Basic Theory and Practices for Photobioreactors

Starting: Fall 2025

Registration deadline: TBD

Location: UiT campus Tromsø

ECTS: 10

Students should register to this course through UiT. Registration opens: TBD

Course leader

Practical info

This course will be on site at UiT campus Tromsø. The host institution is UiT.

Non-UiT students must request guest status before June 1st, 2025. Instructions can be found here. When you are registered with a guest student status you must apply for seats to the course, deadline TBD. UiT students must apply for class seats, deadline TBD.

Important! Registration is binding! Do not register for a course unless you are sure that you can attend.

Course content

This course will introduce Photosyntech PhD students to the fundamentals of photobioreactors by linking basic theory to hands-on operation and data interpretation. By the end of this course students will have sound theoretical knowledge enabling them to model and operate various configurations of photobioreactors. Case studies, reflecting the interests of the instructors, will emphasize examples involving marine diatoms, green algae and heterotroph/mixotroph strategies. Also plant bioreactors will be introduced. Each student will be expected to investigate at least one topic in depth and develop a professional quality review article accompanied by a class presentation.

Learning outcome


The course aims enable students to design and operate bioreactor processes suitable for experimental and applied cultivation of photosynthetic cells.


  • Students will develop the ability to apply their knowledge of cell biology as well as mass/energy balances to critically evaluate operating parameters of photobioreactors
  • They will develop the ability to independently gain technical knowledge from available scientific literature
  • Students will develop basic skills enabling them set up and operate bioreactors under various configurations
  • They will develop a basic understanding of data analysis based on the limitations and opportunities provided by sensors and biological measurements used in modern bioreactor operations
  • They will develop their ability to communicate effectively in professional/technical settings

General competence

Gain competence for theoretical problem-solving and hands-on approaches using the quantitative aspects of cell cultivation, mass/energy balances, controllers, sensors, software and photobioreactor hardware (e.g., pumps, lights, condensers, and heat exchangers).

Course dates


Admission deadline


Admission requirements

To apply for this course you must be a PhD candidate at one of the Norwegian institutions and a Photosyntech member. If you are not a student at UiT you must apply for status a guest student by June 1st,2025.

Instructions for how to apply for guest student status at UiT.

How to register as a Photosyntech member.

The course will be arranged with a minimum number of students: TBD. Maximum participants: TBD.

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be ranked in this order: 1. Photosyntech PhD candidate members 2. other UiT and Nord PhD candidates. 3. Other.




There will be one final grade given in the class based on a portfolio exam model. Each element of the portfolio exam has a specific weighting totaling to 100-point equivalents:

  • 25 point equivalents for take home problem sets (2 problem sets)
  • 25 point equivalents for laboratory reports and oral presentations
  • 50 point equivalents for a final take home exam

The student´s final grades will be based on the following percentages of total possible points earned: 90-100% A, 80-90% B, 70-80% C, 60-70% D, 50-60% E, below 50% will get an F.