Chemical Engineering

Staff

Dr Andy Stapley MA MEng PhD MIFST AMIChemE

Photo of Dr Andy Stapley

Senior Lecturer

Undergraduate Programme Director

Background:

Andy obtained both his first degree (MEng, 1990) and PhD (1995) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. His PhD (sponsored by Weetabix Ltd) looked at understanding the uptake of moisture of cooking wheat grains using magnetic resonance imaging as the primary tool. He then researched into chocolate tempering for Cadbury’s as a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham until 1999, when he took up a lectureship at Loughborough, where he continued his research interests in fat crystallisation and heat and mass transfer in food processing, focussing the latter aspect on drying processes. He gained promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2007.

Andy was Overseas Admissions Tutor for Chemical Engineering from 2003-2011, Admissions Tutor from 2011-2017, and took on the role of Director of Undergraduate Programmes in 2017.

Outline of main research interests:

I have two main research interests: drying and fat crystallisation.

  • My drying interests encompass spray drying, freeze drying (conventional and fluid bed based) and spray freeze drying, which have applications to the food and pharmaceutical industries. I am interested in all aspects of drying, including drying kinetics, structure formation, and product quality and functionality (including the ability to encapsulate). All are interlinked. I have recently started using mono-disperse atomisers which give much greater control over drop size and allow much more accurate studies to be made. Drying has a number of applications and I am currently working with Dr Danish Malik on encapsulating macrophages, as these have great potential to reduce our dependence on antibiotics when treating bacterial infections.
  • I have been interested in fat crystallisation ever since my post-doctoral research at Cadbury’s where I found out that fundamental models for explaining the crystallisation rates of cocoa butter did not exist. They still don’t, but the aim is to get ever closer, by studying these and similar systems as well as model fats. Fats are complex polymorphic and multicomponent systems, which makes them both difficult to process industrially and interesting to study – so a good topic for research!

Grants and contracts:

  • 2018 – onwards   BBSRC Newton Fund (with DJ Malik) “The development of a phage food additive with the aim to control Salmonella in swine and poultry”.
  • 2013 - 2016   EU FP7, ENTHALPY “Enabling the drying process to save energy and water, realising process efficiency in the dairy chain”
  • 2011 – 2015   BBSRC/Nestlé, “Compatibility and Crystallisation of Confectionery Fats”.
  • 2009 - 2013   IOI – Loders Croklaan Europe, “Production of Cocoa Butter Equivalents by Enzymic Rearrangement”.
  • 2009   EPSRC, Surface Character and Integrity of Multi-component Systems During Spray Drying.
  • 2009   East Midlands Development Agency, “Leaving out the lumps –using nanotechnology to increase the quality of spray-dried powdered food products”.
  • 2008 – 2009   DEFRA Feasibility LINK, “Demonstration of spray freeze drying for the manufacture of food ingredients and products”.

Selected publications:

A widely cited paper (almost 300 citations), where we provided set out thermodynamic framework for the kinetics of fat crystallisation.

  • Himawan, C., Starov, V. M., & Stapley, A. G. F. (2006). Thermodynamic and Kinetic Aspects of Fat Crystallization. Adv. Colloid Interface Sci., 122(1-3), 3-33.

We have applied the concepts of the above paper to the model system of tripalmitin/triolein, and have extended the analysis to polymorphic transitions and the thermodynamic driving forces behind these.

  • Stewart, D. I., Chong, P. S., & Stapley, A. G. F. (2017). Investigation of the Crystallization and Melting of the Tripalmitin/Triolein System via Hot Stage Microscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, and Pulsed NMR. Crystal Growth & Design, 17(6), 3005-3016.

In this study we have used freeze drying microscopy to probe the link between sublimation frontal velocities and ice crystal microstructure.

  • Ray, P., Rielly, C. D., & Stapley, A. G. F. (2017). A freeze-drying microscopy study of the kinetics of sublimation in a model lactose system. Chem. Eng. Sci., 172, 731-743.

View central admin publications database

External Collaborators:

  • Nestlé PTC, York
  • IOI - Loders Croklaan Europe, Netherlands
  • OVGU, Magdeburg, Germany
  • TNO, Netherlands
  • BODEC, Netherlands

External roles and appointments:

  • Member of European Confederation of Chemical Engineers (EFCE) Working Party on Drying.
  • Subject Editor and Member of the Editorial Board of Transactions of the IChemE, Part C: Food and Bioproducts Processing (Institution of Chemical Engineers).
  • Secretary of the Lipids Technical Interest Group of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI).
  • Committee member of the Food and Drink Special Interest Group of the IChemE.
  • External Examiner for Undergraduate Programmes for the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading.
  • Member of the Scientific Committee, 16th EuroFedLipid Congress, Belfast 2018.