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2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin

Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

FAMU—FSU College of Engineering

Web Page: http://www.eng.fsu.edu/cbe

Chair: Teng Ma; Professors: Alamo, Kalu, Locke, T. Ma, Siegrist, Yeboah; Associate Professors: Chella, Grant, Guan, B. Ma, Paravastu, Ramakrishnan, Telotte; Assistant Professors: Chung, Hallinan, Li, Mendoza-Cortes; Senior Research Associate: Finney; Research Faculty I: Rosenburg; Teaching Faculty I: Hunter; Professor Emeritus: Collier; Affiliate Faculty: Chen, Hsu, Sachdeva, Shanbhag, Zheng

Program Overview

The Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering offers the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MS) in both chemical and biomedical engineering, and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in chemical engineering. The bachelor’s degree is fully accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc. The Department is strongly committed to building a graduate research program of national reputation in both applied and fundamental areas. The faculty believes that graduate programs must be diverse, interdisciplinary, and flexible in order to prepare chemical and biomedical engineers who can handle the challenging applications in modern research, industry and society.

Major research areas include:

  • Polymers and Complex Fluids
  • Multi-Scale Theory, Modeling, and Simulations
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering
  • Plasma Reaction and Electrochemical Engineering
  • Renewable and Advanced Power Production
  • Cellular and Tissue Engineering

Many of these efforts are conducted in close cooperation with the Florida State University High Performance Materials Institute (HPMI), Aero-Propulsion, Mechatronics, and Energy (AME) Center, and Institute of Molecular Biophysics (IMB); the FSU Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Physics, and Scientific Computing; the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL); the FSU College of Medicine and Department of Biomedical Sciences; the Florida A&M University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; as well as with the Departments of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing, and Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering.

Please contact the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Suite A131, 2525 Pottsdamer Street, Tallahassee, FL, 32310–6046; phone: (850) 410-6149 or 410-6151; fax: (850) 410-6150; e-mail: chemical@eng.fsu.edu; or Web site: http://www.eng.fsu.edu/cbe.

Research Facilities

The Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering has extensive graduate research laboratory facilities located in the College of Engineering buildings. Three undergraduate teaching laboratories, a design classroom, and fifteen graduate research laboratories comprise the current physical resources. All laboratories are well equipped with modern experimental apparatus. These facilities include laboratories dedicated to polymer science and engineering, electrochemical engineering, gas/liquid phase pollutant treatment by non-thermal plasma, biomass processing, nuclear magnetic resonance, and cell and tissue engineering.

Research facilities include: a 500-MHz (11.75-T) NMR spectrometer; a 4.7 TMRI system; an atomic-force microscope; extensive cell and tissue growth facilities; rheological apparatus; pulsed and DC power supplies; analytical instruments (GC, GC/MS, HPLC, UV-IR, spectrophotometers, TOC, etc.); and analytical microscopes. Process equipment including various types of gas and liquid phase chemical reactors, controlled temperature fermenters, and polymer production reactors are also located in these laboratories. Infrastructure includes autoclaves, controlled environment incubators, water polishing systems, refrigerated/heating circulating baths, isotherm ovens, high purity gas production and mixing systems, refrigerated centrifuges, and additional support equipment.

Faculty and students have access to the FSU Research Computing Center’s high level computing facilities. The High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster provides 403 compute nodes and 6,464 CPU cores with 75.4 peak teraflops to promote the advancement of scientific research at Florida State University. Jobs are managed by the MOAB and TORQUE scheduling software. Many faculty are also closely affiliated with the world-class National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (http://www.magnet.fsu.edu) and make extensive use of NHMFL resources and instrumentation.

Program in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering (ChE) encompasses the development, application, and operation of the processes in which chemical and/or physical changes of material are involved. The work of a chemical engineer is to analyze, develop, design, control, construct, and/or supervise chemical processes in research and development, pilot-scale operations, and industrial production. Emphasis is placed on the application of computer analysis to problems encountered in the above areas. Chemical engineers are employed in the manufacture of inorganic chemicals (i.e., acids, alkalis, pigments, and fertilizers), organic chemicals (i.e., petrochemicals, polymers, fuels, propellants, pharmaceuticals, and specialty chemicals), biological products (i.e., enzymes, vaccines, biochemicals, biofuels, etc.), foods, semiconductors, and paper.

Graduate-level chemical engineers with graduate degrees work in a wide range of organizations for which their technical skills are needed. These organizations may include: local, state, and federal governments; private and public corporations; and education. Chemical engineers are involved in process and plant operation, technical services groups, research and development laboratories, plant design groups, occupational and safety programs, technical sales, technical training, and technical management. Graduate education can lead to careers in the medical sciences, chemical engineering, and other engineering and scientific disciplines as well as business and law.

The thesis MS degree requires thirty semester hours for completion, the non-thesis MS degree requires thirty-three semester hours, and the PhD requires a total of fifty-seven semester hours.

