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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S023070/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Formulation Engineering: Sustainable Structured Products
Principal Investigator: Fryer, Professor PJ
Other Investigators:
Greenwood, Dr R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AstraZeneca AWE BASF
Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharm Research UK Centre for Process Innovation CPI (UK) Colgate Palmolive Company
Diageo Doehler (UK) Limited Dupont Teijin Films (UK) Limited
FiberLean Technologies IFPRI Imerys Minerals Ltd
Industrial Tomography Systems plc Innospec Environmental Ltd Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK Production Ltd
Johnson Matthey Lexon (UK) Ltd Lubrizol Ltd
Malvern Panalytical Ltd Mondelez UK R and D Ltd Nestle
PepsiCo Procter & Gamble Renishaw
Rich's Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd
Department: Chemical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 5,488,271
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complex fluids & soft solids 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
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel L – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Formulation engineering is concerned with the manufacture and use of microstructured materials, whose usefulness depends on their microstructure. For example, the taste, texture and shine of chocolate depends on the cocoa butter being in the right crystal form - when chocolate is heated and cooled its microstructure changes to the unsightly and less edible 'bloomed' form. Formulated products are widespread, and include foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, catalysts, structured ceramics, thin films, cosmetics, detergents and agrochemicals, with a total value of £180 bn per year. In all of these, material formulation and microstructure control the physical and chemical properties that are essential to the product function. The research issues that affect different industry sectors are common: the need is to understand the processing that results in optimal nano- to micro structure and thus product effect. Products are mostly complex soft materials; structured solids, soft solids or structured liquids, with highly process-dependent properties. The CDT fits into Priority Theme 2 of the EPSRC call: Design and Manufacture of Complex Soft Material Products. The vision for the CDT is to be a world-leading provider of research and training addressing the manufacture of formulated products.

The UK is internationally-leading in formulation, with many research and manufacturing sites of national and multinational companies, but the subject is interdisciplinary and thus is not taught in many first degree courses. A CDT is thus needed to support this industry sector and to develop future leaders in formation engineering. The existing CDT in Formulation Engineering has received to date > £6.5 million in industry cash, has graduated >75 students and has 46 currently registered. The CDT has led the field; the new National Formulation Centre at CPI was created in 2016, and we work closely with them. The strategy of the new Centre has been co-created with industry: the CDT will develop interdisciplinary research projects in the sustainable manufacture of the next generation of formulated products, with focus in two areas (i) Manufacturing and Manufacturability of New Materials for New Markets 'M4', generating understanding to create sustainable routes to formulated products, and (ii) 'Towards 4.0rmulation': using modern data handling and manufacturing methods ('Industry 4.0') in formulation. We have more than 25 letters from companies offering studentships and >£9 million of support. The research of the Centre will be carried out in collaboration with a range of industry partners: our strategy is to work with companies that are are world-leading in a number of areas; foods (PepsiCo, Mondelez, Unilever), HPC (P+G, Unilever), fine chemicals (Johnson Matthey, Innospec), pharma (AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb) and aerospace (Rolls-Royce). This structure maximises the synergy possible through working with non-competing groups. We will carry out at least 50 collaborative projects with industry, most of which will be EngD projects in which students are embedded within industrial companies, and return to the University for training courses. This gives excellent training to the students in industrial research; in addition to carrying out a research project of industrial value, students gain experience of industry, present their work at internal and external meetings and receive training in responsible research methods and in the interdisciplinary science and engineering that underpin this critical industry sector.
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