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Welcome to issue 2 of CMAC News.  Our aim is to keep you up to date with the wide range of exciting activities taking place across the national Centre programme.  In this edition we have updates on the Centre Open Day, iCON funding scheme and RPIF award. Further highlights on industry, researchers and new equipment are also included as well as giving an overview of all our upcoming conferences and events.

For those wishing a more in-depth read, our second annual review is now available online. And for up-to-date news please don’t forget to follow us on twitter.


2nd Annual Open Day

Hugely successful Centre Open Day took place in September @ Glasgow Science Centre with over 180 delegates in attendance from both industry and academia. The packed programme included keynote presentations from Prof Paul Sharratt, ICES Singapore, Dr Ali Hassanpour, University of Leeds and industrial keynote Dr Amy Robertson from AstraZeneca. Alongside the keynotes there were presentations from a selection of Centre researchers and over 50 posters presented. Over 30 companies participated in the event with several running equipment exhibits during the day. Read more>>

   Open Day

£34.2m capital investment

CMAC award of £34.2m for capital investment from HEFCE’s RPIF scheme was announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne on 6th June.  As an industry, charity and academic partnership, this substantial investment will further develop and enhance the leading facilities in our national research programme.  High priority items have now been identified and orders have been placed for equipment at all Centre universities.


2nd Annual Review

The Centre’s second annual review has now been published and details the span of the Centre’s activity over the past 12 months. The review includes research overviews, national and global outreach activities, funding highlights and the Centre’s plan looking forward into Phase II. For the full electronic version of the review please click here.

                  Annual review
Icon projects  

Announcement of successful iCON projects

The Centre is delighted on the success of the iCON call which attracted the submission of some very positive proposals covering the breadth of the Continuous Work-Up Theme. The successful projects for this call will be announced shortly via our website. Read more >>


Industry update

A major new funding activity during this quarter was a £22.7m bid to create an Advance Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Consortium - as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).  Led by GSK, co-ordinated by the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge (Dr Jag Srai) this project covers new clinical and commercial supply chains. The 22 partners (co-ordinated by CMAC Industry Director) include AstraZeneca, University of Strathclyde (on behalf of the EPRSC Centre) and several other CMAC collaborators and many new partners. Technical work packages include continuous API production formulation and agile packaging. A funding decision is expected by end November.

   Mettler Toledo meet with Centre and Industry directors

As part of a busy industrial conference season, CMAC Industrial Director, Craig Johnston, attended and presented at the Association for Crystallization Technology – 19th Larson Workshop (Indianapolis), CPhI (Frankfurt) and TNO Added value through process innovation (Delft) There were many interesting discussions leading to potential collaboration and future European projects.

An agreement has been reached with Pfizer in Groton for a 2 year project using and integrating continuous filtration and drying technology. Centre researchers will visit in December with the equipment arriving in January. Mettler Toledo, currently Tier 2 members of the CMAC organisation, have formally entered a strategic alliance with CMAC. Above is image of Alastair Florence and Craig Johnston meeting with Julian Darke and Henry Dubina from Mettler Toledo


DTC update

The Centre's second cohort of 17 DTC students commenced their PhD journey with their DTC induction week on 21 October 2013 at the University of Strathclyde. This event kick-started their 10 week residential training program where the students will take part in a University road trip to visit all seven universities within the Centre, along with industry visits, and gain knowledge in all aspects of continuous manufacturing and crystallisation. Read more>>

   DTC 2013 cohort

New equipment

The Centre’s equipment capability is rapidly growing with the introduction of a series of technologies to grow the overall portfolio and create more research power.

  • As part of a strategic partnership, a suite of new Mettler Toledo equipment has now been installed @ CMAC University of Strathclyde. The arrival and in-depth training of the Optimax with FBRM, PVM and ReactIR probes will allow for more comprehensive crystallisation studies.

  • A Buchi Mini Spray Dryer B290 has been installed and commissioned @ CMAC University of Strathclyde. This equipment will be used to investigate the ability of the spray dryer to consistently produce material with desirable particle attributes.

  • A Thermal Process twin-screw extruder has recently been commissioned @ CMAC, University of Strathclyde. DTC students Laura Martinez-Marcos and Natalia Dabrowska will be investigating hot-melt extrusion with respect to improving physicochemical and biopharmaceutical properties.

