PhD Vacancy - In-situ Monitoring of Flowing Pharmaceutical Powders

Project Title: In-situ Monitoring of Flowing Pharmaceutical Powders

Project Description: As much as 70% of potentially efficacious medicinal compounds never become pharmaceutical products due to difficulties in manufacturing them. Real-time in-line monitoring of the production process can help resolve some of the fabrication problems. Non-contact monitoring using terahertz waves is particularly promising because pharmaceuticals are transparent to THz beams and have transmission properties dependent on the type and structure of the material. This project will focus on monitoring the flows of granular materials to downstream processes, which is a key operation in many manufacturing lines, ranging from pharmaceuticals to polymer and food, and therefore leading to many potential industrial applications. The accuracy of the feeding is especially important in manufacturing medicines, where inconsistency in feeding different constituents has a direct effect on the final quality, efficacy and safety of the drug product. High-potency drug products and microfactories require the dosing of precise micrograms, which is a particularly big challenge with currently available feeding systems and due to the lack of a technology that is capable of monitoring low mass flow rates accurately. The project will proceed in close collaboration with industrial partners, to ensure that the project outcomes meet their needs.

The PhD student will work with leading scientists and use world-class facilities at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL, Teddington, ), including THz, imaging and material characterisation; and at the EPSRC Future Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation Hub (CMAC, ) within the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK). The PhD student is expected to spend a total of at least 6 months of the 4-year project at NPL, where she/he will be trained on and use cutting-edge terahertz equipment. This will allow the student to be exposed also to other world-leading research that is currently undertaken at NPL and to participate in the Post-Graduate Institute (PGI). In Glasgow, the PhD student will be fully integrated into CMAC, acquiring skills relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. Training of the PhD student will be aligned with the manufacturing research vision of CMAC that is informed by the needs of CMAC’s pharmaceutical industry partners GSK, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Roche, Novartis, Lilly, Bayer & Takeda and technology partners. The PhD student will have access to a dedicated national network of world-class, state-of-the-art facilities including the £34M UK-RPIF funded CMAC National Facility.

How to Apply: Applicants should send a CV, the contact details of 2 references (including email addresses) and a covering letter, explaining why the applicant wishes to carry out this project, all in one pdf document by email (Dr Daniel Markl).
Subject line: iCASE NPL PhD applicant
Email address:

Further details can be found here

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