Master of Science (MS)

Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree in chemical engineering or an allied field from an accredited college or university;
  2. Fulfillment of the requirements for the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent. Students may be required to satisfy deficiencies by taking undergraduate courses or can enroll in a transitional Summer program if they do not have a degree from an accredited chemical engineering degree program;
  3. An undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale);
  4. A minimum revised GRE percentile of at least 48% on the verbal portion and 75% on the quantitative portion of the test. It is noted that the GRE percentiles of funded graduate students on assistantship are typically higher than these minima;
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the student’s work and background;
  6. A personal statement of professional goals; and
  7. International students: For students whose native language is not English and who did not graduate from an accredited US institution with either a BS or MS degree, minimum scores on the TOEFL are 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 80 (Internet-based).

Students who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering may be required to complete a department-designated sequence of undergraduate courses with grade of “B” or higher in each course or must participate in a Summer transition program, for students with bachelor’s degrees in either another engineering discipline or basic science (e.g., physics, chemistry or biology). In all cases, an applicant must have taken a course in differential equations prior to their matriculation. Typical undergraduate course sequences (in preparation for graduate courses) may include, but are not limited to, the following courses:

ECH 3023 Mass and Energy Balances I (3)

ECH 3024 Mass and Energy Balances II (3)

ECH 3101 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (3)

ECH 3266 Introductory Transport Phenomena (3)

ECH 3418 Separations Processes (3)

ECH 3854 Chemical Engineering Computations (3)

ECH 4267 Advanced Transport Phenomena (3)

ECH 4504 Kinetics and Reactor Design (3)

Additional courses in subjects including mathematics, chemistry, physics, and general engineering may also be required. Departmental financial support may not be available for graduate students taking undergraduate courses. Up to six semester hours of 4000-level coursework approved by the department may be counted as graduate electives. Transfer credit from another institution is limited to six semester hours with departmental approval. Acceptance of equivalent courses is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, following petition to the Graduate Committee. Departmental financial support may not be available for graduate students taking undergraduate courses.

Eligible candidates for the Summer transition program for non-ChE majors, which would replace the majority of the above course requirements, will be identified and notified by the graduate admissions committee. Additional information about the Summer transition program can be found below and at the departmental Web site or by contacting the Graduate Coordinator.

Degree Requirements

The Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering offers both thesis-type and course-type (non-thesis) options leading to the Master of Science (MS) degree. Each semester, all graduate students are required to enroll in and attend ECH 5935r: Chemical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only).. In addition, all students are required to take required safety training courses and annual refreshers. All graduate students are required to attend the FSU Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching Conference/TA Orientation (http://pie.fsu.edu/PIE-TA-Orientations-Conference) to prepare for teaching assistant (TA) duties. This requirement is mandatory regardless of the student’s classification as a teaching assistant or research assistant. For international graduate students, the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. At FSU, the SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department at Florida State University. The SPEAK exam requirement must be cleared (scores greater than 45 or 50 for graders or TAs, respectively) before students can serve as teaching assistants.

I. Thesis Option (thirty semester hours)

The thesis-type master’s degree is awarded upon successful completion of the following requirements:

  1. Twelve semester hours of chemical engineering core courses (see below);
  2. Nine semester hours of approved electives;
  3. Nine semester hours of ECH 5971r: Thesis (1-12) (S/U grade only);
  4. Oral defense of the master’s thesis, ECH 8976: Thesis Defense (0) (P/F grade only);
  5. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, ECH 5935r: Chemical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Required Core Engineering Courses (twelve semester hours)

ECH 5052 Research Methods in Chemical Engineering (3)

ECH 5126 Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I (3)

ECH 5261 Advanced Transport Phenomena I (3)

ECH 5840 Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics I (3)

ECH 8976 Thesis Defense (0) (P/F grade only)

Elective Courses (nine semester hours)

Typical chemical engineering elective courses:

ECH 5262 Advanced Transport Phenomena II (3)

ECH 5526 Advanced Reactor Design (3)

ECH 5828 Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering (3)

ECH 5934r Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (3)

ECH 5841 Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics II (3)

ECH 5852 Advanced Chemical Engineering Computations (3)

ECH 5905 Directed Individual Study (3)

ECH 5910 Supervised Research (3)

ECH 6272 Molecular Transport Phenomena (3)

Other elective courses may be found in the University Graduate Bulletin.

Thesis Hours (nine semester hours)

ECH 5971r Thesis (1-12) (S/U grade only).

In addition to the thirty semester hours of coursework and thesis, an oral examination in defense of the thesis (ECH 8976) is required for the MS in the chemical engineering thesis option.

II. Course (non-thesis) Option (thirty-three semester hours)

The course-type master’s degree is awarded upon successful completion of the following requirements:

  1. Twelve semester hours of chemical engineering core courses (see below);
  2. Twenty-one semester hours of approved electives;
  3. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, ECH 5935r: Chemical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Note: Departmental support is generally not available for students pursuing a non-thesis master’s degree.

Required Courses (twelve semester hours)

ECH 5052 Research Methods in Chemical Engineering (3)

ECH 5126 Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I (3)

ECH 5261 Advanced Transport Phenomena I (3)

ECH 5840 Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics I (3)

Elective Courses (twenty-one semester hours)

Typical chemical engineering elective courses:

ECH 5262 Advanced Transport Phenomena II (3)

ECH 5526 Advanced Reactor Design (3)

ECH 5828 Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering (3)

ECH 5934r Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (3)

ECH 5841 Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics II (3)

ECH 5852 Advanced Chemical Engineering Computations (3)

ECH 5905 Directed Individual Study (3)

ECH 5910 Supervised Research (3)

ECH 6272 Molecular Transport Phenomena (3)

Other elective courses may be found in the University Graduate Bulletin.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Admission Requirements

  • Fulfillment of the Department’s admission and core course requirements for the master’s degree or its substantive equivalent (see above);
  • Maintenance of a high scholastic record for graduate coursework at the previous college or university attended;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in conducting research in chemical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements below and on the departmental Web site for more details).

Students who meet the admission requirements are encouraged to apply directly for the PhD program. Students who maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA and demonstrate proficiency in conducting research in chemical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see ‘PhD Qualifying Examination Requirements’ below and on the departmental Web site for more details) are admitted to PhD candidacy if they have satisfied departmental core course requirements for the master’s degree. Students who fulfill these requirements may elect, upon approval of the Graduate Committee and major supervisor, to proceed directly toward the PhD without first obtaining a thesis-based master’s degree.

Students with a thesis-type master’s degree in chemical engineering from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering may, with approval of the Graduate Committee and major professor, take nine additional approved semester hours beyond the master’s requirements to satisfy the thirty-three hour course requirement for the PhD. All other requirements must be fulfilled as stated below.

Students with master’s degrees from other institutions will be given a specific course plan by the departmental Graduate Committee and have the option of transferring up to six hours towards their PhD requirements.

Degree Requirements

Each semester, all graduate students are required to enroll in and attend ECH 5935r: Chemical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only). In addition, all students are required to take required safety training courses. All graduate students are required to attend the FSU Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching Conference/TA Orientation (http://pie.fsu.edu/PIE-TA-Orientations-Conference) during the Summer prior to their graduate enrollment to prepare for teaching assistant (TA) duties. This requirement is mandatory regardless of the student’s classification as a teaching assistant or research assistant. For international graduate students, the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. At FSU, the SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department at Florida State University. The SPEAK exam requirement must be cleared (scores greater than 45 or 50 for graders or TAs, respectively) before students can serve as teaching assistants or progress to full PhD candidate status.

Fifty-seven semester hours and the following requirements must be completed successfully for the award of the PhD degree in Chemical Engineering:

  1. Passage of ECH 8965: Doctoral Preliminary Examination within two consecutive exam attempts (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements below for more details). Successful completion will result in formal admission to PhD candidacy;
  2. Completion of thirty-three semester hours of advanced coursework (including twelve semester hours of core graduate coursework as indicated above);
  3. Completion of at least twenty-four semester hours of dissertation research, ECH 6980r: Dissertation (1-9) (S/U grade only);
  4. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, ECH 5935r: Chemical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only);
  5. Selection of a research topic and major professor(s);
  6. Formation of a supervisory committee in consultation with the major professor(s);
  7. Submission and defense of a prospectus on the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee;
  8. One semester teaching assistantship in an undergraduate laboratory;
  9. Presentation of a research topic at one local, regional, national or international professional meeting;
  10. Submission or publication of scholarly articles based on original dissertation research in peer-reviewed journals;
  11. Satisfaction of the University residency requirement; and
  12. Successful passage of ECH 8985: Dissertation Defense (0) (P/F grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Program in Biomedical Engineering

Dramatic advances in health care and medical technology made possible by the merger of engineering and medicine have prompted the development of new graduate degree programs in biomedical engineering at many of the top institutions in the United States. Currently, biomedical engineering is the most rapidly growing graduate engineering discipline in the U.S with expectations of more labor force growth than any other engineering discipline over the next ten years. The overall goal of this program is to implement education and research in biomedical engineering that will prepare graduates for industrial, governmental, and academic careers in clinical research, bioengineering, biotechnology, and related professions. Biomedical engineers analyze and design solutions to problems in medicine and biology, with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of patient care.

The graduate program in biomedical engineering (BME) provides special emphasis in cellular and tissue engineering, biomaterials and bioimaging. Advanced engineering, medicine, chemistry, physics, and biology students will gain the necessary knowledge and skills that will allow them to contribute to improved technology in health and medical care, and to solve real-world engineering problems in biology and medicine, both in research and industrial settings.

The thesis MS degree requires thirty semester hours for completion, the non-thesis MS degree requires thirty-three semester hours, and the PhD requires a total of fifty-seven semester hours.

