Modelling of Multi-Phase Transport Processes to Enable Automation in Manufacturing


The SFI funded SPOKES project (“Modelling of Multi-Phase Transport Processes to Enable Automation in Manufacturing”) is a research collaboration between the Johnson & Johnson Automation Centre of Excellence, Rusal AAL and the University of Limerick focusing on the development of advanced modelling methodologies to maximise manufacturing competitiveness.

The manufacture of pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics, biomedical and chemical products is complex and costly. Achieving high efficiency and increased plant manufacturing capacity at low cost, demands innovative engineering design and scale-up approaches. Fundamentally, challenges exist in simulating both complex powder flow behaviour and fluid dynamics within manufacturing processes. Therefore, some of Ireland’s leading mathematicians and engineers will work with industry partners to develop advanced modelling methodologies to maximise manufacturing competitiveness. This project will generate substantial intellectual property for Irish universities and guarantee commercial advantage for Irish-based companies, to reaffirm Ireland as a Global Hub for Pharmaceutical Process Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing.

Publications arising directly from the Spoke

Crawford, D.E., Miskimmin, C.K.G., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G., James, S.L., Organic synthesis by Twin Screw Extrusion (TSE): Continuous, scalable and solvent-free (2017) Green Chem., 19 (6), pp. 1507-1518. [IF: 8.506]
Davis, M.T., Egan DP, Kuhs M, Albadarin AB, Griffin CS, Collins JA et al., Amorphous solid dispersions of BCS class II drugs: A rational approach to solvent and polymer selection (2016) Che. Eng. Res. & Design, 110, pp. 192-199. [IF: 0.9]
Davis, M.T., Potter CB, Mohammadpour M, Albadarin AB, Walker GM. et al., Design of spray dried ternary solid dispersions comprising itraconazole, soluplus and HPMCP (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 519 (1-2), pp. 365-372. [IF: 1.315]
Douglas, P., Kuhs M, Sajjia M, Khraisheh M, Walker G, Collins MN, et al., Bioactive PCL matrices with a range of structural and; rheological properties (2016) Reactive & Func. Polymers, 101, pp. 54-62. [IF: 0.800]
Douglas, P., Albadarin AB, Sajjia M, Mangwandi C, Kuhs M, Collins MN et al. Effect of poly ethylene glycol on the mechanical and thermal properties of bioactive poly(ε- caprolactone) melt extrudates for pharmaceutical applications (2016) Inter. J. Pharm., 500 (1- 2), pp. 179-186. [IF: 3.994]
Kuhs M, Moore J, Kollamaram G, Walker G, Croker D., Predicting optimal wet granulation parameters for extrusion-spheronisation of pharmaceutical pellets, (2017)  Inter. J.  Pharm., 517 (1-2), pp. 19-24. [IF: 3.994]
Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G., Statistical analysis of industrial-scale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’, (2016) Inter. J. Pharm., 513 (1-2), pp. 453-463. [IF:3.994]
Sajjia, M., et al. Mechanistic modelling of industrial-scale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’ (2017) Computers & Chem. Eng., 104, pp. 141-150
Sajjia, M., et al. ANN Analysis of a Roller Compaction Process in the  Pharmaceutical Industry (2017) Chem. Eng. & Tech., 40 (3), pp. 487-492.
Shirazian, S., et al. Artificial neural network modelling of continuous wet granulation using a twin-screw extruder (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 521 (1-2), pp. 102-109.

Papers submitted to the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (2017)

List of Authors: Ahmad   B.   Albadarin,   Ahmad   Zaiee,   Barbara   Schaller,   Bernardo   Castro Dominguez,
Catherine Potter, Darren Whitaker, Emmet O'Reilly, Gavin Walker, Kevin Moroney, Luis Padrela, Mark Davis, Maurice N. Collins, Patrick Cronin, Rahamatullah Shaikh, Shaza Darwish, Samuel Solomon, Seyedeh Pishnamazi.
1.    Investigation of Spatial Molecular Arrangements of Itraconazole in Solid Dispersions Prepared Using HME: Effect of Compression Conditions and Polymer Selection.
2.    Implementation of process analytical tools for design of control limits by predictive control in the roll compaction of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
3.    Implementation of model predictive control to monitor and maintain drug  polymorphic purity during a pharmaceutical wet granulation process using Raman spectroscopy as a PAT tool.
4.    Roller compaction integrated work stream in pharmaceutical manufacturing: population balance modelling.
5.    Investigation of chemical bond formation between particles during powder processing via FTIR and Raman.
6.    Limitations of NIR Spectroscopy as a PAT-Tool in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Multi-scale Predictive Modelling of Spray Drying Process.
7.    Multi-scale Predictive Modelling of Spray Drying Process.

Aisling Arthur is the SSPC Spokes Manager working on this project, email:

SSPC MOMEnTUM Lead Principal Investigators:

Prof. Gavin Walker, University of Limerick

Prof. Harry Van den Akker, University of Limerick

Prof. Stephen O’Brien, University of Limerick

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr Emmet O'Reilly, Dr Denise Croker and Dr Maurice Collins

Research Fellow: Dr Ahmad B. Albadarin

Post Doctoral researchers: Dr Barbara Schaller, Dr Patrick Cronin, Dr Mohammad Pourtousi, Dr Kevin Moroney, Arman Safdari and Dr Ekeoma Ijioma

PhD Candidates: Ahmad Ziaee, Seyedeh Pishnamazi and Sudharsan Srinivasan