Study an Energy and Power MSc at Cranfield

Chemical Engineering is key in addressing global challenges relating to sustainable supply of clean energy, food and water, through the production of chemicals, functionalised products and fuels. The MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering provides technical and management training that employers increasingly demand from chemical engineers. The programme offers two elective study routes. The general chemical engineering option covers core chemical engineering subjects with a focus on theoretical and practical elements in operation, design and control of a wide range of chemical processes. The biorefining route provides advanced understanding of the production of bioenergy and biofuels while strengthening the knowledge on chemical engineering discipline. Cranfield’s strong reputation and links with industry provide outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers.

Energy and power course video

Overview

  • Start dateFull-time: October. Part-time: October
  • DurationOne year full-time, two-three years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught Modules 40%, Group Project 20%, Individual Research Project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as chemical engineering professionals.

Our general Chemical Engineering route equips you with diversified skills in advanced engineering, which includes theoretical and practical elements in operation, design, and control of a wide range of chemical processes. The Biorefining route (formerly the Biofuels Process Engineering MSc) equips you with fundamental understanding of chemical engineering and solid skills to address the challenges of the rapidly growing and dynamic bioenergy sector. This option covers the sustainable production of heat, power and fuels from biomass within the biorefining framework. Both routes include training in management applied to the energy sector which enables engineers to effectively fulfil a wider role in a business organisation.

Your career

Industry driven research makes our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for recruitment by companies competing in a range of industries, including chemicals, petrochemicals, biochemicals, conventional energy and bioenergy, food, materials, consultancy and management.

Those wishing to continue their education via PhD or MBA studies in the chemical or energy sectors will be greatly facilitated by the interdisciplinary, project-oriented profile that they will have acquired through this course.

Cranfield Careers Service
Our Careers Service can help you find the job you want after leaving Cranfield. We will work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation.We have been providing Masters level training for over 20 years. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers. The increasing interest in sustainability and corporate and social responsibility has also enhanced the career prospects of our graduates.

Why this course?

Chemical engineering is a continuously evolving discipline linked to a variety of industries. Chemical engineers lead the design of large-scale facilities in the chemical, petrochemical, and industrial biotechnology sectors.

A distinguished feature of this course is that it is not directed exclusively at chemical engineering graduates. This MSc will provide you with the training and knowledge skill set that employers actively seek in a desirable engineering graduate. We recognise the importance of an interdisciplinary approach; as such the core and optional modules and course contents have been carefully developed to meet the engineering skill shortage currently faced within industry. In particular, no other university in the UK offers a MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering with a dedicated option in Biorefining. You will develop the professional profile required by the growing biobased sector (more than 480,000 jobs and annual turnover of about €50 million only in the European Union), with a high level of skills' transferability across the chemical and energy sectors.

Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university with distinctive expertise in technology and management. There are also numerous benefits associated with undertaking a postgraduate programme of study in here. These include:

  • Teaching activities involving bespoke pilot plant facilities
  • Undertaking projects in consultation with industry, government and its agencies, local authorities and consultants
  • Lecturing from leading academics and industrial practitioners
  • Dedicated support for off-campus learners including extensive information resources managed by our library.
  • Very well located for part-time students which enables students from all over the world to complete their qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.
  • A Career Development Service, which is an accredited member of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) and provides a personalised service to Cranfield students and alumni, working to enhance careers and increase opportunities. 

Course details

The taught programme is delivered from October to February and is comprised of eight modules. The modules are delivered over one week of intensive delivery with the later part of the module being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the Course Director.

Group project

The Group Project, undertaken between February and April, enables you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context, while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research. Projects are often supported by industry and potential future employers value this experience. The group project is normally multidisciplinary and shared across the Energy MSc programme, giving the added benefit of working with students with other backgrounds.

Each group is given an industrially relevant problem to solve. During the project you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a poster presentation to industry partners. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a Group Project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Recent Group Projects include:


Individual project

The individual research project allows students to investigate deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. The individual research project component takes place between May and September.

If agreed with the Course Director, part-time students have the opportunity to undertake projects in collaboration with their place of work, which would be supported by academic supervision.

Individual research projects undertaken may involve feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations, designs, simulations, and experimental investigations.

Previous individual research projects include:

  • Microwave-assisted hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae.
  • Co-pyrolysis of biomass and oil sand bitumen.
  • Production of a H2-rich gas from steam gasification of biomass with CO2 removal.
  • Techno-economic analysis of hydrogen production from steam gasification of fast pyrolysis bio-oil.
  • Co-upgrading of heavy oil and bio-oil: synergies and challenges of the technology.
  • Design and simulation of a process plant to obtain jet fuel from microalgae biomass.
  • Design of a lab scale setup for Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) of Isochorysis and Pavlova, algae species and analysis of the products obtained from the process
  • Comparison of microalgae biomass production using organic manure and anaerobic digestate organic fertilisers as nutrient sources
  • Algem™ - Developing multi-parametric simulations of global microalgae productivity
  • Developing a technology platform for large scale ultrasonic-assisted extraction of chemicals from olive mill waste.