Master of Science (MS)

Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree in chemical engineering, or an allied field from an accredited college or university;
  2. Fulfillment of the requirements for the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent. Students may be required to satisfy deficiencies by taking undergraduate courses or can enroll in a transitional Summer program if they do not have a degree from an accredited chemical engineering degree program;
  3. An undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher;
  4. A minimum revised GRE percentile of at least 48% on the verbal portion and 75% on the quantitative portion of the test. It is noted that the GRE percentiles of funded graduate students on assistantship are typically higher than these minima;
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the student’s work and background;
  6. A personal statement of professional goals; and
  7. International students: For students whose native language is not English and who did not graduate from an accredited US institution with either a BS or MS degree, minimum scores on the TOEFL are 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 80 (Internet-based).

Students who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering may be required to complete a department-designated sequence of undergraduate courses with grade of “B” or higher in each course or must participate in a Summer transition program for students with bachelor’s degrees in either another engineering discipline or basic science (e.g., physics, chemistry or biology). In all cases, an applicant must have taken a course in differential equations prior to their matriculation. Typical undergraduate course sequences (in preparation for graduate courses) may include, but are not limited to, the following courses:

ECH 3023 Mass and Energy Balances I (3)

ECH 3024 Mass and Energy Balances II (3)

ECH 3266 Transport Phenomena (3)

ECH 3418 Separations Processes (3)

ECH 4267 Transport Phenomena II (3)

ECH 4504 Kinetics and Reactor Design (3)

BME 4403C Quantitative Anatomy and Systems Physiology I (3)

BME 4404C Quantitative Anatomy and Systems Physiology II (3)

In addition, students should also have taken: Biological Sciences I and II (if not included in their degree program). Additional courses in subjects including mathematics, chemistry, physics and general engineering may also be required. Up to six semester hours of 4000-level coursework approved by the department may be counted as graduate electives. Transfer credit from another institution is limited to six semester hours with departmental approval. Acceptance of equivalent courses is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, following petition to Graduate Committee.

Eligible candidates for the Summer transition program for non-BME majors, which would replace the majority of the above course requirements, will be identified and notified by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Additional information about the Summer transition program can be found below and at the departmental Web site or by contacting the Graduate Coordinator.

Degree Requirements

Each semester, all graduate students are required to enroll in and attend the departmental seminar, BME 5935r: Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only). In addition, all students are required to take required safety training courses. The Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering offers both thesis-type and course-type (non-thesis) options leading to the MS degree. All graduate students are required to attend the FSU Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching Conference/TA Orientation (http://pie.fsu.edu/PIE-TA-Orientations-Conference) during the Summer prior to their graduate enrollment to prepare for teaching assistant (TA) duties. This requirement is mandatory regardless of the student’s classification as a teaching assistant or research assistant. For international graduate students, the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. At FSU, the SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department at Florida State University. The SPEAK exam requirement must be cleared (scores greater than 45 or 50 for graders or TAs, respectively) before students can serve as teaching assistants.

I. Thesis Option (thirty semester hours)

The thesis-type master’s degree is awarded upon successful completion of the following requirements:

  1. Twelve semester hours of chemical engineering core courses (see below);
  2. Nine semester hours of approved electives;
  3. Nine semester hours of BME 5971r: Thesis (1-9) (S/U grade only);
  4. Oral defense of the master’s thesis, BME 8976: Thesis Defense (0) (P/F grade only);
  5. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, BME 5935r: Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Required Courses (twelve semester hours)

ECH 5052 Research Methods in Chemical Engineering (3)

ECH 5261 Advanced Transport Phenomena I (3)

ECH 5840 Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics I (3)

BME 8976 Thesis Defense (0) (P/F grade only)

XXX XXXX Approved course in physiology or cell biology (3)

An approved course in physiology or cell biology is required for completion of the graduate BME degree. Approved courses include: PCB 5137: Advanced Cell Biology; PCB 5525: Molecular Biology; PCB 5795: Sensory Physiology; and PCB 5845: Cell and Molecular Neuroscience. Additional courses may satisfy the physiology/biology requirement but require petition to the Graduate committee for approval as a core substitute.

Elective Courses (nine semester hours)

Typical biomedical engineering elective courses:

BME 5086 Biomedical Engineering Ethics (3)

BME 5620 Biophysical Chemistry and Biothermodynamics (3)

BME 5905 Directed Individual Study (3)

BME 5910 Supervised Research (3)

BME 5937r Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3)

BME 6530 NMR and MRI Methods in Biology and Medicine (3)

BME 6938 Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3)

Other elective courses may be found in the University Graduate Bulletin.

Thesis Hours (nine semester hours)

BME 5971r Thesis (1- 9) (S/U grade only)

In addition to the thirty semester hours of coursework and thesis, an oral examination in defense of the thesis (BME 8976) is required for the MS in the chemical engineering thesis option.

II. Course (non-thesis) Option (thirty-three semester hours)

The course-type master’s degree is awarded upon successful completion of the following requirements:

  1. Twelve semester hours of chemical engineering core courses (see below);
  2. Twenty-one semester hours of approved electives;
  3. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, BME 5935r: Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Note: Departmental support is generally not available for students pursuing a non-thesis master’s degree.

