Learn from net-zero chemical engineering experts who are decarbonising industry one reaction at a time

Chemical engineers and chemical engineering plays a pivotal role in net-zero energy transition and the future of the planet, alongside mitigating the impact of traditional oil and gas. This is because industrial decarbonisation around the globe will heavily rely on availability of affordable low-carbon sources of energy and the development of hydrogen as a clean fuel for example, advanced energy conversion and storage technologies, as well as carbon capture, storage and utilisation.

Chemical engineers possess the unique set of skills to imagine, design, optimise and commercialise such innovative technologies in the drive to achieve net zero. Want to become one of them? Join our MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering and work alongside world-leading chemical engineering experts actively engaged in researching and developing the innovative materials and processes essential for net-zero energy transition. 

Infographic displaying the skills learned on the ACE MSc
We promote applied approach to learning. Using our world-class campus pilot plant facilities and benefiting from Cranfield’s strong industry links, you will gain the essential skills and experience to develop a successful career in a thriving discipline with its high demand for postgraduate level engineers. You will also benefit from professional development, career mentoring and teamwork to transform you into the engineering leader who will solve global challenges.


  • 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?

A distinguishing feature of this course is that it is not exclusively designed for chemical engineering graduates. Suitable for all engineering and applied science graduates, this MSc will provide you with the skill sets that employers actively seek in highly desirable engineering graduates, enabling you to embark on a successful career as a chemical engineering professional in industry, government or research. 

You will learn state of the art chemical engineering methods, apply them to real world problems via industrially focused modules and research projects, whilst gaining the essential management skills to bring your ideas to life.

Your career

The Advanced Chemical Engineering MSc is based on Cranfield’s industry driven research, which makes our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for recruitment by companies competing in a range of industries, including conventional and clean energy, materials, environments, biorefining, biochemicals, petrochemicals, waste management and consultancy and management.

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

Cranfield Careers and Employability Service

Cranfield’s Careers and Employability Service is dedicated to helping you meet your career aspirations. You will have access to career coaching and advice, CV development, interview practice, access to hundreds of available jobs via our Symplicity platform and opportunities to meet recruiting employers at our careers fairs. We will also work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation.

Why this course?

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

With this in mind, we recognise the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. The modules and their content, have been carefully developed with our industry connections to meet the engineering skill shortage currently faced within the sector. 

By combining advanced chemical engineering topics, with a thorough underpinning in the management skills required to lead large, complex projects, this course will prepare you for a successful chemical engineering career.

  • Prepare for real-world chemical engineering challenges via our practical focused modules, using on-campus pilot-scale facilities,
  • Participate in individual and group projects to explore areas of particular interest and develop a track record of project management and delivery,
  • Develop your technology leadership capabilities with the world-renowned Cranfield School of Management.

This MSc is supported by our team of professorial thought leaders, including Professor Vasilije Manovic, who is influential in the field of chemical engineering, and an integral part of this MSc.

During a module we learned about the combustion process of coal and other biomass feedstocks, and were able to carry out a pilot-scale test in the laboratory. Then we visited the biomass power plant of Cranfield to see the system that provides heating for our campus, to really see theory in practise.
"Before coming to Cranfield, I studied human nutrition at the University of Westminster in London, and I saw that sustainability in diet also translates to global sustainability in energy and resource management. This is why I came to Cranfield because chemical engineering offers me a pathway into this. I decided to come to Cranfield because of its state-of-the-art research facilities as well as its industrial links."
The main reason why I chose Cranfield was because I visited the university when I was quite young, and I really liked the facilities. There was a lot of focus on sustainability and power, and the environment, which is something that I wanted to pursue in my master's

Course details

The taught programme is delivered from October to February and is comprised of eight modules.

MSc course structure diagram


The modules, except Research Methods for Chemical Engineering, are taught mainly over two weeks, with the assignment completed during that period. The first week is mainly allocated to structured teaching, with the following week largely free of structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection, and completion of assignments. Research Methods for Chemical Engineering module is delivered over six weeks.

