The Institute of Bioprocess Engineering was established in September 2002 by Prof. Dr. Rainer Buchholz. This new institute was the first one with a focus on Biotechnology within the Department of Chemical and Bioengineering.
Prof. Buchholz developed a particularly broad research portfolio, in which work concerning the cultivation of phototrophic microorganisms and their application as innovative feed stock for biotechnology use is of prime importance. This work led to the perception of his person as being a pioneer of aquatic biotechnology in Germany and internationally.
The professional competence of Prof. Dr. Heike Dörnenburg in the field of plant biotechnology (2004 – 2010) was an ideal complement for the institute.
At the end of March 2016 Prof. Buchholz retired, which was followed by a two-years-period of temporary institute’s management.
Prof. Dr. Kathrin Castiglione was appointed as a full professor for Bioprocess Engineering in 2017 and took over the institute in January 2018. In this context the scientific focus of the institute was realigned on the topic of Industrial Biotechnology. Here Biocatalyis and Fermentation as well as Nanobiotechnology are the main aspects. These central research activities are complemented by the working groups Aquatic Biotechnology and Tissue Engineering.
In January 2022, the Institute of Biochemical Engineering was expanded to include the field of Systems Biotechnology, which is headed by Prof. Dr. Aljoscha Wahl.