Required Courses (twelve semester hours)

ECH 5052 Research Methods in Chemical Engineering (3)

ECH 5261 Advanced Transport Phenomena I (3)

ECH 5840 Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics I (3)

XXX XXXX Approved course in physiology or cell biology (3)

An approved course in physiology or cell biology is required for completion of the graduate BME degree. Approved courses include: PCB 5137: Advanced Cell Biology; PCB 5525: Molecular Biology; PCB 5796: Sensory Physiology; and PCB 5845: Cell and Molecular Neuroscience. Additional courses may satisfy the physiology/biology requirement but require petition to the Graduate committee for approval as a core substitute.

Elective Courses (twenty-one semester hours)

Typical biomedical engineering elective courses:

BME 5086 Biomedical Engineering Ethics (3)

BME 5620 Biophysical Chemistry and Biothermodynamics (3)

BME 5905 Directed Individual Study (3)

BME 5910 Supervised Research (3)

BME 5937r Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3)

BME 6530 NMR and MRI Methods in Biology and Medicine (3)

BME 6938 Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3)

Other elective courses may be found in the University Graduate Bulletin.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Admission Requirements

  1. Fulfillment of the department’s admission and core course requirements for the chemical engineering master’s degree or its substantive equivalent (see above);
  2. Maintenance of a high scholastic record for graduate coursework at the previous college or university attended; and
  3. Demonstrated proficiency in conducting research in chemical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements below and on the departmental Web site for more details).

Students who meet the admission requirements are encouraged to apply directly for the PhD program. Students who maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA and demonstrate proficiency in conducting research in biomedical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see PhD Qualifying Examination Requirements below and on the departmental Web site for more details) are admitted to PhD candidacy if they have satisfied the departmental core course requirements for the master’s degree. Students who fulfill these requirements may elect, upon approval of the Graduate Committee and major supervisor, to proceed directly toward the PhD without first obtaining a thesis based master’s degree.

Students with a thesis-type master’s degree in chemical or biomedical engineering from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering may, with approval of the Graduate Committee and major professor, take nine additional approved semester hours beyond the thesis-type master’s course requirements to satisfy the thirty-three hour course requirement for the PhD. All other requirements must be fulfilled as stated below.

Students with master’s degrees from other institutions will be given a specific course plan by the departmental Graduate Committee and have the option of transferring up to six hours towards their PhD requirements.

Degree Requirements

Each semester, all graduate students are required to enroll in and attend the departmental seminar, BME 5935r: Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only). In addition, all students are required to take required safety training courses. All graduate students are required to attend the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Workshop to prepare for teaching assistant (TA) duties. This requirement is mandatory regardless of the student’s classification as a teaching assistant or research assistant. For international graduate students, the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. At FSU, the SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department at Florida State University. The SPEAK exam requirement must be cleared (scores greater than 45 or 50 for graders or TAs, respectively) before students can serve as teaching assistants or progress to full PhD candidate status.

Fifty-seven semester hours and the following requirements must be completed successfully for the award of the PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering, as follows:

  1. Passage of BME 8965: BME Doctoral Qualifying Examination within two consecutive exam attempts (see PhD qualifying examination requirements below for more details). Successful completion will permit the student to continue work towards PhD candidacy;
  2. Completion of a minimum of thirty-three semester hours of advanced coursework (including twelve semester hours of core coursework);
  3. Completion of at least twenty-four semester hours of dissertation research, BME 6980r: Dissertation (1-9) (S/U grade only);
  4. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, BME 5935r: Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0) (S/U grade only);
  5. Selection of a research topic and major professor(s);
  6. Formation of a supervisory committee in consultation with the major professor(s);
  7. Submission and defense of a prospectus on the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee. Successful completion will result in formal admission to candidacy for the PhD degree;
  8. One semester teaching assistantship in an undergraduate laboratory;
  9. Presentation of a research topic at one local, regional, national, or international professional meeting;
  10. Submission or publication of at least one scholarly article based on original dissertation research in peer-reviewed journals;
  11. Satisfaction of the University residency requirement; and
  12. Successful passage of BME 8985: Dissertation Defense (0) (P/F grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Transition Program for Non-Chemical or Non-Biomedical Engineering Majors

The Graduate Committee of the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering has instituted an accelerated transition program for prospective graduate students who are non-Chemical or Biomedical Engineering Majors. These students should follow the Summer preparatory curriculum shown below in order to formally enter the FAMU-FSU Chemical and Biomedical Engineering graduate program. More details are available online at the departmental Web site.

Target Applicants and Eligibility

  1. Applicants with non-ChE or non-BME BS degrees in engineering.
  2. Applicants with Physics BS degrees.
  3. Applicants with Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Biology BS degrees having strong math skills (through Ordinary Differential Equations).

