etc.
 Established in the year 2002, the department of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering is the youngest at Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering. Over the past one decade, the department has been offering an undergraduate (B.Tech) programme in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering. The faculty of this department constitutes a unique pool with expertise in diverse subject areas like Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering. Right from its inception, the department has been striving to fulfill its mission of creating quality technical professionals who are equipped with the analytical and interpretative capabilities of biologists combined with the problem solving skills of engineers. This could enable them to contribute effectively to an attractive professional career as a process engineer or a research scientist. The students of this department have succeeded in securing lucrative careers in reputed industrial firms and research institutes in India as well as abroad. Many students have brought laurels to our department by securing top positions in the university examinations and by gaining high scores in competitive examinations like GATE, GRE, CAT and MAT. In addition, every year, several students qualify for the industrial training programme of the DBT (Government of India), following which they gain attractive jobs in leading biotech companies throughout India.
 The department has been constantly maintaining the mindset of aligning its resources towards the welfare of the society. In the past, it has organized several state of the art training programmes, workshops, seminars and conferences under the aegis of the TEQIP scheme (Government of India), for the benefit of faculty, students and the general public. These include:

  • in silico Biology – a course cum workshop  (2005)
  • Bioinfo- Blitz – A workshop on Bioinformatics (2007)
  • Faculty development programme in Environmental Biotechnology (2008)
  • Faculty development programme on Advances in Nanotechnology (2009) (in collaboration with all other departments of SCTCE)
  • Community development programme on food production (2009)
  • Students’ training programme on Bioprocess engineering (2009)
  • National conference on Advanced Processing Technologies (2010) (in collaboration with the department of Mechanical Engineering – SCTCE)

The student body of the department is euBION. It has been constituted with the objective of equipping students with sound managerial skills and leadership qualities whereby they could contribute effectively to the process of nation building apart from accomplishing their personal career aspirations.

The department has well established facilities for pursuing extensive academic and research activities. There are 8 major laboratories and 4 adjunct labs, housed in a separate building with ambient premises.  The laboratories of the department have been set up in compliance with statutory norms laid down by the AICTE. The labs are equipped with all essential equipments and amenities which are required for routine academic instruction and basic biotech research. Desktop personal computers, Laptops, Netbooks, multimedia projectors and other gadgets as extensively used in all labs and classrooms. High speed wireless broadband connection with internet and intranet connectivity is available in all labs. 
   The major laboratories in the department are:

  • Microbiology  Lab
  • Biochemistry Lab
  • Molecular Biology Lab
  • Fluid Solid Systems Lab
  • Heat and Mass Transfer Operations Lab
  • Reaction Engineering and Process Control Lab
  • Bioprocess Engineering Lab
  • Downstream Processing Lab

In addition, the department also has 4 adjunct labs, namely:

  • Instrumental Methods of Analysis Lab
  • Enzyme Engineering Lab
  • Software Lab
  • Bioinformatics Lab

The major equipments available in the laboratories are:

  • Binocular Microscopes
  • Nephelometer
  • Digital Colorimeter
  • UV- visible Spectrophotometer (Single beam and dual beam)
  • Viscometer
  • Millipore ® Ultrafiltration Unit
  • Millipore ® milli - Q water purifier
  • Batch Fermentor
  • Refrigerated centrifuges
  • Ice flaking Machine
  • Deep Freezer
  • Laminar Air flow Hoods
  • Horizontal and vertical Autoclaves
  • Hot air ovens
  • BOD incubators
  • Orbital Shaking incubator
  • Water Bath incubators
  • PCR machine
  • Gel documentation system
  • Horizonal and vertical gel electrophoresis units
  • Sieve shaker unit
  • Kjeldahl’s apparatus
  • Batch, Continuous, Semi- Batch and Plug -  Flow reactor  units
  • Batch Crystallizer
  • Dryers (Natural draft and fluidized bed)
  • Vacuum oven
  • Heat exchanger units (Double pipe , shell and tube)
  • Evaporator units (multi effect and open pan)
  • Condensors (Horizontal and vertical)
  • Distillation units (Glass, Quartz and Stainless steel)
  • Analytical HPLC

The lab facilities are sufficient to permit convenient accommodation of all students of the final year for project work in the department itself. However, intending students are also permitted to pursue their projects in reputed institutes like Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) etc. The proximity of the college with these institutes has added significantly to the association with the latter for students’ projects. Every year, a large number of students publish their research papers in reputed national and international journals; and attend seminars, symposia and conferences organized in the college and in nearby institutions, for presenting their project work. The quality of the work being pursued has earned considerable acclaim from the academic community associated with evaluation of student projects.
The department has a neatly stacked library with more than 300 foreign books related to Biotechnology and chemical engineering. The departmental library also functions as an archive for students’ project reports, training reports, seminar reports etc. Annual subscription to Elsevier e - journals in Biotechnology (70 titles) as mandated by the AICTE is another feature of the departmental library.
Hence far, 7 batches of students have passed out from this department in flying colors. The department is currently gearing up to secure the prestigious AICTE- NBA accreditation. Further, idea is on the anvil to establish a students’ chapter of the BRSI (Biotech Research Society of India) and the IICHE (Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers) by the year 2013. Prospects for starting an M.Tech programme in Biotechnology are also being examined. Research proposals to funding agencies like DBT, DST, DRDO, KSCSTE etc. are in various stages of preparation. The department has the vision of elevating the department to the status of a centre of excellence in biotech education, research and consulting in the not too distant future.

The Institution

The college is a realisation of a long felt need for an institution catering to a growing number of undergraduates opting for technical education. It seeks to promote education and research in the field of technology; to accumulate effective ideas and techniques likely to promote the socio-economic welfare of the people of Kerala