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Automated Self-optimising Reactors for Multistage Processes

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  • Full or part time
    Dr R Bourne
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Flow chemistry is recognised as an essential technique for chemistry today. It aligns goals of safe, “green” and cost-effective chemistry. It promises the opportunity of novel reaction regimes with reduced hazard inherent within today’s chemical industry. Flow has also provided practical solutions to widen the availability of pharmaceutical products to the world’s populations. As an underpinning technology, flow chemistry has the potential for far greater impact than that currently realised - faster time to market, improved consistency and control, providing safer medicines and processing regimes that are less available solely via conventional pharmaceutical processing.

This project is intended to: widen the applicability of self-optimising systems and explore the nature of multi-process step optimisations, contrasting different machine learning algorithms; push the process envelope to cover more challenging problems for flow systems; build on the current knowledge, extending objective functions to include cost and environmental factors.

The project is supported by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, a global pharmaceutical company based in India that specialises in making essential medicines more affordable and available to the world’s populations. Recent publications have demonstrated the concept of self-optimising automated reactors by combining reactor control with feedback optimisation algorithms: it was applied to the final stage in the synthesis of an EGFR kinase inhibitor and recently the development of multi-objective optimisations using pareto fronts. The vibrant team you will join is supported by several post-doctoral researchers on the EPSRC grant “Cognitive Chemical Manufacturing”.

The project is a collaboration between Dr Richard Bourne (Leeds – Institute of Process Research and Development and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. This interdisciplinary project will focus on several key elements:

• Automated generation of multi-step optimisation profiles
• Model generation from catalytic and multi-phase reaction systems
• Development and comparison of optimisation algorithms

It is expected that the successful student will spend a period of at least 3 months at the Dr Reddy’s R&D site in Cambridge, UK during their studentship.

Funding Notes

This funded studentship is supported by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance of £15,009 for the 2019/20 academic year.

UK students only.

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FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.40

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