Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Chemical Engineering

Research

Serena Morelli

PhD in Chemical Engineering

Sorena Morelli
Sorena Morelli

I completed my MSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Calabria and following a Skype interview I was offered a place with a full scholarship at Loughborough University to do my PhD. I had never been to the UK before, in fact I had never been outside of Italy and so it was all change!

As I was due to start my PhD in October, after applying in April, it didn’t leave much time to get to grips with the English language in order to be in a position to understand the course materials, but I was lucky enough to attend a two week English course in Oxford, which was a beautiful place.

Although there are many social opportunities here at the University, I am very focussed on my work and will continue to be, but maybe in the future, if I get time, I will join one of the groups. For now, I relax by reading English books – this helps me to continuously improve my English, which is great.

In terms of my course, I have to say that it is very well organised here and the labs are excellent. The professors are extremely supportive and encourage opinions and we are really protected well in terms of personal health and safety whilst on site.

What I enjoy most about my course is that it is possible to speak to people who are very knowledgeable, which therefore makes it really easy to learn. In particular, I would like to thank my two supervisors; Professor Richard Holdich and Dr Marijana Dragosavac, who have been extremely supportive and helpful.

I have attended a number of conferences whilst being here – we are actively encouraged to attend them, which is really good, as I really enjoy the stimulating environment and the possibility of sharing ideas and meeting other PhD students and scientists. This year I have won two prizes; ‘Research Impact’ at the Health and Wellbeing Conference 2014; and; ‘Best Short Talk Presentation’ at the Loughborough Doctoral College Conference 2014. I think that attending these kinds of events is an important element of this kind of work as it is very important to learn how to share ideas and collaborate with others. To sum it up, I would say that you need to stay curious!

I have no specific plans for when I complete my PhD, I may choose to do a post doctorate or go into industry – there are far more opportunities in the UK for professionals with my skills, so I may look for work opportunities here, possibly in the area of drugs and medicines.

 

Keddon Powell

PhD in Chemical Engineering

Keddon Powell
Keddon Powell

After completing a BSc double-degree in General and Applied Chemistry with first class honours at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica I was offered a high profile post at the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS). In my role as a Scientific Officer at ICENS I worked on several ground breaking projects involving the "Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy", the most notable involved the mitigation of heavy metal contamination of soils which lead to poisoning incidents in children and adults. Following a 2-year stint at ICENS, I was awarded a scholarship to pursue a MSc in Applied Analytical Chemistry at the University Of Limerick, Ireland. Studying in Ireland was a great experience, which prepared me well for my next adventure, a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University. My PhD research topic is ‘Improving Continuous Crystallisation Using Process Analytical Technologies’. The aim of my project is to provide flexible and agile engineering designs for the production of better quality particles for pharmaceutical drug formulations, more sustainably and at lower cost. I decided to study at Loughborough University because of the impressive track record of the Department of Chemical Engineering. The department is home to the Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre (IMCRC) in Regenerative Medicine, and is a founding member of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing Continuous in Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC) of which I am apart. As an EPSRC CMAC researcher, I have worked with a consortium of pharmaceutical companies including GSK, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Norvartis, as well as colleagues across seven highly reputed universities. I also chose Loughborough University because it offers a unique single site campus experience, which makes cross-departmental work really easy. 

 Before choosing to study at Loughborough University, I did extensive research to examine the credentials of the research staff in my current department. I was please to find that many of the staff were renowned in their fields of research. My supervisors Prof. C.D. Rielly and Prof. Z.K. Nagy have impressive track records, and between them provide a good balance of support, which is practical, analytical and detailed, but also promotes independent thinking, which helps me to steer my work in the right direction.

When I first arrived at Loughborough University, I became involved with the PostGraduate Association and attended social events, such as speed networking which was great, but my spare time is limited and I now enjoy using the university gym, pool and sports facilities to relax.  I have also taken on the role of Sub Warden in one of the Halls on campus, which can be quite challenging at times, but has helped me develop better communication and time management skills.

The best part of my PhD to date was my involvement in the EPSRC CMAC doctoral training programmer, where I did courses relevant to my research topic at each of the seven universities that are a part of the Centre over a 1-year period. The collaborative and multidisciplinary nature of the work, and the opportunity to utilise such a broad range of high tech facilities, as well as being able to work with highly esteemed academics and industrialist has been fantastic!  I have also enjoyed working on my PhD topic to address the problems of unsustainable wastage and high production and end-user costs in the pharmaceutical industry, where generally speaking, a ‘recipe’ based approach to drug manufacture is used. I am working on a continuous flow manufacturing method, which will hopefully reduce waste and production cost in the pharmaceutical industry. This will lead to faster approval and release of drug products to consumers and will also reduce the cost of treating diseases both for government health authorities and patients.

I am confident that when I complete my PhD at Loughborough University, I will work in the pharmaceutical or fine chemicals industry as a process engineering or chemometrician, given the highly technical and valuable skills I will have gained from my project. Because my area of research is a new and emerging topic, there will be many opportunities across different industries, where there are currently skills gaps.  The knowledge and skills I have gained during my PhD project here at Loughborough University enables me to feel confident about my future career. I would highly recommend doing a research degree at Loughborough University where there are world class research facilities, all staff are accessible and helpful, and the academic staff available to you are outstanding.

 

Contact us

Department of Chemical Engineering
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU
UK

+44 (0)1509 222 533