Postgraduate research opportunities

Improving purity of crystalline pharmaceutical products using advanced nano-tomography techniques

Filtration and washing of pharmaceutical products is classically undertaken empirically. This project will use nano-computed tomography (nano-CT), a high-resolution cross-sectional imaging technique to track the progress of washing at high resolution in real time.

Number of places



12 February 2021


3 years


Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering/science discipline, and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research.

Project Details

Filtration is classically used to separate product crystals from the impure mother liquor from which they were crystallized. For this to be completely effective the residual mother liquor must be removed by washing with a suitable solvent. This is an essential step in pharmaceutical manufacturing however it has not been subject to intense scrutiny and most processes are developed empirically. This PhD project sets out to use nano-computed tomography (nano-CT) to obtain high-resolution cross-sectional images using a beam of X-rays with a focal spot of ca 400nm. The project will also examine other tomography techniques, potentially including the I13 beam line at the DIAMOND, the UK synchrotron which would allow the collection of real time data resolutions as small as 50nm. These innovative techniques will yield unprecedented information on the washing step, leading to optimisation of the drug manufacture process.

All Strathclyde Postgraduate Research (PGR) students undertake the Strathclyde Researcher Development programme (PGCert), which provides a framework for skills and knowledge development, with the award of the separate qualification in conjunction with the PhD. Additionally, all PGR students are automatically enrolled in the Strathclyde Doctoral School, providing opportunities for students to network and intensifying their research dissemination.

Funding Details

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. However, excellent candidates will be eligible to be considered for a University scholarship.

Contact us

James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G1 1XJ

How to apply

Apply for this project here – please quote the project title in your application.

During the application you'll be asked for the following information and evidence uploaded to the application:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if you are not from a majority English-speaking country as recognised by UKVI
  • two references, one of which must be academic. Please see our guidance on referees
  • funding or scholarship information
  • international students must declare any previous UK study

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

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