The following innovative course materials range from flipped-lab training videos to 3-D printed amino acids. Links to ASEE conference proceedings describe how to implement these tools in the classroom.

CHE 8592: Protein Engineering – 3D Printed Amino Acid Building Blocks

Protein Engineering

I have designed a complete set of atoms (tetrahedral/trigonal planar carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, etc.) that can be 3D printed and used to assemble individual amino acids and then linked together to model full length peptides. The dimensions and bond angles are all specifically designed to mimic real proteins. These pieces can also be used to demonstrate dihedral angles and secondary structures (e.g. beta sheet or alpha helix – see banner image for example).

STL files:  Still in beta, but email me if you are interested in using the models!

Video: Dihedral Angle Demo

Video: Alpha Helix/Beta Sheet Demo

Heat Transfer

CHE 3031: Heat Transfer – Brewery Design Project

Dr. Noelle Comolli and I have developed a design project for a chemical engineering heat transfer course in which students use multiple types of heat transfer concepts (radiation, conduction, convection, boiling, etc.) to design a brewery. A link to the full assignment is here, while an ASEE paper describing implementation of this project in the classroom is here.

CHE 5535:  BioEngineering Lab Techniques

BioEngineering Lab Techniques

Since 2010, I have been developing a novel lab course for biochemical engineering students that teaches them how to make plasmids (Module 1) for the expression of recombinant chromoproteins in E. coli (Module 2) and animal cells using Cas9-mediated genomic integration (Module 3). The lab manual for this course can be found here. I have also produced a suite of experiment demonstration videos that can be used to prepare students for class or to do research in any lab (see below). Finally, please also check out the 3D printed devices page to see some DIY devices I have developed for this course.

Flipped Lab Videos

We have prepared a suite of lab safety and experiment training videos, which are shown in the bulleted list below. Each video includes footage of lab techniques and oral/written descriptions of the nuances associated with each technique.

Links for Training Videos:

Links for Experiment Videos:


I sincerely thank Villanova University for funding the development of these videos with a Classroom Innovation grant!

Publications (ASEE Conference Proceedings)

Elmer JJ, Comolli NK, Kelly WJ, Huang Z.  Preparation of Biology Review and Virtual Experiment/Training Videos to Enhance Learning in Biochemical Engineering Courses.  2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition.

Elmer JJ, Comolli NK.  Unifying Multiple Concepts with a Single Semester-Long Project:  A Brewery Design Project for Heat Transfer Courses.  2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional ASEE Conference. PDF


Jacob J. Elmer, Ph.D.

Jacob J. Elmer, Ph.D.
Department of Chemical Engineering
Phone: 610-519-3093