Assessment

Taught Modules 40%, Group Project 20%, Individual Research Project 40%

University Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2017–2018. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2018 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Biorefining route compulsory modules

Principles of Chemical Processes

Aim

    The module focuses on the fundamentals of chemical processes. It will give the student a background to the basics of Chemical Engineering and an appreciation of what Chemical Engineers do and the challenges they encounter. The student will be able to perform calculations on mass, energy and chemical balances and tackle the dynamics (time depend) of processes, by examining reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and reactor design. The principles covered in the module are key to the design and optimisation of all industrial chemical processes.


Syllabus
    Dimensional Analysis:

    Units and Dimensions, Forming non-dimensional groups, analysis of engineering problems using dimensional reasoning.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2 and 3 see below).

    Mass and Energy Balances:

    Basic mass balance (IN = OUT + Accumulation), Reaction mass balances, Simple energy balance (Q = m Cp ȴT, Q = m ȴH), By-Pass, Recycle and Purges.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2, and 3).

    Fluid Flow:

    Flow Regimes (Laminar, Turbulent), Properties and definitions, basic fluid statics, Bernoulli’s Equation, Forces due to flow, Pressure drop in pipes, Extended Bernoulli, Pump Characteristics, Boundary Layers, Basic Rheology.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2, 3 and 4)

    Heat Transfer:

    Conduction, convection, radiation, heat exchangers. 

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2 and 3)

    Thermodynamics and Refrigeration:

    Refrigeration cycle.

    (Reading sources Books 5, 6  + others, there are many!)

    Mass Transfer:

    Diffusion/Convection, Henrys Law, Whitman Two film theory.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2 and 7)

    Reaction Kinetics:

    0, 1st, 2nd Order reactions, Michaelis-Menten style.

    (Reading sources: Book 8, or any book of chemical reactors or any standard chemistry book).

    Reactors: Basic Reactors (Plug Flow, CSTR).

    (Reading sources:  Books 9 and 10)

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Perform mass and energy balance calculations
  • Formulate principles of fluid flow in pipes
  • Predict heat transfer rates in equipment
  • Formulate mass transfer principles to calculate rates
  • Effectively combine mass and energy balances and kinetics for the design of reactors
  • Critically evaluate the performance of the two basic Reactors (Plug Flow, CSTR) based on the chemical process considered.

Principles of Renewable Energy Technologies

Module Leader
  • Dr Ying Jiang
Aim

    An understanding of the principles of renewable energy technologies is key to understanding the technological basis of the systems and applications, particularly with regards to the overall energy mix of a specific country. The module provides the fundamentals of the renewable energy technologies and their impact on global and national energy system. The purpose of this module is to introduce the basis for assessment of the performances of solar technologies (thermal and PV), onshore wind, biomass and waste technologies, and geothermal technologies.

Syllabus
    • Solar energy technologies, including photovoltaic and concentrated solar power [CSP];
      • Definition of solar radiation fundamentals and models of solar radiation
    • Biochemical sources of energy
      • Anaerobic digestion
      • Landfill gas
      • Waste and biomass
    • Onshore and offshore wind energy: fundamentals of wind turbines and placement.
    • Geothermal Systems (including ground-source heat pumps)
    • Wave and tidal energy technologies
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Articulate the fundamental principles, terminology and key issues related to the major onshore and offshore renewable energy technologies.
  • Critically compare the challenges for the development and operation of the major technologies, including government regulation and policy.
  • Identify gaps in the knowledge and discuss potential opportunities for further development, including technology and economic potential.

Energy from Biomass and Waste: Thermochemical Processes

Module Leader
  • Dr Peter Clough
Aim

    The module focuses on the opportunities and potential for biomass and waste to contribute to the production of renewable heat and electricity. The aim of the module is to provide students with an advanced knowledge of the sources of biomass and waste, and the range of technologies available for their conversion into bioenergy, particularly focused on thermochemical conversion.

