Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology

This very broad research area includes all points of intersection between chemical engineering and life sciences. Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology research includes such fields as:

  • Biomolecular Engineering
  • Cellular Engineering
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Biological Engineering
  • Bioprocess Engineering

The aim is to integrate an understanding of biology, chemistry, and physics with chemical engineering to create new products, processes, and molecular tools.

Researchers in this field perform genetic engineering so that biological machinery is more adept at producing chemicals that are useful to society (e.g., pharmaceutical products, renewable fuels, plastics) or performing entirely new functions. At Penn State, we use experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches to make major advances in this field.

Key Faculty



The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2574