Dr Richard Bourne

Dr Richard Bourne


Richard A Bourne is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Leeds based at the Institute of Process Research and Development (IPRD) at Leeds, working on rapid process development and continuous flow chemistry. His research group is particularly focussed on rapid optimisation of pharmaceutical processes using automated systems.


  • Member of School of Chemical and Process Engineering Research & Innovation Committee
  • IPRD/ Inorganic Chemistry Safety Lead
  • Dial-a-Molecule Steering Group Member

Research interests

Development of new sustainable processes with focus on continuous flow routes to pharmaceutical and fine chemical products. Our group is based within the Institute of Process Research and

I am particularly interested in the use of automated flow systems combining online analysis, feedback control and evolutionary algorithms to provide process understanding and optimisation. This particularly interdisciplinary research at the interface between Chemistry and Chemical Engineering aims to develop processes at laboratory, pilot plant and manufacturing scales.

He is leading a 4 year EPSRC project 'Cognitive Chemical Manufacturing' that is developing an Industry 4.0 approach coupling machine learning algorithms to a cyber-physical reactor platform.

Grant: Cognitive Chemical Manufacturing - EPSRC

Grant: Intensified by Design® For the Intensification of Processes Involving Solids Handling - IbD (EU)

Grant: Robust and affordable process control technologies for improving standards and optimising industrial operations - ProPAT (EU)

Grant: Driving down the cost of waste derived sugar - CelluPAT (Innovate UK)

Grant: Optimising the production of thermoset resins from MSW-derived sugars - OPTOMS (Innovate UK)

Grant: Multifunctional Electrochemical Flow Platform for High-Throughput Synthesis & Optimisation of Catalysts - MEPHISTO (EPSRC)

Grant: A Multifunctional Flow Platform For Enhanced Biobutanol Production - EPSRC Catalysis Hub

Grant: Self-optimising Reactors for Pharmaceutical Process Development (hosted at AstraZeneca)- Royal Academy of Engineering

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • Complex Systems and Processes
  • Industrial Biotechnology and Bio-waste
  • Institute for Process Research and Development

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/946-library-synthesis-in-flow-made-easier:-doe-&amp;-ml-">Library Synthesis in Flow Made Easier: DoE &amp; ML </a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/924-microscale-and-segmented-processes-towards-a-carbon-negative-vision-of-process-optimisation">Microscale and Segmented Processes Towards A Carbon Negative Vision of Process Optimisation</a></li>