Chemical engineering at UCC has a long standing tradition or research in food processing, and more recently, pharmaceutical processing. By addressing the science and engineering fundamentals of production processes with appropriate quantitative tools, new ones can be developed, and existing ones assessed and improved.
A wide variety of simulation tools are available for research, including high-ended software packages such as ASPEN, as well as mathematical and statistical packages for complex data handling and analysis.
Expertise available ranges from fundamental deterministic modelling (based on first-principles laws, such as heat, mass and momentum transfer) to stochastic methods dealing with variability and uncertainty, including methods (such as Taguchi) that underpin Quality by Design and 6-sigma development of production processes.
For studying and developing processes, a dedicated mechanical workshop provides support to building test rigs, which has been used often to create test prototypes. There is also access to well equipped pilot plants for foods (available in the School of Food Sicence) and pharmaceuticals (available in the School of Pharmacy). For applied research, there is also experience in designing data collection and analysis methods of actual industrial data for process assessment and continuous process improvement.
This expertise has a wide applicability; recent examples include:
- process simulation, analysis and consistency improvement of pharmaceutical tablets, from granulation to finished product;
- assessment and consistency improvement of the solubility of pharmaceutical tablets;
- air and impingement drying of foods and non-food materials;
- combined drying processes of foods;
- microencapsulation and enteric coating of labile active ingredients;
- quality and energy optimisation of thermally processed foods and beverages.
Dr. Jorge Oliveira email: email@example.com
Dr. Denis Ring email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kevin Cronin email: email@example.com