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Separation column design for continuous liquid-liquid extraction for biopharma downstream processing

Brunel University London (BUL) is recruiting to EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships effective 1 October 2020. Applications are invited for the following specific project called “Separation column design for continuous liquid-liquid extraction for biopharma downstream processing”.  Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £17,285 plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees for a period of 36 months (3 years). Applicants must be eligible for home tuition fees either through nationality, residency (living in the UK for at least three years and not wholly for educational purposes) or other connection to the UK. 

The successful applicants will join the internationally recognised researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering. This exciting research project is focused on developing bioprocess downstream separation processes for bio-manufacturing for a sustainable future.  Specifically, the use of additive manufacture in the development of novel column designs for liquid-liquid extraction producing complex 3D printed geometries for column internals. These have the potential to open up scalable downstream continuous manufacturing processes for separation of fermentation broths, active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicinal natural products.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate their ability to develop multiphase computational fluid-dynamic models and apply the results to the design, construction and testing of prototypes.  More broadly, they will be expected to show critical thinking and good self-management skills.

Please contact Dr Peter Hewitson at peter.hewitson@brunel.ac.uk for an informal discussion about the studentships.

This is a College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences: EPSRC Funded DTP PhD Studentship.


Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in an Engineering, Computer Science, Design, Mathematics, Physics or a similar discipline. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.   

Experience in bioprocess or chemical engineering downstream processing and unit operations, with knowledge of CFD, FEA and recent advances in industrial additive manufacturing workflows is an advantage.  In addition, he/she should be highly motivated, able to work in a team, collaborate with others and have good communication skills.

How to apply

Please submit your application documents (see list below) by Noon on Friday 26 June 2020 to cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk. Interviews will take place in July 2020.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your personal statement (300 to 500 words) summarising your background, skills and experience;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of your English language skills to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent, 6.0 in all sections), if appropriate;
  • Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be an academic member of staff in the College.

Remember to state the title of the project at the top of your personal statement.