Syllabus

    Biomass and Waste Resources:

    • Definition of chemical and physical properties and characteristics of biomass and waste as a fuel
    • Analytical methods for characterising biomass and wastes
    • Comparison to conventional fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)
    • Energy crops for bioenergy production

    Principles of thermochemical conversion processes

    • Pyrolysis
    • Gasification
    • Combustion

    Combustion Technology

    • Description of main combustion technology
    • Co-firing
    • Energy conversion systems and combined heat and power (CHP)

    Gasification Technology

    • Description of main gasification technology
    • Definition of synthesis gas (producer gas)
    • Co-gasification and IGCC

    Pyrolysis Technology

    • Description of main pyrolysis technology
    • Slow pyrolysis for char production
    • Fast pyrolysis for bio-oil production

    Fundamentals of hydrogen production and fuel cells

    • Thermochemical generation methods
    • Biological methods
    • Fuel cell technology
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Evaluate and select the most appropriate biomass and waste materials for energy conversion application;
  • Critically review the principles and technologies for biomass and waste conversion into bioenergy, and compare to fossil fuel technologies;
  • Recognize and assess appropriate energy conversion systems for bioenergy production from biomass and waste;
  • Develop and apply analytical skills to carry out mass balance and thermodynamics calculations for bioenergy conversion systems.

Evaluating Sustainability through Lifecycle Approaches

Module Leader
  • Dr Pietro Goglio
Aim

    The goods and services that we consume impose impacts on the environment. These include globally influential ones, like greenhouse gases and local ones, like water pollution. We need to quantify these to compare production or consumption methods and understand what our collective and individual consumption demands impose on the earth’s environment. We must also apply mature, critical thinking to environmental claims.

    A life cycle perspective forms the basis of much of the module. 

Syllabus
    Frameworks and approaches:

    Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Carbon and Water Footprints, the Environmental Impact Assessment, LCA, Social aspects of LCA

    Application areas:

    Manufacturing, businesses, food production and consumption, energy systems, waste management, decision makers (e.g. procurement), fishing and farming. 

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Apply the principles of environmental Life Cycle Assessment and Water foot printing to production systems.
  • Apply life cycle approaches in assessing environmental sustainability to make justifiable claims about environmental sustainability.
  • Develop the ability to analyse a production system with regards to environmental, social and economic sustainability.
  • Provide insight into real life environmental decision making.

Process Design and Simulation 

Module Leader
  • Dr Dawid Hanak
Aim
    Process design, simulation and modelling are industrially-relevant tools to assess the techno-economic feasibility of complex engineering processes. These enable assessing the project feasibility and optimising the process plant design before the actual process plant is build. These tools are widely applied in the industry to assess a number of process variants and to select the most efficient and cost-effective option. This module aims to introduce the students to the modern techniques and computer aided engineering tools for the design, simulation and optimisation of process systems. Via large share of process simulation and optimisation case studies, the module will enable the students to gather the hands-on experience of using the commercial software.
Syllabus
    Process Design
    • Overview: Conceptual process design. Process flow-sheeting.
    • Process synthesis: Overview of a process system. Recycle structure of the flowsheet. Design of reaction and separation systems.
    • Process integration: Basic concepts of process integration for heat exchanger network design.
    • Process economic analysis: Equipment capital cost estimation. Process profitability analysis.
    Process Modelling, Simulation and Optimisation
    • Modelling and simulation: Basic concepts of process modelling. General concepts of simulation. Introduction to steady and dynamic process simulation. Introduction to commercial simulation software packages (i.e, Aspen HYSYS) for process flow-sheeting, design and analysis.
    • Process optimisation techniques: Basic principles of optimisation. Presentation of a number of industrial case studies. (e.g., heat exchanges network synthesis).
    Case Studies (PC Lab and Demonstration Sessions)
    • A number of process simulation and optimisation case studies will be carried out using Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus. 

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Formulate strategies to carry out a process design and critically appraise the techniques and major commercial simulation tools for steady and dynamic process simulation. 
  • Apply competently the basic principles of process optimisation.
  • Design and analyse the performance of a process plant using simulation or optimisation tools.

Pilot Plant Operations

Module Leader
  • Dr Dawid Hanak
Aim
    This practical-focused module provides students with a critical understanding of the key differences and challenges in pilot-scale working.  The module uses several pilot-scale energy facilities at Cranfield, aligned to the aims of the courses attending the module; covering thermochemical and biochemical processes. In addition to operating the facilities, students will conduct a laboratory exercise to characterise the input and output materials (e.g. waste feedstock and solid residues) in parallel with a group exercise of monitoring and operating the pilot facility. Where appropriate there will be a visit to an external site, such as a waste management facility, to collect samples for analysis in the laboratory and within the pilot plant(s). 
Syllabus

    Policies and legislation regarding the environmental, health and safety responsibilities of operating at pilot to commercial-scale;

    • Moving from the laboratory to pilot-scale;
    • The Cranfield facilities- fluidised-bed and downdraft gasification, anaerobic digestion and chemical looping rig;
    • Understanding the chemical/physical parameters of feedstock and how these are used to identify suitable process options;
    • Explored further as part of a laboratory session covering feedstock characterisation;
    • Management of post-energy recovery residues (bottom ash, fly ash, digestate etc);
    • Technical/scientific writing and reporting skills.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Explain the key thermo/bio-chemical processes involved in recovering energy from biomass and wastes;
  • Critically evaluate the main operational challenges in operating thermal and biochemical processes;
  • Discuss and assess the properties of input materials, outline the relevance of the data obtained and critically analyse how feedstock parameters effect the output gases and solid residues.

