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PhD Studentship: Ultrasonic enhancement of continuous crystallisation processes

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, September 02, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: CG-VP-1905
Start date of studentship: 1 January 2020
Closing date of advert: 2 September 2019
Interview date: After the closing date

Primary supervisor: Dr Valerie Pinfield
Secondary supervisor: Prof Zoltan Nagy

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Full Project Detail

Through the use of continuous, low-intensity, sub-cavitational acoustic fields, this project aims to transform processes across a wide range of industries where crystallisation is a key production, purification or separation stage including pharma and food.
Although high-intensity acoustic fields have been adopted in sono-chemistry and sono-crystallisation, the use of fields at much lower energy levels has recently been patented for crystal nucleation control. However, the mechanisms for the experimentally observed effects are poorly understood, and much work is required to build understanding of the phenomena of heat and mass transfer that drive the effect in order to ensure the technology can deliver the impact that it has the potential to achieve. Similar mass transfer processes around bubbles may also be enhanced by low intensity acoustic fields in processes involving bubbles and this has yet to be explored.

The project will involve the implementation of acoustic nucleation into continuous crystallisation processes, and the use of parametrised models and advanced control techniques to deliver control of crystal size distribution and polymorph.
You will work with leading experts in acoustics and in crystal systems engineering, with a leading research group in continuous crystallisation and advanced control; the group is a partner in the EPSRC-funded CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub and works with a number of industrial partners. The laboratory is equipped with leading facilities for continuous crystallisation, multi-sensor monitoring and control as well as advanced modelling platforms. The project will involve both experimental and computational aspects. You will work in collaboration with the research group of Prof Megan Povey at the University of Leeds, patent holders (with SME partner) for low-intensity ultrasonic processing and expert in ultrasonic material characterisation and modification, particularly for foods. A willingness to work at Leeds or elsewhere for part of the research programme will be necessary.

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Chemistry, Physical Sciences or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree will be an advantage.

Contact details

Name: Dr Valerie Pinfield
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222512

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select: Chemical Engineering

Please quote reference number: CG-VP-1905

Funding Notes

The studentship is funded for 3 years as follows:
UK/EU students: UK/EU tuition fees and the National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 for 2019/20)
International students: fees only and stipend needs to be covered by a different source

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