Chemical Engineering


Professor Gerry Steele BSc, MSc, PhD, CChem FRSC, CEng, MIChemE, MAPS

Photo of Professor Gerry Steele

Visiting Professor


Gerry graduated with an Honours degree in Chemistry from Paisley College of Technology in 1978.  After working in the food industry for a year, he continued his studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow where he gained an MSc in Applied Colloid and Interface Science (1981) and a PhD in colloidal drug delivery (1984) from the Departments of Pure and Applied Chemistry and Pharmacy respectively.  After a further year as a research associate in the Pharmacy Department, where he constructed an instrument to measure drug-membrane interactions using quasi-elastic laser light scattering, he joined Fisons Pharmaceuticals in Loughborough in 1985. 

From 1985-2002 he worked as the Preformulation team manager in the Pharmaceutical and Analytical R&D Department of AstraZeneca R&D Charnwood.  In this role, he led a team that conducted physicochemical characterisation and selection studies of candidate drugs for development.  During 2002 he transferred to the Process Engineering function of Process R&D where, as a Principal Scientist, he built a team concentrating on the development, scale up and trouble-shooting of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) crystallisation processes.  During this time he also significantly increased the process analytical technology (PAT) capability of the department. In April 2011, Gerry elected for early retirement due to AZ’s exit from its Loughborough site.

Outline of main research interests:

  • Batch and continuous industrial pharmaceutical crystallisation processes development
  • Process Analytical Technology (PAT) 
  • Preformulation and physical pharmacy studies 
  • Organic solid-state analysis and polymorphism
  • Colloidal drug delivery

Selected publications:

  • Z.K. Nagy, M. Baker, N. Pedge and G. Steele Supersaturation and Direct Nucleation Control with in situ Seed Generation of an Industrial Pharmaceutical Crystallization Process Using a Crystallization Process Informatics System (CryPRINS) Proceedings 18th BIWIC International Workshop on Industrial Crystallization 2011, Eds Kadam et al. pp101-106, TU Delft, The Netherlands, 7-9th Sept. 2011
  • G. Steele, P. Morgan, A. Kavanagh, S. Gracin, L. Griffiths, S. Lawton, H. Huang, Macleod, F. Muller and S. Black Manufacturing Drug Substance that Meets Formulation Needs AIChE Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, US, 7-11th Nov. (2010)
  • K. S. Howard, Z. K. Nagy, B. Saha, A. L. Robertson and G. Steele Combined PAT-Solid State Analytical Approach for the Detection and Study of Sodium Benzoate Hydrate Org. Proc. Res. Dev. 13: 590-597 (2009)
  • K. S. Howard, Z. K. Nagy, B. Saha, A. L. Robertson and G. Steele A Process Analytical Technology Based Investigation of the Polymorphic Transformations During the Anti-Solvent Crystallization of Sodium Benzoate from an IPA/WaterMixture Cryst. Growth Des. 9: 3964-3975 (2009)
  • S. Lawton, G. Steele, P. Shering, X.-W. Ni, L. Zhao and I. Laird Continuous Crystallisation of a Pharmaceutical Using a Continuous Oscillatory Baffled Crystalliser Org. Proc. Res. Dev. 13 1357-1363 (2009)

Professional affiliations:

  • Member of British Association for Crystal Growth (BACG)
  • Member of Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MAPS)
  • Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (CEng IChemE)
  • Charted Chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (CChem FRSC)

External appointments:

  • Visiting Professor to the Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences Member EPSRC Peer Review College
  • PhD examiner, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University (2010) Secretary, BACG (2003-2008)

Invited and keynote lectures:

  • Continuous Crystallisation of Pharmaceuticals using an Oscillatory Baffled Crystalliser Invited lecture to the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences annual meeting, Nottingham 1st Sept. (2011)
  • Pharmaceutical Crystallisation Processes and their Impact on Particle Properties Keynote lecture, 10th IChemE Particle Technology Forum, University of Birmingham, UK. 1-2nd July (2009)
  • In-Line Studies of Crystallisation Keynote lecture Advances in Proc. Analytics and Control Tech. (APACT) 2007 Conference, Edinburgh, 2-4th May (2007)
  • In-Line Studies of Pharmaceutical Crystallisation Invited lecture Scientific Update conference on PAT in Organic Process R&D, Clearwater, Florida, 26-27th Nov. (2007)
  • In-Line Studies of the Oiling Out and Crystallisation of Pharmaceutical Compounds Presented to the 2nd International Conference on Process Analytical Technology (PAT) in Organic Process R&D, Milan, Italy, 20-23rd June (2006)
  • Process Engineering Aspects of Crystallisation Development and Scale-Up Invited presentation at the A* STAR Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), Jurong Island, Singapore, 11th Oct. (2006)
  • Preformulation - Candidate Drug Selection, Characterisation and Implications for Product Design Invited lecture at the Exploiting Emerging Formulation Sciences & Technologies for Pharmaceutical & Fine Chemicals Manufacturing Symposium. Biopolis, Singapore, 12th Oct. (2006)
  • From Molecules to a Medicine - The Viozan Story Invited lecture at the Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Nov. 28th (2006)
  • The Modern Solid-State Analysis Laboratory Keynote paper presented to the 3rd International Workshop on the Physical Characterization of Pharmaceutical Solids, Oxford, June 10-14th (2002)

Scientific committee of international conferences and courses:

  • 2004-2008 BACG annual meetings (Leeds, Sheffield, Heriot-Watt, Dublin and Loughborough Universities).
  • 2010 AstraZeneca 5th External Science Symposium.