Biofuels and Biorefining Processes

Module Leader
  • Dr Vinod Kumar
Aim

    The Biofuels and Biorefining module focuses on liquid biofuels as a current opportunity to decrease greenhouse gasses emissions when used to replace fossil fuels in motor engines, and as a route to fulfil the European goals on the use of renewable energy.

    The aim of the module is to provide students with advanced knowledge of the sources of biomass available for liquid biofuels production and the range of technologies used for conversion of the biomass into biofuels. The module covers characteristics of biomass and biofuels, conversion processes and existing technologies, and applications of biofuels including their use in alternative engines. In addition, an introduction to the biorefining concept will be provided.

Syllabus

    Raw materials for liquid biofuels production, characterisation and assessment:

    • Biofuel feedstocks and characteristics: starch- and sugar-derived biomass,oleaginous-based biomass, lignocellulosic biomass, and algae.
    • Sugar, Fatty acid, and Syngas platforms technologies

    First generation of biofuels:

    Bioethanol and ETBE production

    • Enzymes for fermentation 
    • Microbial modelling of bioethanol: microbial growth models, kinetic rare expression, temperature effects.
    • Bioreactor operation and design for bioethanol production

    Biodiesel production

    • Biodiesel production technologies: biochemical, and catalytic and non-catalytic chemical processes. 
    • Biodiesel production: biochemical aspects.
    • Biodiesel production: chemistry and thermodynamic aspects.

    Second generation of biofuels:

    • Thermochemical routes: Biomass-to-Liquids
    • Biochemical routes: Hydrolysis processes

    Third generation of biofuels:

    • Hydrothermal Liquefaction

    Biofuels and their application in engines

    • Standardization of liquid biofuels
    • Use of biofuels in engines

    High-value products from biomass feedstock

    • Main products
    • Current and prospective markets

    Biorefining

    • Classification of Biorefineries
    • Economic, social and environmental impacts of biorefining
    • Commercial biorefineries
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Identify the range of biomass resources available for liquid biofuels production;
  • Critically evaluate a range of technologies available for liquid biofuels production from biomass and analyse the potential for future reduction in costs through technological development;
  • Explain the main theoretical concepts and practical implementation associated with biofuels engineering systems;
  • Identify the high-value products that can be obtained from biomass feedstock
  • Construct simple biorefining schemes and critically evaluate the potential of biorefining processes.

Management for Technology

Aim
    The importance of technology leadership in driving the technical aspects of an organisations products, innovation, programmes, operations and strategy is paramount, especially in today’s turbulent commercial environment with its unprecedented pace of technological development. Demand for ever more complex products and services has become the norm.  The challenge for today’s manager is to deal with uncertainty, to allow technological innovation and change to flourish but also to remain within planned parameters of performance.  Many organisations engaged with technological innovation struggle to find engineers with the right skills.  Specifically, engineers have extensive subject/discipline knowledge but do not understand management processes in organisational context.  In addition, STEM graduates often lack interpersonal skills.
Syllabus
    • Engineers and Technologists in organisations: The role of organisations and the challenges facing engineers and technologies.
    • People management: Understanding you. Understanding other people. Working in teams. Dealing with conflicts.
    • The Business Environment: Understanding the business environment; identifying key trends and their implications for the organisation.
    • Strategy and Marketing: Developing effective strategies; Focusing on the customer; building competitive advantage; The role of strategic assets.
    • Finance: Profit and loss accounts. Balance sheets. Cash flow forecasting.Project appraisal.
    • New product development: Commercialising technology. Market drivers. Time to market. Focusing technology. Concerns.
    • Business game: Working in teams (companies), students will set up and run a technology company and make decisions on investment, R&D funding, operations, marketing and sales strategy.
    • Negotiation: Preparation for Negotiations. Negotiation process. Win-Win solutions.
    • Presentation skills: Understanding your audience. Focusing your message. Successful presentations. Getting your message across.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Recognise the importance of teamwork in the performance and success of organisations with particular reference to commercialising technological innovation.
  • Operate as an effective team member, recognising the contribution of individuals within the team, and capable of developing team working skills in themselves and others to improve the overall performance of a team.
  • Compare and evaluate the impact of the key functional areas (strategy, marketing and finance) on the commercial performance of an organisation, relevant to the manufacture of a product or provision of a technical service.
  • Design and deliver an effective presentation that justifies and supports any decisions or recommendations made
  • Argue and defend their judgements through constructive communication and negotiating skills.

