Earth Sciences and Bioengineering, Environment and Society, 5 ECTS

Language of instruction: French
J-M; Decroly, C. De Cannière, C. Hermans, P. Regnier (coordinator)

The Earth system. Planet Earth: energy balance and greenhouse effect. Dynamic Earth: Global circulation systems (energy, matter). Fluid Earth circulation (atmosphere and oceans). Circulation of the solid Earth (seismology and plate tectonics, geomaterials, rock cycle). Introduction to systems analysis. Recycling of elements: the carbon cycle. Brief history of Planet Earth: origin and development of lide on Earth, evolution of the Earth system over geological time.
Evolution of ideas on human-nature relationships: impact of agrarian systems, deforestation of tropical regions, desertification, impact of industrial societies, water exploitation and pollution, atmospherical pollution, climatic changes resulting from human activities.

Seminars on the bioengineer profession: illustration of the multidisciplinarity.


Bioremediation, 5 ECTS

Language of instruction: French
M. Verbanck, D. Cannella (coordinator)

General aspects of biodegradation mechanisms; kinetic and genomic aspects of biodegradation; biochemical mechanisms of microbial degradation of pollutants; practical implementation of bioremediation.



Project Management and research Project, 5ECTS

Language of instruction: French
 D. Gilis (coordinator), N. Gypen, C. Hermans, P. Simon

Project management: Project initiation - objective, scope, milestone chart, budget, team. Project planning - risk issues and status reporting. Introduction to Agile.
Research project: Introduction to the bibliography search. The theme of the project is chosen by the grou^. The proposed themes are related to the bioengineer training.


BING- F4006

Population Genetics and Plant Breeding, 5 ECTS

Language of instruction: French
O. Hardy (coordinator), C. Hermans and M. Visser

Molecular markers used in population genetics. Evolutionary forces determining genetic variation within populations (drift, mutation, migration, selection). Principles of quantitative genetics. Conservation of genetic resources. Introduction to plant breeding. Selection schemes according to the mode of reproduction (autogamous, allogamous, clonal). Overview of biotechnological approaches for plant improvement (resource use efficiency, nutritional quality ...).



Crop Managmeent in Temperate Regions, 5 ECTS

Language of instruction : French
J. Louvieaux

Economic and historical aspects of major crop production in temperate regions. Phytotechny - soil preparation, sowing, fertilization, weeding, phytosanitary protection of the crop - of cereals (e.g., maize, wheat), sugar beet and potatoe. Overview for each speculation of issues relating to environmental impact, quality and traceability.




Bio-ressources and Biomaterials, 5 ECTS

Language of instruction: English
M. Mohammadamin, D. Cannella (coordinator)

Agro-residues as sources of bioactuve compounds. Forest derived products for new advanced biomaterials: nanocellulose, bio-screens, recyclable plastics. Minicipal waste biomass-development of biobased economy/processes ans circular economy. Pretreatment for bioresources-strategies to enhance value biomass, conversion routes and products: enzymology and microbiology. Biologically active compounds form seafood, microbial strains and biocosmetics. Natural functional food - pobiotics and prebiotics isolation. Characterization of marine biomaterials - downstram processing. Biological activities and application of marine biomaterials. Environmental protection - biological waste treatmennt connected to biorefinery. For Biomaterials part there will be an introduction to biofabrication of biomaterials including scaffold fabrication; bioprinting techniques and advantages and disadvantages of extrusion techniques.
Desing of 3D biomaterials and essential properties of biomaterials such as printability, cross-linking mechanisms, and biological properties. 3D bioprinting with a focus on biomass-derived compounds such as marine polymers and lignocellulosic materials and their derivatives. In addition, various case studies and examples of the current state of the art of bio fabrication of biomass-derived materials will be presented.


Master theses topics:

  • Supervision D. Cannella

  1. Biosynthesis of green plant stimulants and biopesticides for Agrobiotech
  2. Biomass transformation into bioplastic and biofuels for biorefineries
  3. Enzymes evolution and engineering for biocatalysis and bioeconomy (Molecular biology - Biochemistry)
  4. Nano-cellulose biomaterials production - from biomass to smart materials
  • Supervision C. Hermans

Plant nutrition in major mineral elements
The palnt  mineral nutrition conditions global food security. A considerable fraction of the fertilizers necessary to sustain plant biomass production is lost with harmful consequences for the environment and human health. Faced with these pressing societal costs, modern agriculture must take a step forward to produce biomass with fewer inputs. Our research focuses on the mechanisms regulating the use efficiency of mineral and water resources in plants. Synergistic activities in the laboratory, in natural habitats and in the field aim at identifying the characteristics of crops to improve the resilience of agricultural production. The natural genetic variability of model (Arabidopsis) and cultivated (rapeseed, maize, sorghum ...) species is studied.
  1.  The use of the natural genetic variation of Arabidopsis in Belgium and in neighboring countries to discover genes which regulate the content of mineral elements
  2.  Study of the influence of nitrogen and drought on the root development of crops (J. del Cueto Chocano)
  3.  Circadian rhythms and nutrient transport (S. Porco)
  • Supervision C. Hermans and N. Desoignies
Evaluating the biocontrol potential of an endophyte collection

Endophytes are microorganisms living inside plant tissue. Their symbiotic activity is demonstrated within the plant, e.g. combating pathogens or stimulating the natural plant defenses. A collection of endophytes from particularly resistant plants will be assembled during a first Master thesis. The objective of this thesis will be to characterize the action mode of the microorganisms. The thesis will include microbiological tests, in greenhouses / phytotrons, as well as molecular biology (quantification of plant defense genes).
Updated on September 14, 2022