Courses » Bioreactors


Bioprocesses are used by any biotechnology/pharma industry to produce biological products that are widely used. This course, bioreactors, will consider the heart of any bioprocess.  It will present all aspects that are relevant for an appreciation of all relevant aspects of bioreactors.  This course is expected to be of interest to students who want to learn about bioreactors, teachers who want to better understand the basis of their material, as well as industry personnel who are looking to better understand the principles and apply them to creatively solve their existing challenges.

Biological Eng., Biotechnology, Biochemical Eng., Chemical Eng.,
- core
- UG
- BE (other experienced students such as ME/MS/PhD can also register to get a unique viewpoint)

Ability to appreciate simple mathematical analysis

All biotech and pharma industries (Biocon, Sanofi-Pasteur, Dr. Reddys, …)


Prof. G. K. Suraishkumar  is a Professor in the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM).  He has been at IITM as a Professor since May 2004, and was earlier a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) from April 1993 until mid-May 2004.  He was also an Associate Faculty member in the erstwhile Centre for Biotechnology, which is now the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, at IITB, between 1995 and 2004. 
He earned his Ph.D. from Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA in 1993, and his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IITM in 1986.  He also did his Masters work at the University of Cincinnati, USA, between 1986 and 1988.

Administratively, he played pivotal roles in the set-up of the Departments of Biotechnology, as the first formal Department Head, first at IIT Madras and later, at IIT Hyderabad. He was one of the main architects of the first postgraduate programme in Clinical Engineering in India, which is a multi-Institute program, and a first of its kind in India.  In addition, he contributed as the Head of the Sophisticated Analytical Instrumentation Facility, Chennai. He continues to contribute on National level faculty selection/advisory/institution level committees in relevant areas.

His major area of research is reactive species – currently, the relevance of them in nanoparticle toxicity, and bio-oil. Earlier, his research group had made significant, original contributions in the area of reactive species applied to improve bioreactor productivities and bio-oil which were financially supported through many sponsored research grants.  The research contributions have been better disseminated through publications in reputed international journals– the complete list of publications is available as a link from his Department webpage, (http://biotech.iitm.ac.in/faculty/suraishkumar-g-k/).  He is also the inventor on four patents.  Further, the technology developed in his group was successfully applied at Biocon industries, and has been featured in prestigious technology alerts such as the one by Frost and Sullivan.  He has guided many Ph.D., and Masters theses.
He is passionate about improving student learning and has published papers in reputed international journals on the methods that he had developed for the same.  He is the author of a book, Continuum Analysis of Biological Systems:  Conserved Quantities, Fluxes, and Forces, which was published world-wide by Springer Publishing in March 2014, and by Anamaya Publishers in the SAARC countries.  He has created a 40-lecture NPTEL video course on Classical Thermodynamics for Biological Systems, which is available on YouTube® (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5659F55847E64D75) and from NPTEL at http://nptel.ac.in/courses/102106026/ .  He has also created other short videos on biochemical engineering principles. Further, he has run NOC courses (MOOCs).


1.    Introduction
2.    Two important outcomes of a bioprocess: biomass (cells) and bio-products:
3.    Common bioreactor operation modes
4.    Factors that affect bioreactor performance
5.    The cell-view of a bioreactor 


Shuler, M.L. and Kargi, F. 2002. Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
J. Bailey and D. Ollis, Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals; McGraw Hill, 1986.
In addition, the students would be directed to specific sources during the course – they will become available during the course on the course page.


The exam is optional. Exams will be on 26 March 2017
Time: shift 1:9 am-12 noon;shift 2:2pm-5 pm

Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published

Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score
25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of Best 3 out of 4 assignments
E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and Institiute which is coordinating. It will be e-verifiable at