General route compulsory modules

Principles of Chemical Processes

Aim

    The module focuses on the fundamentals of chemical processes. It will give the student a background to the basics of Chemical Engineering and an appreciation of what Chemical Engineers do and the challenges they encounter. The student will be able to perform calculations on mass, energy and chemical balances and tackle the dynamics (time depend) of processes, by examining reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and reactor design. The principles covered in the module are key to the design and optimisation of all industrial chemical processes.


Syllabus
    Dimensional Analysis:

    Units and Dimensions, Forming non-dimensional groups, analysis of engineering problems using dimensional reasoning.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2 and 3 see below).

    Mass and Energy Balances:

    Basic mass balance (IN = OUT + Accumulation), Reaction mass balances, Simple energy balance (Q = m Cp ȴT, Q = m ȴH), By-Pass, Recycle and Purges.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2, and 3).

    Fluid Flow:

    Flow Regimes (Laminar, Turbulent), Properties and definitions, basic fluid statics, Bernoulli’s Equation, Forces due to flow, Pressure drop in pipes, Extended Bernoulli, Pump Characteristics, Boundary Layers, Basic Rheology.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2, 3 and 4)

    Heat Transfer:

    Conduction, convection, radiation, heat exchangers. 

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2 and 3)

    Thermodynamics and Refrigeration:

    Refrigeration cycle.

    (Reading sources Books 5, 6  + others, there are many!)

    Mass Transfer:

    Diffusion/Convection, Henrys Law, Whitman Two film theory.

    (Reading sources: Books 1, 2 and 7)

    Reaction Kinetics:

    0, 1st, 2nd Order reactions, Michaelis-Menten style.

    (Reading sources: Book 8, or any book of chemical reactors or any standard chemistry book).

    Reactors: Basic Reactors (Plug Flow, CSTR).

    (Reading sources:  Books 9 and 10)

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Perform mass and energy balance calculations
  • Formulate principles of fluid flow in pipes
  • Predict heat transfer rates in equipment
  • Formulate mass transfer principles to calculate rates
  • Effectively combine mass and energy balances and kinetics for the design of reactors
  • Critically evaluate the performance of the two basic Reactors (Plug Flow, CSTR) based on the chemical process considered.

Advanced Control Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr Liyun Lao
Aim
    To introduce fundamental concepts, principles, methodologies, and application for the design of advanced control systems for industrial applications.
Syllabus
    • System dynamics: Modelling of typical physical systems. Operating point. Linearization. Differential equation representation. State space representation of systems. Laplace transforms. Transfer functions. Block diagrams. SISO and MIMO systems. Time and frequency domain responses of systems.
    • Feedback control: Positive and negative feedback. Stability. Methods for stability analysis. Closed loop performance specification. PID controllers. Ziegler-Nichols. Self-tuning methods.
    • Enhanced controllers: Cascade control. Feedforward control. Control of non-linear systems. Control of systems with delay.
    • Digital controllers: Effects of sampling. Implementation of PID controller. Stability and tuning.
    • Advanced control topics: Hierarchical control. Kalman filter. System Identification. Model predictive control. Statistical process control. The use of expert systems and neural networks in industrial control.
    • Design packages for process control systems: Examples including Simulink and MATLAB.
    • Case studies: Examples will be chosen from a range of industrial systems including mechanical, chemical and fluid systems.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Evaluate and select appropriate modelling techniques for dynamic systems
  • Formulate control methodologies in feedback, feedforward and cascade loops
  • Recognise and critically appraise the key design tools and procedures for continuous and discrete controllers of dynamic systems.

Process Plant Operations

Module Leader
  • Dr Dawid Hanak
Aim

    To provide an overview of the fundamental principles of typical unit operations in process plants.

Syllabus
    • Overview of process plant operations: Equipment for resource recovery. Raw material preparation.. Downstream processing. Effluent control and services.
    • Contactors:  Stirred vessels (impeller design, flow patterns, flow and turbulence, power input, mixing, gas-liquid and liquid-liquid contact, non-Newtonian fluids). Fluidised beds. Packed beds. Bubbling columns. Two-phase flow. Pulsed columns. Rotating disc and Rushton-Oldshue columns.
    • Evaporators: Design of heating calandria. Climbing film. Boiling heat fluxes. Multiple effect. Scraped film. Vapour recompressions.
    • Crystallisers: Cooling and evaporative. Solubilities. Primary and secondary nucleation. Crystal growth. Size distributions. Precipitation.
    • Dryers: Batch drying. Constant and falling rates. Diffusion in pores. Adiabatic saturation. Continuous drying. Pneumatic dryers. Spray dryers. Evaporation from single drop. Droplet trajectories.  Freeze dryers.
    • Thickeners: Design of sedimentation basins. Motion of particles in fluids. Stoke's law. Hindered settling. Size of basing.
    • Filters: Review of designs. Darcy's and Ruth's equations. Incompressible and compressible cakes constant rate and constant pressure.
    • Centrifugal separators: Centrifugal principles. Basket. Disc stack. Horizontal bowl. Batch and continuous operations.
    • Effluent control: Gas absorption. Packed columns. Hydraulics. Flooding. Mass transfer. Solubility. Cyclones and hydrocyclones. Coalescer designs for liquid-liquid separation. De-misters.
    • Services: Simultaneous heat and mass transfer in humidification and water cooling. Design of water cooling towers.
    • Scale-up: General rules and specific procedures.
    • Distillation: Vapour-liquid equilibrium. Types of Distillation. Distillation with Reflux. Distillation column design and operation. 
    • Case Study:  Selection of operating conditions for an ammonia synthesis process.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate detailed design features and operating characteristics of the main components of process plants.
  • Critically evaluate the limitations and operating difficulties inherent in process equipment and how to overcome operational problems for industrial processes.
  • Carry out design calculations for a wide range of process plant equipment.
  • Identify the most appropriate equipment components for a given process plant application.