Course delivery

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

Group project

The group project runs from late February until early May, and enables you to apply the skills and knowledge developed during the taught 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 academic 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,
  • Developing a technology platform for large scale ultrasonic-assisted extraction of chemicals from olive mill waste,
  • Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an estimator in chemical process systems,
  • Greenhouse gas removal to offset CO2 emissions from NLG,
  • A quantitative approach to catalyst design in reforming using QSPR analysis,
  • Techno-economic assessment of hydrogen/ammonia production using solid oxide electrolysers,
  • CFD modelling of hydrogen-enriched methane combustion,
  • CFD modelling of swirl reactors for process intensification,
  • Continuous Bioethanol production from cheap feedstock by yeast,
  • Life Cycle Analysis of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Aircraft.


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 and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Course modules

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course.

Advanced Reaction Kinetics for Energy

Module Leader
  • Dr Peter Clough

    The module instructs and develops a chemical engineers’ ability to use the finite differences method for numerical modelling to gain a deeper understanding of gas-solid reaction mechanisms and reinforces the value of reaction kinetics, and heat and mass transfer phenomena governing chemical reactions. A particular emphasis of this module is placed on gas-solid reactions with catalytic applications in the energy industry that are likely to be faced by Chemical Engineers. The numerical modelling methods covered in the module are key to the initial design and optimisation of a vast number of industrial chemical processes. Supplementary to the numerical modelling, the module will develop your awareness of novel catalyst and material synthesis methods and will cover novel machine learning based approaches to catalyst/material design and optimisation (QSPR/QSAR/cheminformatics).


    You will apply combined heat and mass transfer phenomena in complex catalytic transient systems, modelled by the finite differences method in MATLAB.

    The transient heat transfer will include time and spatial variable conduction and convection terms. The transient mass transfer will include time and spatial variable bulk, Knudsen and effective diffusion.

    You will model 1-D single particle systems covering heterogeneous catalytic reactions such as cracking, reforming, gasification, reduction, oxidation, and other similar thermochemical systems. Within this breadth of systems, you will investigate the important role of diffusion and gas-solid reactions to offer routes to mitigate rate limiting steps and enhance chemical reactions.

    Using your MATLAB codes, you will develop independent research to determine the impact of input variable parameters such as porosity, temperature, and gas composition and measure their effect on the reactions. This will develop your numerical modelling specialisms and independent thought and research strengths.

    You will learn new skills, applying the finite differences method modelling technique to uncertain and complex systems and how to set relevant boundary and initial conditions for these systems. You will be able to discretise partial differential equations into ordinary differential equations and programme them such they can be solved with multivariable input adapted functions based on ODE solvers.

    You will explore the limits and real-world accuracy of these modelling techniques, rate expression relationships, and conversion fitting models (shrinking core model, random pore model etc.). You will also learn of the latest research that is being undertaken to design new catalytic materials involving first-principals modelling aided by machine learning. You will learn of catalytic material synthesis methods and how these processes can be optimised for industrial applications.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Implement finite differences numerical modelling in MATLAB for gas-solid chemical reactions in transient systems.
  • Evaluate the effect of gas diffusion, reaction kinetics, and mass and heat transfer phenomena.
  • Critique and develop coherent and professional arguments that communicate how one could enhance overall reaction rates by overcoming rate limiting steps or properties of the solid material.
  • Evaluate the latest research in this field and how new catalyst/material science could be applied in the energy industry.

Research Methods for Chemical Engineering

Module Leader
  • Dr Mingming Zhu

    The module provides you with the essential research techniques and hands-on skills to assess the technical feasibility and sustainability of chemical engineering processes through a combination of process simulations; techno-economic, life cycle, and social (sustainability) assessments; process safety; computational fluid dynamic modelling and machine learning. Considering, multidisciplinary nature of existing engineering challenges, this skill set is prerequisite for advancing research to enhance the performance of existing technologies, and offer innovative solutions for enabling emerging technologies.

    The module comprises skills training on computer-aided engineering tools and research analysis approaches that enable you to develop relevant competencies via hands-on experience. You will also work on a relevant case study that will take you through the entire assessment process. The acquired research techniques will be then used to design, develop, and assess a wide range of complex and innovative chemical engineering cases for industrial applications in the follow-on applied modules within the course, including catalytic process, separation and purification, biofuel production and conversion, thermochemical energy conversion, bioprocessing, and thermal storage and management.