  • An ABB IR MB-Rx analyser for in-situ reaction monitoring with Clairet reaction monitoring software has now been installed @ CMAC University of Strathclyde, with full training provided by Clairet.

  • Assynt are assisting Dr Karen Robertson @ University of Bath to build a novel small-scale continuous crystallisation platform which is flexible, modular and affordable. This will be developed for the scale-up and understanding of co-crystallisation systems.


Researcher highlights Modular Test Bench for Continuous Nucleation

Dr Anna Jawor-Baczynska (a post-doctoral research associate) and Ulrich Schacht (a final year PhD student) presented their research at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) conference in San Francisco, US this month. Anna and Ulrich both work under the supervision of Dr Jan Sefcik focussing on the development of a flexible modular test bench including mixing, nucleation and growth units which enable better control over key product particle attributes (form, size, yield, purity etc.) through continuous crystallisation. At AIChE Anna will be presenting ‘Populations and size distributions of solute-rich mesoscale structures in aqueous amino acid solutions and their role in crystal nucleation’ and Ulrich will be presenting ‘From batch to continuous crystallisation: nucleation and growth under various flow conditions’.

   Anna at open day

Researcher achievements

  • Researcher Dr Anna Jawor-Baczynska was invited to give a keynote presentation at the 17th International conference of Crystal Growth and Epitaxy, Warsaw Poland.

  • Hannah McLachlan, Heriot-Watt University, was awarded the 2nd postgraduate researcher prize for the institute of mechanical, process and energy engineering.

  • Researchers Kate Wittering, University of Bath, Alasdair Mackenzie, The University of Edinburgh and Keddon Powell Loughborough University all received poster prizes at the CMAC 2nd Annual Open Day.


 CMAC in the news

  • Dr Clive Badman OBE, chair of CMAC Board, was interviewed by The Manufacturer at the Manufacturing the Future Conference discussing the industrial collaboration of the CMAC consortium.  Read more>>

  • CMAC’s £34 million new equipment grant was mentioned in HM Government Strategy for UK Life Sciences newsletter, July 2013.  Read more>>

  • Centre Director Professor Alastair Florence was interviewed at the Chemspec Europe conference about his experiences with continuous crystallisation.  Read more >>

 Artist in residence  

Artist in residence

With funding from EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account CMAC now has its own Artist in Residence. Fiona McGurk will be working to accelerate impact and outreach with academic, industrial colleagues and wider general public. This will help publicise the scientific activities and also provide thought provoking insight and inform researchers.

The artist has a background in the chemical industry having worked as a development chemist for 12 years before pursuing a career in art. This propitious combination of skills will help foster a creative, symbiotic collaboration between the artist and researchers resulting in the creation of a body of new work. Contact Fiona on info@fionamcgurk.co.uk   www.fionamcgurk.co.uk/



All Centre researchers have commenced their training on their Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) software iLABBER by Accelrys.  Accelrys visited from Sweden to give the DTC cohort a hands-on workshop during their induction week.  The role out of this software across the entire Centre, in collaboration with the ICT-CMAC project, will be complete by December 2013 and will facilitate knowledge management, streamline processes and improve experimental collaborations. Read more >>



Other CMAC news

  • CMAC Co-Investigator Prof Chick Wilson was awarded the Thomas Graham Medal for "Communication of Research in a Public Lecture" for a series of lectures he delivered on "Mysterious Cases of Misbehaving Molecules".

  • Lee Cronin and his DIY chemputer (left) are on the verge of creating life. Find out more in the latest copy of Wired.

  • Professor Alastair Florence has been invited to join the Sustainability and Growth Strategy Board of Chemical Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network (CIKTN).

  • CMAC has joined A.SPIRE (an international non-profit association formed to represent the private sector as a partner in the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency) as an academic partner.   A.SPIRE has been formally recognised as a partner in the EU’s Horizon 2020.  Read more >>

  • Craig Johnston has been appointed to the Scottish Technology Advisory Group.

  • Professor Alastair Florence has been named as the new chair of the British Association of Crystal Growth (BACG).


Meet us at these events

  • Flow Chemistry Asia, 14th – 15th November, Singapore. Researcher Dr Thomas McGlone will be presenting.

  • Winter Process Chemistry Conference, 16th – 18th December, The University of Leeds, UK. Professor Alastair Florence will be presenting.

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