Thermal Systems Operation and Design

Module Leader
  • Dr Ali Nabavi
Aim
    Design of optimum thermal and energy storage systems is one of the key prerequisites to enhance the performance and efficiency of conventional and future energy systems. This module aims to enable students to combine and apply the principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics in the design and optimisation of commercial thermal systems. In addition, the module introduces students to a wide range of challenges and opportunities in waste heat recovery and energy storage, and provides them with practical approaches and solutions to enhance the system efficiency.
Syllabus

    Heat exchanger Design and Operation

    1. Heat exchangers: Classification. Theoretical principles and design of recuperative systems (effectiveness, NTU and capacity ratio approach for parallel-, counter- and cross-flow configurations). Series cross‑flow arrangements. Regenerative heat exchangers (intermittent and continuous systems). Pressure‑loss assessment. Heat‑exchanger optimisation (optimal pressure drop and surface area to maximise economic returns.
    2. Process integration: Heat-exchanger network. Utility systems. Fundamentals of pinch analysis and Energy Analysis.

    Waste Heat Recovery and Thermal Storage

    1. Waste‑heat recovery: Sources of waste heat. Heat recovery for industrial applications. Energy density considerations. Economics of waste-heat recovery.
    2. Thermal storage: Principles and application to hot and cold systems. Storage duration and scale. Sensible and latent heat systems.Phase-change storage materials. Application to source and load matching.

    Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

    1. Application of refrigeration and air conditioning.
    2. Vapour-compression refrigeration systems: Simple systems. Multi-stage compressor systems. Multi-evaporator systems.
    3. Refrigerants:Halocarbon refrigerants. CFC alternatives. Refrigerant-selection criteria.
    4. Refrigeration compressors: Reciprocating compressors. Rotary screw compressors. Scroll compressors. Vane compressors. Centrifugal compressors.
    5. Absorption refrigeration: The absorption process. Properties of fluid-pair solutions. The basic absorption cycle. Double-effect systems.Advances in absorption-refrigeration technology.
    6. Psychrometry and principle Air-conditioning processes: Psychrometry. Heating, cooling, humidification and dehumidification processes.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Analyse and design heat exchangers, competently applying the principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics
  • Construct optimised heat exchanger networks by applying principles of process integration
  • Recognise and debate  the issues related to the efficient use of thermal energy and appraise  techniques and technologies employed
  • Design and analyse the performance of refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Process Design and Simulation 

Module Leader
  • Dr Dawid Hanak
Aim
    Process design, simulation and modelling are industrially-relevant tools to assess the techno-economic feasibility of complex engineering processes. These enable assessing the project feasibility and optimising the process plant design before the actual process plant is build. These tools are widely applied in the industry to assess a number of process variants and to select the most efficient and cost-effective option. This module aims to introduce the students to the modern techniques and computer aided engineering tools for the design, simulation and optimisation of process systems. Via large share of process simulation and optimisation case studies, the module will enable the students to gather the hands-on experience of using the commercial software.
Syllabus
    Process Design
    • Overview: Conceptual process design. Process flow-sheeting.
    • Process synthesis: Overview of a process system. Recycle structure of the flowsheet. Design of reaction and separation systems.
    • Process integration: Basic concepts of process integration for heat exchanger network design.
    • Process economic analysis: Equipment capital cost estimation. Process profitability analysis.
    Process Modelling, Simulation and Optimisation
    • Modelling and simulation: Basic concepts of process modelling. General concepts of simulation. Introduction to steady and dynamic process simulation. Introduction to commercial simulation software packages (i.e, Aspen HYSYS) for process flow-sheeting, design and analysis.
    • Process optimisation techniques: Basic principles of optimisation. Presentation of a number of industrial case studies. (e.g., heat exchanges network synthesis).
    Case Studies (PC Lab and Demonstration Sessions)
    • A number of process simulation and optimisation case studies will be carried out using Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus. 