    Process modelling and techno-economic assessment, and process safety

    • Modelling and simulation: 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: Principles of optimisation,
    • Case Studies (PC Lab and Demonstration Sessions): Process design, simulation and optimisation case studies based on industrial or research projects will be carried out using Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus,
    • Economic assessment: Introduction to economic. Estimation of CAPEX and OPEX. Net present value (NPV).
    • Process safety: Safety aspects of chemical processes.

    Life cycle, social assessment

    • Life cycle analysis: carbon footprinting and environmental impact assessment, waste management,
    • Net-zero technologies for sustainable development: CO2 emissions and decarbonisation of transport, power and industrial processes,
    • Social analysis: Social implication of technology deployment.

    CFD modelling for engineering applications

    • Introduction to CFD & thermo-fluids: Introduction to the physics of thermo-fluids, governing equations (continuity, momentum, energy and species conservation) and state of the art Computational Fluid Dynamics including modelling, grid generation, simulation, and high-performance computing. Case study of industrial problems related to energy, process systems, and the physical processes where CFD can be used,
    • Computational Engineering Exercise: specification for a CFD simulation. Requirements for accurate analysis and validation for multi scale problems. Introduction to Turbulence & practical applications of Turbulence Models: Introduction to Turbulence and turbulent flows. Traditional turbulence modelling,
    • Practical sessions: Fluid process problems are solved employing the widely used industrial flow solver software FLUENT. Lectures are followed by practical sessions on single/multiphase flows, heat transfer, to set up and simulate a problem incrementally. Practical sessions cover the entire CFD process including geometric modelling, grid generation, flow solver, analysis, validation and visualisation.

    Machine learning for chemical engineering

    • Create Machine Learning models in MATLAB: Predict, cluster, and simulate for chemical engineering problems. Understand and critique the differences between different Machine Learning algorithms.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Critically assess the social and environmental sustainability, and safety aspects of processes or technologies, and evaluate the associated uncertainties through life cycle assessments,
  2. Design and implement a strategy to carry out a process design and critically appraise the techniques and major commercial simulation tools for steady and dynamic process simulation,
  3. Design and analyse the performance and techno-economics of process plants using simulation or optimisation tools,
  4. Develop and implement CFD models for use in industrial design of complex systems,
  5. Develop Machine Learning models for quantitative research analysis by means of prediction, clustering, and simulations of chemical engineering problems.

Separation and Purification Design

Module Leader
  • Dr Ali Nabavi
    The module provides the essential knowledge and hands-on skills for design and development of gas separation and purification technologies that are required for the decarbonisation of power and industry sectors, as the prerequisite to meet the net-zero emission target. 

    The module enables you to master the underlying mechanisms of sorption and separation processes, along with the required experimental characterisation and data analysis techniques, and computational modelling. This knowledge will then be applied to design, develop, and evaluate carbon dioxide separation in power (i.e. gas and coal power plants) and industrial (i.e cement, iron and steel) sectors; biogas upgrading; hydrogen purification, and carbon dioxide and hydrogen storage, as case studies. 
    • Principles of gas separation and purification:
      • Gas-liquid absorption/adsorption principles, 
      • Equilibrium and kinetic adsorption principles.
    • Sorbent characterisation:
      • Design of experiments for characterisation of sorbents for separation and purification processes,
      • Characterisation of non-functional and functional sorbents using techniques such as scanning electron microscopy – energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analysis and Barrett-Joyner-Halenda (BJH) pore size and volume analysis,
      • Data analysis techniques.
    • Design and evaluation of gas separation, purification and storage technologies to achieve net-zero emission target:
      • Carbon dioxide separation in power and industrial sectors,
      • Biogas upgrading,
      • Hydrogen purification,
      • Direct air capture.
    • Case Studies:
      • Case studies will be carried out using the acquired experimental data, and process simulations.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Apply the principles of gas adsorption and absorption in the design of separation and purification units,
  • Characterise an analysis sorbents for the gas separation process,
  • Critically evaluate the main challenges of carbon dioxide and hydrogen separation and storage in the energy sectors,
  • Design and optimise separation and purification processes, contributing to achieving net-zero emission target. 