Transition Program Requirements

The transition program requires that students take one online course and one accelerated transition course during the preparatory Summer prior to taking the graduate core courses offered in the Fall semester, as follows:

  1. ACS online course or equivalent – “Beakers to Barrels: Chemical Engineering for Chemists” Online Short Course. This course will be replaced in subsequent years by a departmental online course;
  2. Graduate preparatory course – combined summer course of Mass and Energy Balances, Transport I and II, and Thermodynamics for accelerated preparation of entering students. Two three credit hour six-week courses (Summer terms B and C) will be taken during the Summer before core ECH/BME coursework; and
  3. Required completion of the graduate section of ECH 4504: Kinetics and Reactor Design.

Requirements 1 and 2 must be completed successfully prior to matriculation in Fall core graduate courses. Students who do not successfully complete all three requirements before their third semester in the graduate program will not be allowed to continue.

Notes: Students needing to take any mathematics course(s) through differential equations would need to complete these prior to entrance. Students needing a course in ordinary differential equations should take ECH 3301: Process Analysis.

Other graduate electives or thesis hours can be taken during the first two years if prerequisites are met.

Courses prior to the first Fall semester will be at the student’s expense or supported by the department based on available funds.

The PhD Qualifying Examination (see below) follows the first Spring semester.

Academic Regulations and Procedures for Graduate Students

Selection of Course Plan

Selection of courses for the first semester should be done in consultation with the departmental Graduate Coordinator. All students must also register for the departmental seminar ECH/BME 5935r, Chemical/Biomedical Engineering Seminar, every semester. After the first semester in the graduate program, the supervising major professor will develop a course plan for MS-thesis and PhD candidates. For course-based MS students, the departmental Graduate Coordinator will assist in developing the course plan, acting as the de facto supervisor.

Selection of Major Professor

All full-time graduate students following the MS thesis or PhD options are required to select a research topic and major professor by the end of the first term in which they enter the Department. A form for this purpose is available online at the departmental Web site. The completed form should be submitted to the departmental Graduate Coordinator.

The major professor is responsible for directing the student’s research and progress toward a degree. Once a major professor has been approved, a supervisory committee should be established and a program of study prepared in consultation with the major professor before the end of the second semester of enrollment in the graduate program.

Supervisory Committee

The supervisory committee for a master’s degree candidate must consist of a minimum of three faculty members with graduate faculty status. The major professor is the chair of the supervisory committee and must be a faculty member from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. At least one other member of the committee must be from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering; the third member of the committee should be from outside the department. Additional members may be appointed to the committee if deemed desirable by the major professor.

The supervisory committee for a doctoral candidate must have at least four members (including major professor) with graduate faculty status. The major professor is the chair of the supervisory committee and must be a faculty member from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. Two of the remaining members of the committee must be from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, and the fourth member must be from outside the Department. Additional members may be appointed if deemed desirable. Members of the supervisory committee must be approved by the Department Chair.

Program of Study

A program of study should be prepared by the student in conjunction with the major professor and submitted to the supervisory and graduate committees. For graduate students working toward a thesis-based MS or PhD, the program of study should be defined based on the student’s background and research objectives, in consultation with the major professor and supervisory committee. For graduate students working toward a course-based MS, the program of study should be defined in consultation with the Graduate Committee. The program of study is a complete plan of courses to be taken and research objectives to be achieved. On approval of the program of study, this form will also be placed in the student’s permanent file. If changes to the initially approved program of study become necessary, a new program of study form must be submitted for approval.

PhD Qualifying Examination and Prospectus

All students admitted to the PhD program will be required to take the PhD qualifying examination after completion of the core course ECH 5052, Research Methods in Chemical Engineering. A research topic will be assigned by the graduate qualifying examination committee. The student must write a research proposal and defend it orally in front of the graduate qualifying-examination committee by the end of the first Summer semester, unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Committee. This examination must be passed within two consecutive attempts, or the individual will not be allowed to continue as a doctoral student. For additional details, see PhD Qualifying Examination Requirements on the departmental Web site.

Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student may continue work toward the PhD degree. Within five semesters of admission to the graduate program (within the three semesters following the PhD qualifying examination), students are expected to present a prospectus detailing their program of study for PhD dissertation work. If this timeframe cannot be met, the student must petition the graduate program chair for special dispensation, stating specific reasons the delay. The PhD prospectus will consist of a written plan of research that must be orally defended in a formal presentation before the student’s major professor and supervisory committee. After the successful completion of the PhD prospectus, the student will be admitted formally to the PhD candidacy and their research program. The doctoral committee should provide continual feedback to the PhD candidate throughout the progression of the student’s research. As such, it is important to maintain regular and at least annual meetings of the student and doctoral committee so that updates on research can be presented and feedback can be received by the student. For additional details, see Academic Regulations and Procedures for Graduate Students and http://www.eng.fsu.edu/cbe/graduate.

Maintenance of Good Standing

In order to maintain good standing in the department, the student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0, with no more than two grades in the “C” range. No more than one course in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfilling the degree requirements. No grades below “C” will be counted toward degree requirements. Students without an undergraduate degree in chemical or biomedical engineering should obtain a grade of “B” or better in all required undergraduate courses.

