What is Biotechnology Engineering
Biotechnology has emerged into an integral domain of science. Apart from technological enhancements, Biotech has endorsed copious occupational opportunities for engineers in fields like research, agriculture, industrial corporate sectors, and pharmaceuticals, etc. Biotech harbours a myriad of disciplines including biochemistry, microbiology, food technology, forensic sciences, pharmaceutical and healthcare, bioinformatics and nanotechnology.
Biotech is based on the bio-sciences and life sciences aspect of biology. The technological advancements in biotechnology sector aim to utilize and manipulate living organisms on molecular and cellular level to develop tools and products for the benefit of the ecosystem. Due to its multifaceted nature, biotech has numerous applications like bioremediation, genetically modified organisms, bio-processing, nutraceuticals, vaccines – to name a few, that collectively aim to enhance the quality of life and cure the planet
Role of a Biotechnology Engineer
Comprehensive knowledge of the biological systems allows biotech engineers to analyse, familiarize, alter and regulate their activity for fabrication of beneficial products. They can insert, enhance or completely eliminate targeted characteristics to invent solutions for eminent challenges. Recently developed innovative techniques, procedures, devices and machines increase efficiency and decrease laborious work of researchers.
Courses in Biotechnology Engineering
To make a career in Biotechnology, an aspirant is required to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology. Programs in Biotechnology encompasses study in biomanufacturing, bioinformatics and its management. B.Tech in Biotechnology, M.Tech in Biotechnology, and Diploma courses are offered.
Specializations Offered in Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology
- Animal Husbandry
- Research Design
How to get Admission in a Biotechnology Course?
A student who has done Physics, Chemistry, Maths/Biology in the 12th standard can pursue this branch of engineering. Covering a wide variety of disciplines, this field of study involves a 4-year course where 3 years comprise a blend of practical work and theoretical subjects and the final year is devoted to field/industry work.
UG Eligibility :- To get admission in a UG biotech course, an aspirant should have passed Grade XII with at least 50% in aggregate in five subjects and must have studied Physics, Biology, Mathematics. Admission can be taken on the basis of score in MRNAT(Manav Rachna Only) / JEE Mains / SAT / Uni Gauge E.
PG Eligibility:- For M.Tech in Biotechnology, a student can be admitted on the basis of GATE score and by scoring minimum 50% marks in B.Tech Biotechnology / Zoology / Botany / Microbiology.
Topics Covered in a Biotechnology Course
- Chemical Engineering
- Food Microbiology
- Food Process Technology
- Bioremediation Technology
- Food Packaging Technology
- Biofertilizers and Biopesticides
- Clinical Microbiology
- Drug Delivery System
- Molecular Therapeutics
- Solid Waste Management
- Biometric Security
- Quality Management
Scope of Biotechnology:
Substantial research has enabled us to solve modern day problems of not only humans, but also plants and animals. Now, we are able to enhance the yield of crops and provide tolerance against various stress factors and develop resistance towards diseases in plants and animals imparting food security and diminishing famines. Biotech has opened pathways for controlling pollution by using bio-based processes for cleaning of soil, water bodies, air and managing solid wastes thereby, decreasing the global carbon footprint. Research is being done to convert carbon waste into usable forms of energy like fuel or chemicals. Zero waste producing processes are being developed for the formulation of new drugs and chemicals. All this is possible by analysing the mechanism of action of microbes on a genetic level and manipulating it to suit our needs. Hence, the scope of biotech is dispersed in countless disciplines of science.
Careers in Biotechnology
As mentioned earlier, biotech is a multi-disciplinary subject with massive opportunities amongst diverse sectors. Intellectual property rights, environmental law, market research, scientific writing, and various IT based jobs are some eccentric options from mainstream research.
Employment Sectors for Biotechnology graduates:
- Drug/pharmaceuticals industry
- Bioengineering or biomedical sector
- Waste management sector
- Bio-processing management
- Food and agriculture sustainability
- Regenerative medicine
- Advanced healthcare
Biotech industries and research are also gaining momentum and exploring arenas like biopolymers, nanotechnology and RNAi mediated gene silencing, which have remained untouched. Henceforth, a brighter future for Biotech aspirants is favourable in the coming years.
Apart from this, business development to support these industries has immense potential. Assistant professor or lecturer positions in esteemed universities are promising and rewarding, but require a Ph.D and a postdoctoral.
Written By :- Ms. Pankhuri Sharma, Research Associate, Department of Biotechnology, MRIIRS