Biofuels and Biorefining

Module Leader
  • Dr Vinod Kumar

    The Biofuels and Biorefining module focuses on bioproduction of fuels and chemicals as a sustainable, environmentally friendly and low cost route This bioproduction can contribute to decreased greenhouse gas emissions, by replacing petrochemical route and also fulfil the global 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 production of a range of high value chemicals and technologies used for conversion of the biomass. The module covers characteristics of biomass as potential feedstock, bioproduction of fuel and chemicals, types of biorefineries, conversion processes and existing technologies. In addition, an introduction to the Biorefining concept will be provided. 


    Raw materials for production of bio-based chemicals, characterization and assessment; 

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

    First generation biorefinery 

    • Bioethanol production
    • Biobutanol production

    Biodiesel production

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

    Lignocellulosic biorefinery

    • Bioethanol production,
    • Bioproduction of succinic acid,
    • Bioproduction of 2,3-Butanediol,
    • Bioproduction of Lactic acid.

    Algal Biorefineries

    • Technologies for microalgal biomass production,
    • Algal biofuels conversion technologies,

    Food waste biorefineries

    • Manufacturing Platform Chemicals from food wastes.

    Glycerol-based Biorefineries

    • Bioproduction of 1,-3-Propanediol,
    • Bioproduction of 3-Hydroxypropionic acid.

    AD-based biorefineries

    • Biofuel production by AD,
    • Possible feedstocks and challenges.


    • Classification of Biorefineries,
    • Economic, social and environmental impacts of biorefining.

    Commercial biorefineries.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • State and assess the range of biomass resources/biowastes/agro-industrial wastes available for biofuels and biochemicals production,
  • Critically evaluate a range of technologies and biorefineries available for biofuels and biochemicals 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 bioproducts 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.

Applied Thermochemical Pilot Design

Module Leader
  • Dr Stuart Wagland

    The module focuses on the opportunities and potential for biomass and waste to energy. The module aims to provide you with 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. You will conduct laboratory exercises to characterise the input and output materials (e.g. waste feedstock and solid residues) and design thermochemical energy conversion systems, in parallel with a group exercise of monitoring and operating the pilot facility.

    Furthermore, the module provides you 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 processes. 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). As a practical module, you will gain significant practical experience through lab practical sessions, computer simulation and industrial site visits.

    1. Biomass and Waste Resources:
      1. Practical skills of chemical and physical properties and characteristics of biomass and waste as a fuel,
      2. Analytical methods for characterising feedstock,
      3. Energy crops for bioenergy production and related ethics/sustainability issues.
    2. Thermochemical conversion processes:
      1. Principles and reaction mechanisms of gasification, pyrolysis and combustion,
      2. Design principles of thermochemical processes and appropriate full energy system integration.
    3. Thermochemical process design:
      1. Material characterisation (elemental analysis, calorific value, thermal decomposition (TGA) and analytical skills for fuel products characterisation),
      2. Process and full energy system design based on material characteristics,
      3. Complex chemical and thermal process modelling using ASPEN Plus.
    4. Thermochemical process scale-up:
      1. Policies and legislation regarding the environmental, health and safety responsibilities of operating at pilot to commercial-scale,
      2. Moving from the laboratory to pilot-scale,
      3. Design of experimental activities to be representative and scientifically valid, and compliant with health and safety requirements.
    5. Pilot plant operation:
      1. The Cranfield facilities- fluidised-bed and downdraft gasification, anaerobic digestion and chemical looping rig,
      2. Management of post-energy recovery residues (bottom ash, fly ash, digestate etc).
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Characterise and select the most appropriate biomass and waste materials for energy conversion applications,
  2. Design and assess appropriate energy conversion systems for bioenergy production from biomass and waste,
  3. Develop and apply analytical skills to carry out process simulation for design of energy conversion systems,
  4. Critically evaluate the main operational challenges in operating thermochemical processes, reviewing current practice to identify potential areas for research and development,
  5. Critically evaluate the application of software packages relevant to chemical engineering for upscale design from pilot-scale results to demonstration and commercial scale plants.

