Detection of Proteins using Ultraviolet Fluorescence 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:
09 October 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

Food manufacturing is the largest and one of the most resource intensive sectors in the world. Within this industry, cleaning of food processing equipment is a critical operation to control safety, cross contamination of allergens and maintain food quality. Currently, many cleaning processes are set up to be risk averse and consequently ‘over clean’ which wastes chemicals, energy and water, and reduces availability of production processes. A current body of work at Loughborough has identified the applicability of ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence to optimise cleaning cycles to detect how clean processing equipment is during cleaning. The feasibility of the technology has been proven at the laboratory scale but has not been optimised.

The proposed research aims to develop a better understanding of the fluorescence of proteins under exposure to UV light in order to optimise the environmental conditions for detection of specific foodstuffs during industrial cleaning. In addition, an image processing procedure is required to interpret the recorded fluorescence into information that can be used by cleaning control systems (either manual or automated). The successful candidate will have access to a new laboratory scale set of clean-in-place tanks (100 litres) and will be expected to design and build a number of experiments to characterise protein fluorescence under UV excitation. In addition, suitable image capture technologies and processing should be established. It is highly likely that the successful outcomes from the project will be implemented within a major UK food manufacturing company during the PhD programme.


Primary supervisor: Dr Elliot Woolley

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Elliot Woolley 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.

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Food Science, Chemical Engineering or a related subject.

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Image processing, food engineering.

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: EWUF2018