A Digital Twin for technoeconomic modelling and optimisation of VOC abatement in the pharma industry

This collaborative research project between the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and a major multinational pharmaceutical company will employ high-fidelity numerical modelling to capture, visualise and optimise the design and operation of organic solvent removal processes towards the sustainable and environmentally benign production of medications.

In particular, this project aims to combine first-principles (physics-based) and data-driven process modelling, in order to achieve process intensification in capturing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from gas effluents. Current VOC capture technology faces dire challenges due to the highly variant incoming feed composition and organic solvent loads, but also due to significant outsourcing and maintenance costs for adsorbent regeneration.

This project will develop computational tools and methodologies to address VOC capture performance challenges. Ultimately, this will lead to higher effluent processing unit efficiency and much lower (VOC gas leak) environmental risks, which in turn imply lower Operating Expenditures (OpEx) and pave the way for lower manufacturing and drug costs at higher plant efficiency. Industrial placements and collaboration are an integral part of this project.

The Gerogiorgis Research Group at the School of Engineering (University of Edinburgh) employs high-fidelity first-principles modelling and advanced numerical methods for systematic synthesis, design and optimisation of complex chemical processes, with emphasis on continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing and comparative technoeconomic analyses for pharmaceuticals, bioproducts, food/drinks and energy. Their research is recognised with multiple IChemE Global Award distinctions, an Academy of Athens research publication prize, and a recent Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Industrial Fellowship.

Further Information: 

Closing Date: 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees and stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students can apply, but the funding only covers the Home/EU fee rate)

Further information and other funding options.