Undergraduate Courses

BMEN 1000 Explore Biomedical Engineering.

Introduces the biomedical engineering profession, curriculum, career pathways, ethics and responsibilities, and research opportunities. Academic and industry speakers are invited to address various biomedical engineering topics. Spring 21.

BMEN 2000 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering.

Reviews important aspects of biology and develops a basic understanding of the biomedical engineering field. Topics include physiological principles, biomechanics, bioinstrumentation, bioimaging, biotechnology and biomaterials. Spring 19, 20, 21. Fall 21.

BMEN 3010 Biotransport.

An introduction to the modeling of complex biological systems using principles of transport phenomena and biochemical kinetics. Includes the conservation of mass and momentum; rheology of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids; steady and transient diffusion in reacting systems; dimensional analysis; homogeneous versus heterogeneous reaction systems; and physiological transport systems, including oxygen and drug transport. Fall 21.

MCEN 4228 Design of Coffee.

This class will serve as an introduction to how engineers use their disciplinary training to approach and solve problems outside of the traditional confines of their discipline, as illustrated by the roasting and brewing of coffee. In addition to focusing on the science and craftsmanship of making a cup of coffee from bean to cup, we will also study the global sourcing of coffee beans. We will examine coffee bean suppliers to the U.S. and farming practices to grow fair-trade and organic beans. The course will offer hands-on experimental laboratories to demonstrate key engineering principles in subject areas such as heat transfer, mass transfer, thermodynamics, materials science, sustainability, water quality, and device design evaluation. This class culminates in an engineering design competition where students design to make the best tasting coffee using the least amount of energy. co-taught with Carmen Pacheco-Borden. Fall 19.

MCEN 3022 Heat Transfer. 

The transfer of thermal energy is fundamental to the performance and efficiency of biomedical and industrial systems on scales from enzymes to microchips to space shuttles.  This course will help you develop the fundamental tools necessary for the interpretation and analysis of heat transfer problems including conduction, convection and radiation.  In addition to using mathematical tools to describe each mode of heat transfer, we will build the conceptual framework necessary to model and evaluate real heat transfer systems. Spring 12, Fall 12, Fall 13, Spring 14, Spring 15, Fall 18.

MCEN 1024 Chemistry for Energy and Materials Science. 

The purpose of this course is to teach you the basic physical and chemical fundamentals underlying the disciplines of energy and materials science, with a focus on topics relevant to your mechanical engineering education. These fundamentals include atomic structure, stoichiometry, the periodic table, chemical bonding, states of matter, thermochemistry and chemical reactions. This abbreviated list should give you the sense that chemistry underpins the many other subjects that you will be studying in mechanical engineering. In other words, the chemistry of atoms and molecules governs physical behavior in the macroscopic world. Spring 16.

CHEN 3100 Transport Phenomena I (Columbia University). 

This is the first in a required, two-course sequence on Transport Phenomena in the Junior year. The subject addresses the quantitative description of non equilibrium phenomena important in typical chemical engineering applications, including fluid flow, transport of heat and dispersion of chemical species. It is complementary to thermodynamics. The goal is to enable the design of products or processes whose performance is controlled by non-equilibrium phenomena. We develop the subject at the molecular, continuum and macroscopic scales, focusing primarily on systems containing simple fluids (gases and low-molecular-weight liquids). co-taught with Chris Durning. Fall 07.

CHEN 3810 Chemical Engineering Laboratory (Columbia University). 

This course emphasizes active, experiment-based resolution of open-ended problems involving use, design and optimization of equipment, products or materials.  Under faculty guidance students formulate, carry out, validate and refine experimental procedures, and present results in oral and written form.  The course develops analytical, communications and cooperative problem-solving skills in the context of problems that span from traditional, large scale separations and processing operations to molecular level design of materials or products.  Safety awareness is integrated throughout the course. Spring 09, Spring 10.

CHEN 4300 Chemical Engineering Control (Columbia University). 

An introduction to process control applied to chemical engineering applications through lecture and laboratory. Concepts include studies of the dynamic behavior of chemical engineering systems, feedback control theory and tuning, and stability.  The need for control mechanisms for the safe and effective design of chemical processes and products is discussed.  Laboratory work is team based and culminates in a written and/or oral presentation of the key results.  Fall 08, Fall 09.

Graduate Courses

MCEN 4228/5228 Surface Forces in Biology. 

Most materials display only one or two types of intermolecular interactions at the same time. Biological systems, on the other hand, typically involve four or more interactions, either simultaneously or sequentially in space and time.  This course will help you build a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the diverse set of nanoscale forces that act between biological molecules and surfaces.  Force-distance profiles will be developed for electrostatic, van der Waals, hydration, hydrophobic, thermal fluctuation and ligand-receptor interactions.  Knowledge of these forces will be used to analyze the self-assembly of biological structures, the directed assembly of soft colloids and the properties of biological membranes. (aka “Biocolloid Engineering Design” and “Biocolloids & Biomembranes”) Spring 08, Spring 09, Spring 10, Fall 11, Fall 13, Spring 14, Fall 16.

MCEN 4228/5228 Biomedical Ultrasound. 

Covers the design of ultrasound systems for medical imaging and therapy, including the physics of wave propagation, transducers, acoustic lenses, pulse-echo imaging and cavitation dynamics, with an emphasis on current topics in biomedical ultrasound. The course will include lectures on theory, practice and special topics; a laboratory on wave propagation; and oral presentations on current literature. Fall 12, Fall 15, Fall 17.

MCDB 4550/5550 Cells, Molecules and Tissues. 

Straightforward application of classical Newtonian physics does a poor job of providing insight into biological processes. This course will develop a simple description of the biophysics governing the motion of molecules inside of cells. This course starts with an overview of the physics that governs molecular motors, the cytoskeleton and, more generally, proteins inside of the cell.  It then moves into role of forces in biological membranes and structures.  Topics covered will include diffusion, intermolecular and surface forces, molecular motors, single-molecule techniques, protein folding, membranes, adhesion and endocytosis.  Each student will give two oral presentations on journal articles.  Problem sets will provide a quantitative understanding of the topics discussed.  A final paper will be required that addresses a critical question in biophysics and/or outlines a proposed experimental approach to answer the question, or a design project to address a biomedical application. co-taught with Tom Perkins. Spring 13, Spring 14.

MCEN 5040 Methods of Engineering Analysis II. 

This is the M.E. Department’s second of two courses on advanced engineering mathematics.  It will provide you with the analysis tools that have proven essential to the well-educated engineer.  You will learn to solve some of the most common partial differential equations as well as some complex variable theory. Spring 11.