Friday, January 25, 2013

Biotechnology Technician Program Offers In-Depth Training

“The Biotechnology Technology program basically involves the study of microorganisms in detail as to the characteristics of the microorganisms, where they’re found, what they are, their names, their length and shape,” says Mohammed, a Biotechnology Technician – Industrial Microbiology student at Centennial College. “The labs, for sure, are very exciting as it involves hands-on [practice]. For example, there are labs that involve staining of samples or streaking of streak plates. Stuff like that is interesting to me, I can get in their, use my hands and kind of get dirty.”

While Mohammed gives a great overview, there is much more to the Biotechnology college offering that prepares students for the position of bench technician (in quality control and quality assurance) in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. For example, students obtain practical training in industrial microbiology as well as chemistry (analytical and organic) and biochemistry; isolate, enumerate and identify microorganisms from many types of samples (water, soil, air, your body, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products); prepare specimens for staining; become proficient in aseptic handling of materials; accurately calibrate and use a range of instruments such as pH and BOD meters, Gas Chromatographs, spectrophotometers (regular/IR/UV), HPLC’s etc.; prepare microbiological media and reagents and culture pathogenic microbes; design and perform microbiology experiments; and use microorganisms to examine pharmaceutical products.

The Biotechnology Technician program also uses the eight up-to-date laboratories and modern wireless lecture facilities housed at the Morningside campus (the most high-tech of Centennial College’s four locations) to ensure that students are comfortable with the hands-on aspects of the field. Rounding out the Biotechnology Technician program is training in Occupational Health and Safety, WHMIS, GMP, HACCP, which is to industry standards.

It is worth noting that the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists nationally accredits this biotechnology college program. In addition, the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists recognizes the Biotechnology Technician - Industrial Microbiology program as meeting all the academic requirements for certification in the Technician Category. These national accreditations support program quality and provide mobility for graduates. In addition, the biotechnology technician offering is a repeat recipient of the Centennial College President’s Academic Program Recognition Award for outstanding student satisfaction.

Upon graduation from Centennial College, students may apply for certification through the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to use the following professional designation: CTech (Certified Technician). Qualified graduates may also apply to enter the third year of the Biotechnology Technologist program to obtain further education. Lastly, Biotechnology technicians (also known as bench technicians) trained at Centennial College may find jobs with companies such as Kisko Products, Hermann Laue Spice Company, Apotex Inc., Agropur - Divisional Natrel, Mill Street Brewery, MAXXAM Analytics, Campbell Soup Company, bioMerieux Analytics, Griffith Laboratories and Cosmetica Laboratories Inc.

To apply to the Biotechnology technician program, students must have obtained an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or have mature student status (19 years or older); English Grade 12 C or U or equivalent, or skills assessment; and Math Grade 11 M or U or Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent, or skills assessment.

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