School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

Research Centres

Research Centres

Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre

The focus of the Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre (BBTC) is on biosystems engineering, an area in which the team has unique expertise and international recognition.

Our goal is to understand underlying biological complexity and as a consequence manipulate biological behaviour and/or realise improved whole process design.


Biological understanding of cellular processes relevant to bioprocessing is far from complete, especially the impact of scale-up and mass culture on performance.

Our approach is based on biological scientists, physical scientists and engineering scientists working together to enhance understanding of the process and the development chain. This generates expertise which can interface with the business knowledge base and lead to improved opportunities for exploitation.

Rapid advances in the application of post-genomic technologies and process analytical technologies have resulted in an information explosion that the Centre is well placed to exploit to the full.

Combining different approaches enables us to bridge the gap between understanding sub-cellular and small scale biological processes characterised by modern molecular approaches, and production platforms which operate at larger scales.


The research output of the BBTC is a growing set of tools and strategies:

  • analytical
  • cell engineering bioprocessing
  • biosystems understanding
  • whole bioprocess design

These enable the biopharmaceutical development process to be undertaken in a more efficient manner, as a result of a greater depth of understanding.


A commonly encountered limitation is insufficient, or inherent difficulties in communication at the interfaces of biosystems development, scale-up engineering, and engineering and development of downstream processing capabilities.

Often these limitations lead to the application of tools in isolation of fundamental bioscience and engineering resulting in sub-optimal solutions that lack clarity and robustness.

The BBTC will address this limitation by establishing a unifying umbrella for biologists, modellers, engineers, and chemists to undertake research and knowledge transfer, and through the provision of interdisciplinary training in disciplines relevant to bioprocessing at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Visit the BBTC website to find out more.

Engineering Design Centre

The Engineering Design Centre (EDC) is a centre for collaborative research between industry, local authorities and the academic sector.

The EDC has an enviable position in all areas of design research activity from conceptual blue-sky ideas to practical implementations designed to improve productivity and alleviate design costs.

The Centre is associated with the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials and specialises in:

  • the design, development and performance of systems for the manufacture and operation of complex products which are made on an engineer-to-order basis with high levels of customisation
  • the investigation and analysis of more sustainable uses of energy in both the commercial and public sector.

Vist the EDC website for further information.