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PhD Studentship: Development of a high-fidelity Digital Twins for a continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing process with self-tuning capability

Loughborough University - Department of Chemical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th June 2019
Closes: 8th July 2019
Reference: CG-BB-1904

Application details:

Reference number: CG-BB-1904

Start date of studentship: 1 October 2019

Closing date of advert: 8 July 2019

Interview date:  July 2019


Primary supervisor: Dr Brahim Benyahia (Department of Chemical Engineering)

Secondary supervisor: Prof Chris Rielly (Department of Chemical Engineering)

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Project overview:

Computational tools and model-based optimisation, control and more broadly decision-making methods and applications have grown dramatically over the last decade and opened opportunities for a new generation of digital representation and simulation tools referred to as Digital Twins. A Digital Twin provides a virtual and yet a living and interactive replica of a physical system, process or product. It offers an augmented simulation and visualisation platform and expected to become a standard capability in all industries in near future. The pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries are undergoing a paradigm shift with the development and adoption of more flexible regulatory tools, agile lean and cost-effective continuous manufacturing technologies as well as robust decision-making systems. There are urgent and unprecedent needs for more reliable and predictable simulation tools for model-based design, optimisation and control which came with a real transformation of the pharmaceutical job market.

Project Details:

This PhD project will look at the development and validation of new strategies to build predictable high-fidelity digital twins of a continuous pharmaceutical process with self-optimising capabilities. The focus of the project will be mainly modelling and simulation but also potentially experimental validation that can be conducted by the PhD student or research collaborators. This PhD Project will benefit from our strong and well-established expertise in mathematical modelling, simulation and process control. It will also be conducted as part of the Future Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation Research Hub (CMAC HUB,) a world-class consortium involving more than 30 industrial and academic partners, including 8 Big Pharma companies (e.g. GSK, Novartis, Astra Zeneca, Roche, Pfizer). Initial studies would focus on a continuous crystallisation stage, but then the methodology would be extended to include downstream isolation steps, leading to a seamless fusion of physical and data-driven model implementations.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree in a related subject will be an advantage.

Funding information:

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply, however the total value of the studentship will cover the international tuition fee only.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Brahim Benyahia

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222530

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select: Chemical Engineering  

Please quote reference number: CG-BB-1904

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