Engineering Project Management

Module Leader
  • Professor Phil Hart

    The purpose of this module is to provide you with experience of scoping and designing a project. The module provides sessions on project scoping and planning, including project risk management and resource allocation. A key part of this module is the consideration of ethics, professional conduct and the role of an engineer within the wider industry context.


    Project management:

    • Project scoping and definition,
    • Project planning,
    • Project risk assessment and mitigation,
    • Resource planning and allocation,
    • Team roles and resourcing.

    Financial management of projects.

    Ethics and the role of the engineer.

    • Ethics case study.

    Professional code of conduct (in line with the code of conduct defined by the Engineering Council, IMechE, IChemE and Energy Institute).

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Design and scope a project, including identification of methods, resources required and risk management approaches,
  2. Assess the likely financial needs of a new project and pitch for finance,
  3. Evaluate ethical dilemmas and the role of the engineer within the context of their chosen industry.

Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Bioprocess Engineering

Module Leader
  • Dr Vinod Kumar
    The Bioprocess Engineering module focuses on application of Chemical Engineering fundamentals on biological systems, specifically bacterial, yeast and fungal systems. The aim of the module is to teach the application of new process engineering tools to design, develop and analyse bioprocesses which will eventually improve their performance. The module will explain the impact of engineering principles on bioproduction beside strain development to achieve pragmatic commercial goals. It covers introduction to fermentation technology, knowledge of microbial growth kinetics (batch, fed-batch, continuous), reaction rates, conversion rate, stoichiometry & yield, engineering behind sterilisation, mass & energy balances for reactor analysis, reactor design & instrumentation, mass & heat transfer in a bioreactor, scale up and recovery of products.

    Bioprocess Engineering and Fermentation Technology:

    What is Bioprocess engineering and Fermentation; How microbes can be exploited for production of fuels, chemicals, energy etc with examples,

    Microbial growth kinetics and Mechanisms of Sterilisation:

    Quantification of growth, Kinetics and applications of batch, fed-batch and continuous processes, Medium sterilisation; Thermal design of batch and continuous sterilisation process, Sterilization by filtration,

    Design of bioreactor and instrumentation & control:

    Basic functions and bioreactor operation, Parts of bioreactor, Maintenance of aseptic conditions in bioreactor, Types of bioreactor, Methods of measuring and controlling (manual & automatic) process variables such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, foam, CO2 etc, online analysis, Process control,

    Material and energy balance in a bioprocess:

    Procedure for material and energy balance calculations with examples, Stoichiometry of growth and product formation, reaction rates, conversion rate,

    Mass and heat transfer in bioreactor:

    Fluid flow and mixing, Rheological properties of fermentation broth, Power requirements for mixing, scale up of mixing systems, Mechanism of heat transfer, Conduction, Heat transfer between fluids, Application of heat design equations for heat transfer systems,

    Transfer Phenomenon in Microbial Systems:

    Oxygen requirements in industrial fermentations, Molecular diffusion in bioprocessing, Oxygen uptake and transfer in microbial cultures, Determination of KLa values, factors affecting KLa,

    Recovery of fermentation products:

    Strategies to recover and purify products, Separation of insoluble products, Cell disruption, Separation of soluble products, Finishing steps for purification, Integration of reaction and separation,

    Bioprocess economics:

    Potential of strain, Market potential of product, Plant & equipment, Media, Air sterilisation, Heating & cooling, Aeration & agitation, Batch/Continuous culture, Recovery cost, Recycling, Effluent treatment,

    Risk assessment:

    Before starting experimental work, you will be taught about risk associated while performing the experiments and precautions needed to take to ensure your safety. You will have to complete a risk assessment document before entering the laboratory.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Apply fundamentals of bioprocess engineering concepts for enhancing the bioproduction,
  • Design bioreactor for controlled industrial scale fermentations,
  • Select suitable separation method(s) for maximizing the recovery of fermentation products,
  • Assess the factors affecting bioprocess economics.

Thermal Systems Operation and Design

Module Leader
  • Dr Ali Nabavi

    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 and chemical processes.

