This research area covers the design, operation, modelling, control and optimisation of chemical, physical and biological bulk-product processes that are conducted continuously or repeatedly.
This research area focuses on the design, operation, modelling, control and optimisation of chemical, physical and biological bulk-product processes that are conducted continuously or repeatedly.
The area encompasses research concerned with different components (for example, process chemistry and biochemical processes, reactor design and engineering, separations, membranes) and their integration into a new or existing process or plant. This might involve taking a holistic approach to the design, modelling and operation of a whole system or plant, or consideration of individual components and operations within it.
This research area also includes associated fundamental understanding of the operation of the components and system and their dynamics (for example reaction engineering). Research in this area is central to addressing current and future national challenges related to sustainability and resource efficiency.
To ensure a balanced portfolio, we have considered this strategy alongside the broader chemical engineering portfolio including the Complex fluids and rheology, and Particle technology research areas.
We will work with the community to focus on collaboration across the chemistry and chemical engineering interface, identifying opportunities for multidisciplinary research that delivers against our prosperity outcomes and ambitions. Opportunities may exist to link to the Engineering Grand Challenge addressing engineering across length scales, from atoms to applications.
Student training remains highly relevant in this research area and across the wider chemical engineering portfolio due to the growing number of chemical engineering undergraduates, drawn by strong industrial demand. We will work with the chemical engineering community to explore and address any concerns over academic leadership and the balance of support across all career levels.
Industry continues to have a vital role, not only in translating fundamental academic research but also in defining commercially sensible and measurable targets for step change improvements. Working with key stakeholders to strengthen links in this portfolio would be highly beneficial.
The community should work across chemistry, chemical engineering and manufacturing disciplines to link discovery with process and manufacture. Interdisciplinary working will allow smart approaches to challenges which cross traditional boundaries. This connected working will strengthen the chemicals continuum and help develop an appropriately skilled workforce for the relevant sectors.
Encouraging integrated approaches to the design of biochemical products and processes continues to be a key priority.
This research area plays a key role in maximising the opportunities presented by new and emerging platform technologies, for example synthetic biology, for which scale-up will become an increasingly important issue. The process engineering community should seek to develop links to such emerging areas to help maximise their potential.