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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L015153/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Formulation Engineering
Principal Investigator: Fryer, Professor PJ
Other Investigators:
Greenwood, Dr R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AKZO Nobel BASF Bristol Myers Squibb
Campden BRI Cargill Plc Chemistry Innovation
Dupont Teijin Films (UK) Limited HealthTech and Medicines KTN Imerys Minerals Ltd
Johnson Matthey Kerry Group plc Mondelez UK R and D Ltd
Nestle SA New-Food Innovation PepsiCo
Procter & Gamble Rich Products Corporation Rock Tron Ltd
Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) Smith & Nephew Syngenta
Tetronics (International) Limited TWI Ltd Unilever
Department: Chemical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2014 Ends: 31 March 2023 Value (£): 3,640,460
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design of Process systems Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Chemicals Food and Drink
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel B Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The proposal seeks funds to renew and refresh the Centre for Doctoral Training in Formulation Engineering based in Chemical Engineering at Birmingham. The Centre was first funded by EPSRC in 2001, and was renewed in 2008. In 2011, on its 10th anniversary, the Centre received one of the Diamond Jubilee Queen's Anniversary Prizes, for 'new technologies and leadership in formulation engineering in support of UK manufacturing'. The scheme is an Engineeering Doctoral Centre; students are embedded in their sponsoring company and carry out industry-focused research.

Formulation Engineering is the study of the manufacture of products that are structured at the micro-scale, and whose properties depend on this structure. In this it differs from conventional chemical engineering. Examples include foods, home and personal care products, catalysts, ceramics and agrichemicals. In all of these material formulation and microstructure control the physical and chemical properties that are essential to its function. The structure determines how molecules are delivered or perceived - for example, in foods delivery is of flavour molecules to the mouth and nose, and of nutritional benefit to the GI tract, whilst in home and personal care delivery is to skin or to clothes to be cleaned, and in catalysis it is delivery of molecules to and from the active site.

Different industry sectors are thus underpinned by the same engineering science. We have built partnerships with a series of companies each of whom is world-class in its own field, such as P&G, Kraft/Mondelez, Unilever, Johnson Matthey, Imerys, Pepsico and Rolls Royce, each of which has written letters of support that confirm the value of the programme and that they will continue to support the EngD. Research Engineers work within their sponsoring companies and return to the University for training courses that develop the concepts of formulation engineering as well as teaching personal and management skills; a three day conference is held every year at which staff from the different companies interact and hear presentations on all of the projects. Outputs from the Centre have been published in high-impact journals and conferences, IP agreements are in place with each sponsoring company to ensure both commercial confidentiality and that key aspects of the work are published. Currently there are 50 ongoing projects, and of the Centre's graduates, all are employed and more than 85% have found employment in formulation companies.

EPSRC funds are requested to support 8 projects/year for 5 years, together with the salary of the Deputy Director who works to link the University, the sponsors and the researchers and is critical to ensure that the projects run efficiently and the cohorts interact well. Two projects/year will be funded by the University (which will also support a lecturer, total >£1 million over the life of the programme) and through other sources such as the 1851 Exhibition fund, which is currently funding 3 projects. EPSRC funding will leverage at least £3 million of direct industry contributions and £8 million of in-kind support, as noted in the supporting letters. EPSRC funding of £4,155,480 will enable a programme with total costs of more than £17 million to operate, an EPSRC contribution of 24% to the whole programme.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk