Inhalers and inhaler technology PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
6 years
Reference number:
Start date:
01 April 2019
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
10 September 2018



in the UK for research quality

REF 2014


in the UK for Mechanical Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2018


of 2 Queen's Anniversary Prizes


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Inhalers are widely used to treat chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Several 100 millions of patients worldwide rely on pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) or dry-powder inhalers (DPIs) to manage their condition and ensure a good quality of life.

Thermofluids and Healthcare Engineering research groups have opportunities to contribute to research, development and commercialisation of pharmaceutical inhaler products and improve the quality of life of patients:

  • Fundamentals of aerosol production processes in pressurised metered dose inhalers - development of next-generation inhaler devices based on green (HFO) propellants: multiphase flow, atomisation & sprays, phenomenological modelling, CFD modelling, device development, next-generation propellants
  • Fundamentals of fluidisation processes in dry-powder inhalers: multiphase flow, fluidisation, phenomenological modelling, CFD modelling, device development
  • Drug deposition and transport processes governing delivery and uptake of inhaled therapeutic agents: drug-device interactions, drug deposition in airways, filtration processes, muco-ciliary clearance, diffusion, trans-membrane transport
  • Patient-inhaler interactions - understanding and controlling patient-specific factors and human factors in inhaler use: multiphase flow, CFD modelling, drug deposition processes, flow-tissue interaction (FSI), human factors 
  • Patient-centered inhaler devices - multi-disciplinary research to apply advances in sensor array technology and embedded intelligence: inhaler design, smart inhalers, sensor technology, health condition monitoring, digital integration, human factors 
  • Nasal drug delivery: fundamentals of drug delivery to brain via the nasal cavity


Primary supervisor: Mr Henk Versteeg

Find out more

For further project details email Mr Henk Versteeg or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, please visit our website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant engineering or science discipline. 

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: computational fluid dynamics, flow modelling, chemical engineering, multiphase flow, atomisation & sprays, fluidisation.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: HVUF2018