- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thesis title: Understanding and engineering the crystallisation of drugs as salts
- Supervisors: Professor Sven L. M. Schroeder, Dr Robert B. Hammond, Dr Bhoopesh Mishra
Beth graduated from the University of Sheffield with an MEng in Chemical Engineering with French, with summer placements at Corus R&D, Teesside. After working for a year in a wind turbine consultancy, contributing to programming and testing the offshore component of their simulation software, she studied for a MSc in Renewable Energy at École des Mines de Paris.
On graduating, Beth joined a not-for-profit energy efficiency organisation and set up an energy and sustainability consultancy team. The service responded to the demand from developers and planning authorities for support with the implementation of planning policy to increase the proportion of energy generated from building-integrated low carbon technologies. She continued this work in an M&E consultancy to enable the application of low energy technologies to be more integral to building design. She went on to teach science in secondary schools for six years, four of which as head of Physics, but missed the problem-solving aspect of engineering. Beth joined the CP3 CDT programme, attracted by its aim of developing more energy efficient and cost-effective processes and the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research.
The proportion of new drug products being formulated as salts is increasing, as they can provide enhanced physicochemical properties such as increased solubility or stability. The aim of this research is to increase understanding of the molecular processes that take place when salts are crystallised, which can be achieved by identifying the intermolecular interactions between the solute, solvent and crystal in solution during cooling crystallisation. The objectives of the study, in collboration with industry, include identifying the phase from which salt crystallises and characterising the species of the molecules in solution and at the crystal-solution interface. Determining the conditions for optimum crystal growth will ultimately enable more efficient and reproducible production of the desired salt product at an industrial scale, as the process can be better controlled. A further goal is to model the process at a molecular level to predict the conditions required for crystallisation.
Techniques used include: X-ray Raman scattering for near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) analysis to investigate the electronic atomic structure; X-ray pair distribution function (XPDF) analysis to study the evolution of the solution structure during crystallisation; and near-ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to elucidate the binding energy of the probed species. Computational density functional theory (DFT) and Monte Carlo simulation modelling will support the analysis of experimental data.
Research interests include
- molecular interactions
- salt crystallisation
- core-level spectroscopy
- computational analysis (DFT calculations and solution simulation)
- Currently pursuing MSc/PhD CP3 CDT – University of Leeds
- Qualified Teacher Status – Bromley Schools’ Collegiate
- MSc Renewable Energy Engineering – École des Mines de Paris
- MEng Chemical Engineering – University of Sheffield