Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate – in association with Alconbury Western Ltd


Chemical and Process Engineering (


Faculty of Engineering (

Staff Category

Knowledge Exchange

Reference No


Reports To

The Head of Department, through an Academic Supervisor and Industrial Supervisor



Salary Range:

Up to £25k per annum plus £4k personal development budget

Contract Type:

Fixed Term (24 months)



Closing Date

Monday, 18 January 2016

Job Advert

This is an exciting opportunity to work with Alconbury Western Ltd (AWL),, a highly innovative, small and rapidly growing company which is a leading supplier of continuous crystallization and filtration equipment to the pharmaceutical industry, under a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Most of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies have started major research programs to switch from classical batch to continuous manufacturing of their active drug substances. This is driven by the requirement to reduce variability and to develop more agile supply chains capable of supporting innovations, including personalised medicines. Strathclyde University and AWL are at the forefront of this revolution in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The EPSRC National Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallization (CMAC) is based at the University of Strathclyde and has been the subject of multimillion pound investment to establish a world class facility and internationally leading research program. AWL are partners in CMAC and in ReMediES, a 20 partner consortium researching the pharmaceutical supply chain of the future.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a three-way project between a graduate, a business and a university (for further information, see: Graduates are recruited to undertake strategic projects within the company, whilst being supported by a dedicated academic supervisor. As part of the KTP, the Associate benefits from management training opportunities and a further budget of £4,000 for personal development. At the end of the 2 year partnership, there may be an employment opportunity for the Associate with the company.

Working directly with senior management, you will play a crucial role in an innovation project which is core to the AWL’s strategy to develop and optimise an innovative small process scale continuous filtration and washing equipment for pharmaceutical manufacture. You will apply abilities learned in your degree and extend your skill-set with support from both your Industrial and Academic Supervisors. You will also facilitate knowledge transfer between AWL and the University of Strathclyde.

The project objective is to develop a protocol to support the rapid development of filtration and washing processes for new drug candidates for AWL’s client base. This will fill a significant gap in the available technology for continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing. The Associate will work in partnership with entrepreneurial engineers in AWL developing both business and application engineering skills. In addition, your partnership with Academics in Strathclyde will enable you to become an expert in the chemical, engineering and analytical analysis aspects of filtration and washing processes. This will enable you to develop a mathematical model for process optimisation and a practical demonstration package to display capabilities of the technology to potential clients. You will work with data gathered in trials undertaken by AstraZeneca and other leading pharmaceutical companies in order to help them to realise the benefits of this innovation. This project will support AWL’s goal to become the preferred end-to-end provider of continuous manufacturing systems for the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and abroad, accelerating company growth and competitive advantage.

To be considered for the role you will have a relevant degree in chemical engineering or a related engineering or chemical discipline. You will have the ability to work independently and as part of a team, and to manage your workload effectively.

The role is based in Stoke-on-Trent but the KTP Associate will be required to travel both to the University of Strathclyde and to client sites in the UK, and potentially overseas.

Whilst not essential for the role, applications are welcomed from candidates with experience with filtration processes or pharmaceutical process development.

Job Description

Brief Outline of Job:

Take ownership of the washing aspects of the development and optimisation of a continuous filter system linking academic knowledge and industrial expertise to deliver a transformational system for pharmaceutical product isolation.

Main Activities/Responsibilities:


Become familiar with Alconbury Western’s filtration and washing prototype, their procedures and ways of working. Develop expertise in the science and engineering of filtration and washing, experimental design and data analysis methods


Evaluate current design based on data collected by a pharmaceutical client and the knowledge base partner. Report on system performance versus objectives and recommend improvements


Undertake experimental work to gather equipment performance data


Prepare and present reports to AWL management and academic partners


Develop a representative but benign testing system


Work with AWL and academic partners to disseminate project knowledge through publication of papers, conference presentations and other media


Evaluate data and use it to develop a process model, an optimisation tool and standard

operating procedures for the system


Prepare a sales tool kit to support product launch and contribute to the sales process, including securing new sales


Engage in continuous professional development A Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering or a related engineering or chemical discipline.

Person Specification

Educational and/or Professional Qualifications
(E=Essential, i.e. a candidate must meet all essential criteria to be considered for selection, D=Desirable)

Essential/ Desirable

Assessment Method

A Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering or a related engineering or chemical discipline.



Membership of relevant Chartered/professional body






Process chemistry experience and knowledge of modelling and process simulation tools and techniques.


App/CV/ Interview

Evidence of careful attention to detail in data collection, manipulation and interpretation.


App/CV/ Interview

Experience of designing experiments and planning the analysis of complex data sets.


App/CV/ Interview

Knowledge of pharmaceutical isolation, continuous process development, analytical strategies and manufacturing operations.


App/CV/ Interview

Job Related Skills and Achievements



Excellent organisation skills, including planning, prioritising and organising work to ensure the effective use of resources to deliver against project time lines.



An ability to work independently


App/CV/ Interview

Personal Attributes



Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including enthusiasm and confidence, with the ability to listen, engage and persuade, and to present complex information in an accessible way to a range of audiences.


App/CV/ Interview

The ability to work as part of a team with the ability to successfully collaborate, network and share responsibilities


App/CV/ Interview

Other Relevant Factors



Willingness to travel (required to support AWL sales activities associated with the filtration and washing system)


App/CV/ Interview

A valid driving licence with access to own vehicle



Application Procedure

Applicants are required to complete an application form including the name of three referees who will be contacted before interview without further permission, unless you indicate that you would prefer otherwise. Applicants should also submit a Curriculum Vitae and a covering letter detailing the knowledge, skills and experience you think make you the right candidate for the job. Applicants should also complete the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form.

Other Information

Further information on the application process and working at Strathclyde can be found on our website (

Informal enquiries about the post can be directed to Dr Chris Price,


Where applicable, the successful applicant will be required to serve a 6 month probationary period.


The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities' Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding this scheme is available from Payroll and Pensions.


Formal interviews for this post will be held on Tuesday, 2 February 2016.

Equality and Diversity

We value diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

The University currently holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award, recognising our commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia.

Posted in: West, Vacancy