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UCD Bionanoscience Research Group
Principal Investigator: Prof. Gil U. Lee
Chemical engineering education is undergoing a period of transition due to the emergence of new technologies. The challenge is to provide students with a working knowledge of the relevant areas of science and a firm understanding of chemical engineering fundamentals, i.e., thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and systems analysis. As a professor at Purude University, Dr. Lee has shared this vision with both graduate and undergraduate students by designing several new courses that develop a student's independent problem solving skills and ability to work in new technological areas.

ChE/ME 517: Micro and Nanoscale Physical Processes
Instructors: Prof. Gil Lee, Dr. Steve Wereley
Course description:
The scale at which engineers and scientists study and manipulate matter has dramatically changed in the last decade. Engineers are using micromachining techniques to pattern surfaces with nanometer resolution, while scientists now routinely design and produce macromolecules using molecular biology and organic chemistry. The convergence of the scales on which we work has the potential to produce a paradigm shift in chemical and mechanical manufacturing. This class will prepare engineers and scientists to address problems they will encounter when studying physical phenomena in laboratory-on-a-chip (LOC) and micro-electromechanial systems (MEMS). The course will provide the student with the tools to analyze statics, dynamics, E&M, surface phenomena, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and mass transfer problems at the micron scale. Quantitative analysis of specific LOC and MEMS devices will be achieved through finite element analysis using the ANSYS programming package.

ENG 195N: Introduction to Nanotechnology
Instructors: Dr. Heidi Defies-Dux (, Assistant Professor, Department of Freshman Engineering; Dr. P.K. Imbrie (, Assistant Professor, Department of Freshman Engineering; Prof. Gil Lee (, UCD School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology; Dr. Steve Wereley (, Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering.
Course description:
This is a research and discovery experience course focused on introducing students to basic research methods and nanotechnology-based manufacturing and characterization processes. Nanotechnology is a new field and it is worth defining what nanotechnology actually is. "The essence of nanotechnology is the ability to work at the molecular level, atom by atom, to create large structures with fundamentally new molecular organization. Compared to the behavior of isolated molecules of about 1 nm (10 -9 m) or of bulk materials, behavior of structural features in the range of about 10 -9 to 10 -7 m (1 to 100 nm - a typical dimension of 10 nm is 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair) exhibit important changes. Nanotechnology is concerned with materials and systems whose structures and components exhibit novel and significantly improved physical, chemical, and biological properties, phenomena, and processes due to their nanoscale size. The goal is to exploit these properties by gaining control of structures and devices at atomic, molecular, and supramolecular levels and to learn to efficiently manufacture and use these devices. (NNI)" The first part of the class will use six lectures to introduce basic research methods and fundamental concepts in nanotechnology. A soft lithography laboratory experience will then be used to provide hands on experience on top down nanofabrication techniques. The atomic force microscope (AFM) and other scanning probe methods are increasingly becoming the metrology and fabrication technique of choice in nanotechnology. The AFM will be used to image and modify patterns produced in the soft lithography laboratory experience.

CHE 697W: Biophysical Engineering
Instructor: Prof. Gil Lee
Course description:
Some of the most exciting research and technology developments are taking place at the interface between biology-chemistry-physics. Courses are available that address subcategories of one of these disciplines in great detail. For example, courses offered in molecular biology, cell biological, physical chemistry, polymer chemistry, and statistical mechanics. Unfortunately, there are few classes that attempt to build a bridge between these disciplines in a manner that will allow the student to fully comprehend the molecular mechanisms of biological behavior. This course will provide an intellectual framework from which we can begin to do this. We will first introduce the principles of statistical thermodynamics for those who have an introductory understanding of thermodynamics. We will then move on to study biomolecular behavior. Care will be taken to introduce each subject area to an interdisciplinary audience. Ultimately, we will address the mechanisms of molecular recognition and enzymatic regulation; structural equilibrium and transitions in proteins and polynucleotides; and membrane mechanics.

BME 304: Bioheat and Mass Transfer
Instructor: Prof. Gil Lee
Course description:
Fundamentals of heat and mass transport concepts in the context of biomedical applications. Heat transfer concepts include: steady- and unsteady-state thermal conductivity, convection, radiation, and combined mechanisms of heat transfer. Mass transport concepts include: steady and unsteady-state molecular mass transfer, diffusion, interphase mass transport, and convective mass transport. Integrated biological topics include fluid and mass transport in the body, pathological conditions (such as fever and arteriosclerosis), forced convection (i.e., dialysis), radiation exposure to cells/tissues, unsteady-state molecular diffusion such as in drug delivery mechanisms.