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Formulate strategies to carry out a process design and critically appraise the techniques and major commercial simulation tools for steady and dynamic process simulation. 
  • Apply competently the basic principles of process optimisation.
  • Design and analyse the performance of a process plant using simulation or optimisation tools.

Pilot Plant Operations

Module Leader
  • Dr Dawid Hanak
Aim
    This practical-focused module provides students with a critical understanding of the key differences and challenges in pilot-scale working.  The module uses several pilot-scale energy facilities at Cranfield, aligned to the aims of the courses attending the module; covering thermochemical and biochemical processes. In addition to operating the facilities, students will conduct a laboratory exercise to characterise the input and output materials (e.g. waste feedstock and solid residues) in parallel with a group exercise of monitoring and operating the pilot facility. Where appropriate there will be a visit to an external site, such as a waste management facility, to collect samples for analysis in the laboratory and within the pilot plant(s). 
Syllabus

    Policies and legislation regarding the environmental, health and safety responsibilities of operating at pilot to commercial-scale;

    • Moving from the laboratory to pilot-scale;
    • The Cranfield facilities- fluidised-bed and downdraft gasification, anaerobic digestion and chemical looping rig;
    • Understanding the chemical/physical parameters of feedstock and how these are used to identify suitable process options;
    • Explored further as part of a laboratory session covering feedstock characterisation;
    • Management of post-energy recovery residues (bottom ash, fly ash, digestate etc);
    • Technical/scientific writing and reporting skills.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Explain the key thermo/bio-chemical processes involved in recovering energy from biomass and wastes;
  • Critically evaluate the main operational challenges in operating thermal and biochemical processes;
  • Discuss and assess the properties of input materials, outline the relevance of the data obtained and critically analyse how feedstock parameters effect the output gases and solid residues.

Heat and Power Generation Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr Kumar Patchigolla
Aim
    This module provides an understanding of the fundamentals of operation, configuration and characteristics of thermal systems. Students will also learn how to apply these for design of energy-efficient furnaces and boilers and key implementation issues of various types of power plant.
Syllabus
    • Fuels and thermal conversion processes: primary solid and liquid fuels. Carbonisation of solid fuels. Thermodynamic equations. Dissociation and chemical equilibrium. Process efficiency, emission control and standards
    • Furnaces and boilers: types of furnaces and classification. Heat transfer in furnaces, efficient furnace and boiler design. Boiler efficiency and part-load operation and its maintenance.
    • Overview: World electricity demand and generation. Fuels. Environmental impacts.
    • Steam power plants: Thermodynamic principles. Fuels. Steam power generation cycles.
    • Gas turbine and combined-cycle power plants: Gas turbine engines and performance. Gas turbine cycles. Combined-cycle power plants.
    • Diesel- and gas-engine power plants: Diesel engines. Fuels. Emission control. Heat recovery systems.
    • Nuclear power generation: Basic nuclear physical processes (fission and fusion). Nuclear fuels. Types of reactors. Safety considerations in the nuclear industry. Developments in nuclear fusion. Decommissioning problems of nuclear sites. Nuclear‑waste disposal systems.
    • Fuel cells: Definition and principles of operation. Losses and efficiency. Possible fuels. Fuel-cell technologies and applications (alkaline fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, phosphoric acid fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, and regenerative fuel cells).
    • CHP systems: CHP schemes (micro-scale CHP systems, small‑scale CHP systems, large‑scale CHP systems including district heating schemes). Application of CHP systems for the provision of heating, cooling and electric power. Selection criteria of CHP prime-movers. Integration of CHP systems into site services. Feasibility analysis of CHP schemes using spreadsheets/software tools. Case study (site appraisal for CHP scheme and evaluation of economic and environmental viability).
    • Advanced power plants: geothermal plants and its applications. Solar thermal enhanced designs and new materials. Innovative SCO2 cycles to operate at higher temperatures, bringing higher energy output.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the fundamentals and laws governing energy conversion and appraise various fuels and their characteristics.
  • Assess the operation of furnaces and boilers based on a fundamental understanding of the governing laws, and debate issues influencing the design/selection of furnaces and boilers and future trends
  • Debate  issues related to the performance of conventional power-generation plants
  • Propose appropriate  technologies  for improving energy-utilisation efficiency of power-generation plants
  • Assess the need of a particular industrial/commercial site for a CHP system, identify the appropriate systems and undertake design, sizing and economic analyses
  • Review critically technologies employed for advanced power generation systems (Geo-thermal, solar thermal, SCO2 cycle) and it's applications.