    This module aims to enable you 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 you to a wide range of challenges and opportunities in waste heat recovery and energy storage, and provides practical approaches and solutions to enhance the system efficiency.


    Heat exchanger Design and Operation
    Heat exchangers: Classification. Theoretical principles and design of recuperative systems (effectiveness, NTU and capacity ratio approach for parallel-, counter- and cross-flow configurations). Regenerative heat exchangers (intermittent and continuous systems). Heat exchanger optimisation (optimal pressure drop and surface area to maximise economic returns. Health and safety design considerations of heat exchangers.

    Process integration: Problem table method. Heat-exchanger network. Utility systems. Fundamentals of pinch analysis and Energy Analysis.  

    Refrigeration systems

    Application of refrigeration

    Vapour-compression refrigeration systems: Multi-stage compressor systems. Multi-evaporator systems.

    Absorption refrigeration: Absorption refrigeration for waste heat recovery. The absorption process. Properties of fluid-pair solutions. Design of absorption cycles. Double-effect systems.  Advances in absorption-refrigeration technology.

    Heat Recovery and Thermal Storage

    Heat recovery: Heat recovery for industrial applications.

    Thermal storage: Principles and application to hot and cold systems. Storage duration and scale. Sensible and latent heat systems.  Phase-change storage materials.  

    Thermal system modelling

    CFD modelling of thermal systems: Development and optimisation of CFD models for simulating thermal systems. Case studies for development of analytical solutions for design of thermal systems. 

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you 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 Instrumentation and Control Engineering

Module Leader
  • Dr Liyun Lao

    This module introduces a systematic approach to the design of measurement and control systems for industrial process applications. The fundamental concepts, key requirements, typical principles and key applications of the industrial process measurement and control technology and systems will be highlighted.


    Principles of Measurement System

    • Process monitoring requirements: operating conditions, range, static performance, dynamic performance,
    • Sensor technologies: resistive, capacitive, electromagnetic, ultrasonic, radiation, resonance,
    • Signal conditioning and conversion: amplifiers, filters, bridges, load effects, sampling theory, quantisation theory, A/D, D/A,
    • Data transmission and telemetry: analogue signal transmission, digital transmission, communication media, coding, modulation, multiplexing, communication strategies, communication topologies, communication standards, HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus,
    • Smart and intelligent instrumentation. Soft sensors. Measurement error and uncertainty: systematic and random errors, estimating the uncertainty, effect of each uncertainty, combining uncertainties, use of Monte Carlo methods,
    • Calibration: importance of standards, traceability,
    • Safety aspects: intrinsic safety, zone definitions, isolation barriers,
    • Selection and maintenance of instrumentation.

    Principles of Process Measurement and Control

    • Flow measurement: flow meter performance, flow profile, flow meter calibration; differential pressure flow meters, positive displacement flow meters, turbine, ultrasonic, electromagnetic, vortex, Coriolis flow meters,
    • Pressure measurement: pressure standards, Bourdon tubes, diaphragm gauges, bellows, strain gauges, capacitance, resonant gauges,
    • Temperature measurement: liquid-in-glass, liquid-in-metal, gas filled, thermocouple, resistance temperature detector, thermistor,
    • Level measurement: conductivity methods, capacitance methods, float switches, ultrasonic, microwave, and radiation method,
    • Multiphase measurement and monitoring: general features of vertical and horizontal multiphase flow, definition of parameters in multiphase flow, multiphase flow measurement strategies, Content and composition measurement, velocity measurement, commercial multiphase flow meters, developments in multiphase flow metering,
    • Typical process control philosophy: Closed loop controls and AI controls .

    Practical of Process Control

    • Case study 1: Process Plant Integrity Monitoring,
    • Case study 2: Separation Process Control System in a Pilot Plant.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Critically assess the factors affecting the operation of a process sensor and the types and technologies of modern process sensors,
  • Examine the factors to be considered when designing a process measurement and control system,
  • Propose the most appropriate measurement system for a given process control application.


The MSc of this course is accredited by The Energy Institute. 

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How to apply

Applications need to be made online. Click the 'Apply now' button at the top of this page. 

Once you have set up an account you will be able to create, save and amend your application form before submitting it.