Scheme: University Research Fellowship
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Dates: Oct 2004-Sep 2012
Summary: For companies to compete successfully in world-wide markets and so achieve sustainability, it is necessary to reduce the costs and time required to market a product and, simultaneously, improve the quality and consistency of manufacture. This requires that new products are discovered and developed effectively and that manufacturing is optimised and controlled efficiently in a responsive manner. Therefore, methods capable of acquiring real-time information at all stages from product discovery through to full-scale manufacture are required. To fully understand complex heterogeneous reactions such as those used to produce biopharmaceuticals, acquisition of both chemical and physical information is required. Optical techniques, i.e. light-based methods, can provide chemical information, e.g. concentration of specific molecules, whereas acoustic techniques, i.e. sound-based methods, can provide information on the physical properties of a sample, e.g. viscosity or particle size. Therefore, by carrying out both optical and acoustic measurements, a more complete understanding of products can be obtained during their discovery and development, and manufacturing processes can be controlled more efficiently with economic, environmental and safety benefits. Such benefits are applicable to a number of industrial sectors including biotechnology, petrochemicals, pharmaceutical, speciality chemicals and nuclear, which will ultimately benefit the general public. While use of acoustic techniques is commonplace in, e.g., biomedicine, such methods have yet to be fully exploited for the in situ monitoring of chemical and biochemical processes. Hence, the main focus of my research is to advance acoustic techniques, for use alongside optical techniques, in this field. As the two types of measurements are complementary, mathematical methods are being devised and assessed for combination of acoustic and optical data to obtain a fuller understanding of the sample of interest.