Management for Technology

Aim
    The importance of technology leadership in driving the technical aspects of an organisations products, innovation, programmes, operations and strategy is paramount, especially in today’s turbulent commercial environment with its unprecedented pace of technological development. Demand for ever more complex products and services has become the norm.  The challenge for today’s manager is to deal with uncertainty, to allow technological innovation and change to flourish but also to remain within planned parameters of performance.  Many organisations engaged with technological innovation struggle to find engineers with the right skills.  Specifically, engineers have extensive subject/discipline knowledge but do not understand management processes in organisational context.  In addition, STEM graduates often lack interpersonal skills.
Syllabus
    • Engineers and Technologists in organisations: The role of organisations and the challenges facing engineers and technologies.
    • People management: Understanding you. Understanding other people. Working in teams. Dealing with conflicts.
    • The Business Environment: Understanding the business environment; identifying key trends and their implications for the organisation.
    • Strategy and Marketing: Developing effective strategies; Focusing on the customer; building competitive advantage; The role of strategic assets.
    • Finance: Profit and loss accounts. Balance sheets. Cash flow forecasting.Project appraisal.
    • New product development: Commercialising technology. Market drivers. Time to market. Focusing technology. Concerns.
    • Business game: Working in teams (companies), students will set up and run a technology company and make decisions on investment, R&D funding, operations, marketing and sales strategy.
    • Negotiation: Preparation for Negotiations. Negotiation process. Win-Win solutions.
    • Presentation skills: Understanding your audience. Focusing your message. Successful presentations. Getting your message across.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Recognise the importance of teamwork in the performance and success of organisations with particular reference to commercialising technological innovation.
  • Operate as an effective team member, recognising the contribution of individuals within the team, and capable of developing team working skills in themselves and others to improve the overall performance of a team.
  • Compare and evaluate the impact of the key functional areas (strategy, marketing and finance) on the commercial performance of an organisation, relevant to the manufacture of a product or provision of a technical service.
  • Design and deliver an effective presentation that justifies and supports any decisions or recommendations made
  • Argue and defend their judgements through constructive communication and negotiating skills.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2018 to 2019 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (21 April 2017).

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Full-time £10,250
MSc Part-time £1,635 *
PgDip Full-time £8,200
PgDip Part-time £1,635 *
PgCert Full-time £4,510
PgCert Part-time £1,635 *
  • * This course has an annual registration fee and a fee per taught module. The fee quoted above is the annual registration fee and this amount will be invoiced annually. The fee for each taught module is £1,340 and this amount will be payable on attendance. The course consists of a number of taught modules with each module usually worth 10 credits. MSc and PgDip awards consist of 8 taught modules and PgCert awards consist of 6 taught modules. Where a module is worth either 5 credits or 20 credits then the module fee will be adjusted accordingly (so a 5 credit module fee will be halved and a 20 credit module fee will be doubled).
  • ** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

MSc Full-time £20,500
MSc Part-time £20,500 **
PgDip Full-time £16,605
PgDip Part-time £16,605 **
PgCert Full-time £8,300
PgCert Part-time £8,300 **
  • * This course has an annual registration fee and a fee per taught module. The fee quoted above is the annual registration fee and this amount will be invoiced annually. The fee for each taught module is £1,340 and this amount will be payable on attendance. The course consists of a number of taught modules with each module usually worth 10 credits. MSc and PgDip awards consist of 8 taught modules and PgCert awards consist of 6 taught modules. Where a module is worth either 5 credits or 20 credits then the module fee will be adjusted accordingly (so a 5 credit module fee will be halved and a 20 credit module fee will be doubled).
  • ** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

Funding Opportunities

To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Bursaries may be available, however please be aware that funding will, in most cases, only be discussed once you have secured a firm offer of a place on the course. Sources of funding can be obtained from bodies such as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC). Details of each prospective student’s financial position will be discussed and appropriate advice given during a selection interview. Please contact the Admissions Office for further details.

GREAT China Scholarship
The GREAT Cranfield University Scholarship China is jointly funded by Cranfield University and the British Council. Two scholarships of £11,000 each for Chinese students are available.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study, jointly supported by Cranfield University.

The Cranfield Scholarship

We have a limited number of scholarships available for candidates from around the world applying for the 2017 intake. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who show both aptitude and ability for the subject they are applying. Find out more about the Cranfield Scholarship

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England

A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander MSc Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study. 

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study. 

Future Finance Student Loans

Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)

The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)

Cranfield offers competitive scholarships for Mexican students in conjunction with Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) in science, technology and engineering.

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related engineering or applied science. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.

 

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

How to apply

Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at this time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

Students on campus

The whole course was ideal for me. Getting involved with something you desire is enjoyable and inspiring. The individual projects, group projects and educational trips helped me comprehend practical matters of the modules and learn how to collaborate efficiently. In general it was utterly exciting and a source of experiences.

Christina Andreadou,