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  Understanding and scale up of secondary nucleation in pharmaceutical crystallisation

   Department of Chemical and Process Engineering

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  Prof J Sefcik, Dr M Haw  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Nucleation of crystals from solution is a crucial part of many manufacturing processes in industries including pharmaceuticals, foods, chemicals and advanced materials. Nevertheless, despite many years of detailed study, nucleation remains poorly understood at the fundamental as well as the practical application level.

This project aims at understanding and controlling secondary nucleation which plays a key role in many industrial crystallisation processes. Secondary nucleation is formation of new crystals in presence pre-existing crystals in a crystallisation process. This project aims at furthering our understanding of how secondary nucleation works and can be optimised at scales relevant to industrial pharmaceutical manufacturing. There are two major physical aspects of the crystallisation process that become important under manufacturing conditions but whose effects on crystal nucleation and growth are not well understood: firstly, the effect of the turbulent flow typical for industrial scale processes; and secondly the effect of mechanical impact of existing crystals in typical agitated vessel used in manufacturing plants. The project will contribute both fundamental insight into crystal behaviour and phenomenology, and progress in advanced industrial manufacturing methods for scale up and process design.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Information about the host department can be found by visiting:

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. However, excellent candidates will be eligible to be considered for a University scholarship.
Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering/science/education/humanities discipline, and be very motivated to undertake highly multidisciplinary research.

Where will I study?

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