Formulation and healthcare engineering

We have a strong track record in fundamental research into formulation science, product engineering and process modelling. Our particular strength lies in mechanistic analysis, multiscale modelling, material synthesis and characterisation, process optimisation and innovation for a wide range of formulated products.

Research areas

A vast majority of chemical and consumer products are designed with complex formulations of multiple ingredients for specific functionality. These formulated products exist in various forms, such as particles, pastes, emulsions and thin films, and are manufactured in different industrial sectors including pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals (e.g. catalysts) and fast moving consumer goods.

The grand challenge associated with manufacture of formulated products lies in the development of science-based design space to ensure that the products have the desired attributes, and thus requires a thorough understanding of the feed material-process-product relationship. This theme targets this grand challenge using a holistic and multiscale approach.

We strive for developing science-based modelling and experimental approaches for designing and innovating formulations, processes and products for a healthy nation.

Facilities

Our research facilities are primarily housed in two recently refurbished research laboratories: The Analytical Lab and the Particle Engineering Lab.

Analytical Lab

The Analytical Lab is equipped with a wide range of facilities for:

Materials synthesis

  • High-temperature chamber and tube furnaces
  • Rotavaps
  • High energy ultrasound probes, etc.

Comprehensive electrical characterisation

  • High-resolution potentiostat/galvanostat
  • DC loads
  • DC power supply
  • High-resolution desktop multimeters, etc.

Physiochemical analysis equipment

  • TGA
  • SEM
  • Gas pycnometer
  • FTIR
  • Raman spectroscopy analyser
  • Particle size analyser
  • H2-TPR
  • Access to the comprehensive equipment such as FESEM, TEM, XRD, XPS analysers campus-wide.

SOFC cell construction and testing rigs

  • Screen printer
  • Tape caster
  • Cell test fixture
  • EIS analysis rig, etc.

Particle Engineering Lab

The Particle Engineering Lab is equipped with the following characterisation and processing equipment:

Particle characterisation

  • Size and shape distribution; 0.5 – 30,000 μm (QicPic)
  • Moisture content (Mettler Toledo).
  • In situ nano-indentor (Alemnis)
  • Nanosizer (NanoSight NS500).

Particle breakage

  • Conical mill (Erweka CM 60)
  • Rotary cutting mill.

Powder flowability

  • Schulze RST.XS.s shear cell; 0.1 – 20 kPa
  • Freeman FT4 Powder Rheometer; dynamic flowability, permeability, aeration
  • Freeman Uniaxial Powder Tester; < 100 kPa
  • Funnel flow testers (Granuflow, Flowdex)
  • Custom-built die filling systems; linear (passive) and rotational (active).

Other facilities

  • Temperature and humidity conditioning
  • Roller compactors
  • High speed camera (Phantom v1612)
  • DEM and DEM-CFD simulation software: EDEM, Rocky DEM, BlazeDEM, ABAqus, Star-CCM
  • Instron mechanical testing machines
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
  • Franz diffusion cell
  • Ultrasound reactors (22kHz-2MHz).

Ongoing projects

Start date: January 2021

End date: December 2023

Completed projects

Collaborations

We collaborate with a wide range of industrial sectors as well as academic institutions worldwide.

Meet the team

Academic staff

Bahman Amini Horri profile image

Dr Bahman Amini Horri

Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

Natalie Belsey profile image

Dr Natalie Belsey

Senior Lecturer & Senior Research Scientist at NPL

Qiong Cai profile image

Dr Qiong Cai

Reader in Chemical and Process Engineering

Colin Hare profile image

Dr Colin Hare

Visiting Senior Lecturer of Chemical Engineering

Judy Lee profile image

Dr Judy Lee

Reader, Director of Learning and Teaching for Chemical and Process Engineering

Lian Liu profile image

Dr Lian Liu

Research Centre manager

Michael Short profile image

Dr Michael Short

Lecturer of Chemical and Process Engineering

Rex Thorpe profile image

Professor Rex Thorpe

Professor of Chemical Engineering

Dimitrios Tsaoulidis profile image

Dr Dimitrios Tsaoulidis

Asst Professor (Lecturer) in Chemical & Process Engineering

Charley Wu profile image

Professor Charley Wu

Professor of Chemical Engineering

Visiting staff

Michele Marigo

Dr Michele Marigo

Visiting Senior Lecturer

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Dr Mikio Sakai

Visiting Professor

Eirini Velliou profile image

Dr Eirini Velliou

Visiting Senior Lecturer

Researchers

Lucy Coleman profile image

Lucy Coleman

Project: Multi-scale modelling of dermal absorption, disposition, systemic circulation and liver metabolism of xenobiotics

Omar Ismail profile image

Omar Ismail

Project: A combined experimental and numerical study of powder flow through forced feeders in tableting systems

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Dr Marv Khala

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Francisco Fidelis Kisuka

Project: DEM modelling of heat generation induced by friction of low stresses

Yufan Liu profile image

Yufan Liu

Project: Chemical safety assessment using omics and machine learning technology

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Azza Mahmoud

Postgraduate Research Student

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Lisa Purk

Project: Biofilm formation of Listeria monocytogenes on a novel triphasic viscoelastic food model and the application of a novel mild preservation technique; cold plasma

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Aman Rastogi

Project: Heat generation and transfer during reaction in granular materials

Daniel Sebastia Saez profile image

Dr Juan Daniel Sebastia Saez

Associate Tutor & Research Fellow in Chemical Engineering

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Samadhi Silva Silva

Project: Computational modelling of the effect of product formulations on skin penetration

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Paweenuch Teerasumran

Project: In-situ gelation of antiperspirant actives

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Styliani Totti

Research Fellow

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Ling Zhang

Technical Project Manager