Research Student Project


Research Student Project

Supervisor name & contact details: Name: Carl Sullivan,

School: Food Science and Environmental Health


Name: PJ Cullen

School: Food Science and Environmental Health


PAT group, Food and Health Research Centre Research Centre Name and Website (if


Please indicate if the intention is to transfer from the Masters programme to the PhD programme (if applicable)

Please indicate if the project is suitable for a self-funded student

Funding Agency

Scholarship Details



Subject Area

Title of the Project

Enterprise Ireland

Fees will be paid with a stipend of €16,000 per annum

Chemical Engineering

Process Analytical Technology for Dairy Powder manufacture

Project Description (max 300 words)

Dairy-based powders are not only used for recombination or reconstitution, but they can be exploited for their intrinsic functional properties for application as a food ingredient in several “value-added foods”. Agglomerated milk powders are produced to give improved properties such as flowability, dispersibility, reduced dustiness, and decreased bulk density. The key function of these powders is to dissolve “instantly” upon addition to water. The instant properties of a milk powder are dependent on the physical properties of the agglomerate. This project will evaluate a prototype particle characteriser to control powder agglomeration during spray drying of Instant Milk

Powders. Agglomerated particles will be assessed under static and fluidised conditions using real-time stereoscopic imaging. Firstly, the efficacy of the sensor will be evaluated to monitor agglomerate size distributions, shape ratios and morphology will be assessed for various particle agglomerate structures and sizes. Based upon these results the system will be tested during the agglomeration process to provide a means of control and prediction of downstream bulk powder properties of flow, bulk density, dissolution etc.

Please indicate the student requirements for this project:

The successful applicant will work on laboratory based investigation of advanced optical techniques for monitoring powder properties.

Applicants for this position should possess an honours degree at 2.1 level or above in Chemical

Engineering, process engineering or technology area. Applicants should have a demonstrable knowledge of at least one of the following: optical sensors, image analysis, chemometrics, process control. Applicants should also possess a working knowledge of computer packages such as Matlab, R etc and have an interest in developing technology based solutions for manufacturing.

Applications can apply online at the following link:


Deadline to submit applications (only for funded projects)

22 th September 2015