Master’s and doctoral degree students must submit a brief written annual report on research progress, goals, and completed courses during the Spring semester for evaluation by the graduate and supervisory committees. A form for this purpose is available on the departmental Web site. An assessment of the progress of the student in research and courses by the student’s supervisory committee will be placed in the student’s permanent file. Continuance of assistantships and/or tuition waivers is contingent upon satisfactory evaluations.

Time to Degree Completion

Students with undergraduate degrees in chemical or biomedical engineering normally complete the thesis-type master’s program in four to five semesters, including one Summer semester. Although the availability of departmental support ultimately is subject to budgetary constraints, the Graduate Committee will not normally recommend continuation of assistantships and tuition waivers beyond a period of two years subsequent to the student’s admission to the master’s program. Students without an undergraduate degree in chemical or biomedical engineering will be given one additional year for completion. However, these students are normally not supported financially during their first year, when they are primarily taking preparatory undergraduate chemical/biomedical engineering courses.

Students with undergraduate degrees in chemical or biomedical engineering normally complete the doctoral program within five years of their admission to graduate school, with reduced time expected if the student enters the program with a master’s degree. Although the availability of departmental support ultimately is subject to budgetary constraints, departmental/college commitments and research grant availability, doctoral candidates will be recommended for departmental support only for a period of three years subsequent to being admitted to candidacy for the doctoral program following the successful completion of the PhD Qualifying Examination. PhD students should submit and defend a prospectus on the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee within five semesters from admission to the graduate program.

Assistantship Duties

Graduate student support is generally in the form of research or teaching assistantships (RAs or TAs), although University fellowships are also available. Research assistantships derived from contracts and grants focus mainly on the performance of research leading to their degree but may be required to perform service to the department in the form of minimal teaching duties. However, research assistants who receive departmental support for tuition waivers will be required to grade, TA or run recitation sections for lecture courses in addition to research responsibilities. Doctoral candidates will also have to satisfy the teaching requirements of the degree (TA for one laboratory course). Typical TA duties include grading homework and/or exams, conducting problem-solving recitation sections, and having office hours for answering student questions. Specific duties are assigned by the course instructor.

Definition of Prefixes

BME—Biomedical Engineering

ECH—Engineering: Chemical

Graduate Courses

Biomedical Engineering

BME 5086. Biomedical Engineering Ethics (3). Prerequisite: Senior or graduate standing in Biomedical Engineering. This course offers an introduction to the key theories, concepts, principles, and methodology relevant to the development of biomedical professional ethics. The student is facilitated in his/her development of a code of professional ethics by written work, class discussion and case analysis.

BME 5620. Biophysical Chemistry and Biothermodynamics (3). Prerequisites: CHM 4410, CHM 4411, and ECH 3101. This course examines engineering thermodynamics and physical chemistry of living systems, as well as biochemical pH monitoring and analysis.

BME 5905r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). Prerequisite: Instructor permission. This course allows students to do a detailed examination of some topic in biomedical engineering. Conducted on a personal basis with the instructor. A maximum of only three semester hours can be used toward the MS or PhD. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours as topics change.

BME 5910. Supervised Research (3). (S/U grade only). Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Biomedical Engineering and instructor permission. This course consists of the performance of research project required for the non-thesis MS degree.

BME 5935r. Biomedical Engineering Seminar (0). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Biomedical Engineering. This seminar consists of presentations by faculty, students, and visiting scientists. Full-time graduate students must enroll each term.

BME 5937r. Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3). Prerequisite: Instructor permission. This course is a detailed study of some topic of special interest to biomedical engineers. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours in the same term, as topics vary.

BME 5971r. Thesis (1–9). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Biomedical Engineering. This course is the performance of research and preparation of the master’s thesis. May be repeated as often as approved by the department. Only six semester hours can be counted toward the degree requirements. A minimum of six hours is required. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.

BME 6530. NMR and MRI Methods in Biology and Medicine (3). Prerequisite: Doctoral candidate status in Biomedical Engineering. This course investigates MR imaging methods, spin echo methods, Bloch equations, proton diffusion, imaging, and microimaging NMR spectrometers in research.

BME 6938r. Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3). Prerequisites: Doctoral candidate status in Biomedical Engineering and instructor permission. This course is a detailed study of some topic of special interest to biomedical engineers. May be repeated with different topics to a maximum of six semester hours.

BME 6980r. Dissertation (1–9). Prerequisite: Doctoral candidate status in Biomedical Engineering. This course consists of research on the dissertation topic. May be repeated as often as approved by the supervisory committee. May be repeated to a maximum of twenty-four semester hours.

BME 8965r. Doctoral Qualifying Exam (0). (P/F grade only.) Prerequisite: Doctoral candidate status in Biomedical Engineering. All doctoral students must enroll in this course the semester they intend to take the qualifying exam.

BME 8976. Thesis Defense (0). (P/F grade only.) Prerequisite: Instructor permission. All students must register for this course for the term during which they intend to defend their thesis.

BME 8985. Dissertation Defense (0). (P/F grade only.) Prerequisites: Doctoral candidate status in Biomedical Engineering and instructor permission. This course must be included in the final semester schedule for all doctoral students.

