Project Descriptions

Here are some examples of Projects that are currently being worked on by our Postgraduate Researchers:

Project 1
Title: Heterogeneous Catalyst-Pellet Hybrids for Continuous-Flow Operations

Theme Areas: Product Functionalisation and Performance; Product Characterisation.

Academic Supervisory Team: Dr Thomas Chamberlain (School of Chemistry), Dr Sean Collins (School of Chemical and Process Engineering), Dr Andy Brown (School of Chemical and Process Engineering).

Industrial Sector: Pharmaceutical.

Description: This project explores the feasibility of a promising novel carbon-based spherical catalyst support for continuous flow hydrogenation reactions on a lab scale, with a view to exploring self-optimisation, automation and scale-up depending on the success at smaller scales.

Project 2

Title: Connecting Drug Discovery with Solid State Formulation Strategies 

Theme Areas: Process Modelling between Scales; Product Functionalisation and Performance. 

Academic Supervisory Team: Professor Colin Fishwick (School of Chemistry), Dr Martin McPhillie (School of Chemistry), Dr Robert Hammond (School of Chemical and Process Engineering). 

Industrial Sectors: Pharmaceutical; Agriculture; Software. 

Description:  The aim of this project is to link the structure of a molecule to its solubility properties by generating quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) computational models which can predict solid-state properties of ionic bioactive molecules.  

Project 3

Title: Self Optimisation of Continuous Crystallisers 

Theme Areas: Process Modelling Between Scales 

Academic Supervisory Team: Professor Nik Kapur (School of Mechanical Engineering), Dr Richard Bourne (School of Chemical and Process Engineering), Professor Fiona Meldrum (School of Chemistry). 

Industrial Sectors: Pharmaceutical; Agricultural.  

Description:  The aim of this project is to develop appropriate methodologies for model-free control of continuous crystallization process for the enhancement of polymorphic selectivity through the use of in-line Raman spectroscopy and self-optimization.   

Project 4

Title: Testing the Biodegradation of Engineered Polymeric Microparticles 

Theme Areas: Product Characterisation, Product Functionalisation and Performance. 

Academic Supervisory Team: Dr Olivier Cayre (School of Chemical and Process Engineering), Dr Simon Connell (School of Physics and Astronomy), Professor Anwesha Sarkar (School of Food Science and Nutrition). 

Description: This project will systematically design tests to monitor the degradation of polymeric (plastic) microparticles in the environment and develop microparticles made from biodegradable polymers that match the characteristics of the current systems. 

Project 5 

Title: Optimising Continuous Flow Biocatalysis Processes for Fine Chemical Manufacturing  

Theme Areas: Product Functionalisation and Performance, Product Characterisation 

Academic Supervisory Team: Professor Steve Marsden (School of Chemistry), Professor John Blacker (School of Chemistry and School of Chemical and Process Engineering), Professor Nik Kapur (School of Mechanical Engineering).  

Industrial Sector: Pharmaceutical  

Description: This project aims to optimise the performance of supported biocatalysts in different reactor configurations and integrate continuous separation with the intention of facilitating downstream cascade reactions and/or co-factor recycling. This will demonstrate the union of continuous bio- and chemo-catalysis processes and lead to understanding of the relationship between the catalyst and support to improve activity and longevity.  

Project 6  

Title: Crystal Polymorphs as Pickering Emulsion Stabilisers and Novel Stimuli-Responsive Delivery Vehicles.  

Theme Areas: Product Functionalisation and Performance, Product Characterisation 

Academic Supervisory Team: Dr Elena Simone (School of Food Science and Nutrition), Professor Brent Murray (School of Food Science and Nutrition), Dr Nicole Hondow (School of Chemical and Process Engineering), Dr Arwen Tyler (School of Food Science and Nutrition).  

Description: This project aims to design novel, sustainable and stimuli-responsive formulations in which polymorphs of natural, biocompatible crystals can be used to sustainably deliver active ingredients and improve the stability of oil-in-water Pickering emulsions.