Chemical Engineering

ECH 5052. Research Methods in Chemical Engineering (3). This course for first-term graduate students includes instruction in the performance of scientific research, including problem definition, literature review, project proposal development, laboratory and computational research, oral presentations, technical report writing, and professional conduct.

ECH 5126. Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I (3). Prerequisite: ECH 3101 or equivalent. This course presents the fundamental aspects of classical thermodynamics, and its application to multicomponent, multiphase, and chemically reacting systems. Introduction to the thermodynamics of irreversible processes and statistical mechanics.

ECH 5261. Advanced Transport Phenomena I (3). Prerequisite: ECH 5842 or instructor permission. This course examines the development of the fundamental aspects of continuum mechanics in order to describe the transport of momentum, energy, and mass. The basic equations of fluid mechanics are developed, and a number of applications to chemical engineering problems are considered. Also emphasizes boundary conditions at phase interfaces, and derivation of the point and macroscopic balance equations for these transport processes.

ECH 5262. Advanced Transport Phenomena II (3). Prerequisite: ECH 5261. This course is a rigorous analysis of transport phenomena at the micro- and macroscopic scales in systems with mixtures of several components and featuring more than one phase. Boundary layer flows, mixing effects, transport in porous and structured media, transport processes at interfaces.

ECH 5526. Advanced Reactor Design (3). Prerequisite: ECH 4504. This course is a study of catalytic and noncatalytic reactor design for homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Includes non-ideal flow and mixing, including distribution functions and modeling.

ECH 5828. Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering (3). Prerequisites: Graduate standing and instructor permission. This course explores the classification and characterization of polymeric systems. Topics include the introduction to the physical chemistry, synthesis and reaction kinetics, reaction engineering, characterization, and the processing and properties of polymeric systems.

ECH 5840. Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics I (3). Prerequisite: ECH 4403 and MAP 3305. This course is an introduction at the graduate level to the mathematical formulation and solution of chemical engineering problems involving transport phenomena and reaction. Course includes dimensional analysis and scaling, linear algebraic, ordinary, and partial differential equations, vector and tensor analysis, Fourier series, Integral (Fourier and Laplace) transforms, boundary value problems.

ECH 5841. Advanced Chemical Engineering Mathematics II (3). Prerequisite: ECH 5840. This course presents advanced mathematical techniques for chemical engineering applications within a unified framework of operator-theoretic methods. Green’s functions solution of partial differential equations, regular and singular perturbation techniques, boundary value problems, and boundary-element and finite-element techniques.

ECH 5852. Advanced Chemical Engineering Computations (3). Prerequisites: ECH 5841. This course presents the central concepts of practical numerical analysis techniques and their application to chemical engineering problems. The course includes interpolation and approximation theory, solution of linear and nonlinear systems, solution of ordinary differential and partial differential equations, single step and multi-step methods, stiff systems, and two-point boundary problems.

ECH 5905r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). Prerequisite: Instructor permission. This course is a detailed examination of some topic in chemical engineering. Conducted on a personal basis with the instructor. May be repeated with different topics. Only three semester hours may be used toward the MS degree.

ECH 5910. Supervised Research (3). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Instructor permission. In this course, students perform a research project required for the non-thesis MS degree.

ECH 5934r. Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (3). Prerequisite: Instructor permission. This course is a detailed study of some topic of special interest to chemical engineers. Typical topics might include: aerosol mechanics, polymer processing, combustion, bioseparations, fluidization. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours with different topics. May be repeated in the same semester.

ECH 5935r. Chemical Engineering Seminar (0). (S/U grade only). This seminar consists of presentations by faculty, students, and visiting scientists. Full-time graduate students must enroll each term.

ECH 5971r. Thesis (1–12). (S/U grade only). This course involves the performance of research and preparation of master’s. May be repeated as often as approved by the department. Only six hours can be counted towards degree requirements. A minimum of six semester hours is required.

ECH 6272. Molecular Transport Phenomena (3). Prerequisite: Graduate standing. This course examines the theory of transport phenomena from a molecular viewpoint. Classical concepts from statistical mechanics and derivation of the Boltzmann equation. The transport theory and properties of dilute gases are developed from the Boltzmann equation, with a more general treatment given for the case of liquids. A brief introduction to time correlation functions is presented.

ECH 6980r. Dissertation (1–24). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Doctoral candidate status. This course is for research on the dissertation topic. May be repeated as often as approved by the supervisory committee. A maximum of twenty-four hours can be applied to the doctoral degree.

ECH 8965r. Doctoral Preliminary Exam (0). (P/F grade only.) All doctoral students must enroll in this course the semester they intend to take the qualifying exam.

ECH 8976. Thesis Defense (0). (P/F grade only.) Prerequisites: ECH 5126, ECH 5261, and ECH 5842. Corequisite: ECH 5971r. All students must register for this course for the term in which they intend to defend their thesis.

ECH 8985. Dissertation Defense (0). (P/F grade only.) Corequisite: ECH 6980r. Must be included in the final semester schedule for all doctoral students.