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P4G 2016 ilogoPaste, Particle and Polymer Processing group (P4G)

Ian WilsonOur interests lie in developing the understanding of processing of pastes, particles and polymers, and their flow behaviour in particular.  We rarely synthesize components: rather, we build from existing materials. We apply that knowledge to manufacture, at industrial scale, products with desired microstructure or function, or, equally importantly, to resolve problems encountered in processing such materials.

P4G was formed in January 2013 by the (friendly) merger of two of the groups in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology with an interest in structured materials and processing: the Paste and Particle Processing group (P3G) and the Polymer Fluids group . The group is led by Ian Wilson, Sarah Rough and Bart Hallmark. Retired staff David Scott, John Davidson and Bob Skelton also contribute.

Bart HallmarkSarah Rough

A substantial part of the activities led by Prof. Wilson is related to studying the formation and removal of fouling layers on heat transfer and process equipment surfaces, as well as cleaning and decontamination.  Dr Rough has a long-standing interest in particle technology, while Dr Hallmark enjoys simulating processes and flows from the meso- to the plant scale. There is much work on complex fluids, both visco-plastic and visco-elastic.

The group's activities range from fundamental theoretical, numerical and experimental investigations to applied and proof-of-concept studies. The research page gives a full listing of ongoing and past projects.

The group is part of the Microstructure Engineering Cluster within Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology.



Recent News

  • Paper published: Al Ismaili, R., Lee, M.W., Wilson, D.I. and Vassiliadis, V.S. (2019) Optimisation of heat exchanger network cleaning schedules: incorporating uncertainty in fouling and cleaning model parameters, Computers & Chemical Engineering, 121, 409-421.
  • Prize Dissertation. Ole Mathis Magens received the 'bronze' prize for his PhD thesis in the 2018 Hygienic Study Award competition. This competition is held biannually and the awards are presented at the EHEDG World Congress. Ole received his award at the Congress dinner in London on 21 November.
  • Paper published: Wilson, D.I. (2018) Fouling during food processing – progress in tackling this inconvenient truth, Current Opinion in Food Science, 23, 105–112.
  • Chemeca 2018 Queenstown, New Zealand. P4G members George Cuckston, Michael Sargeant (ex) and Ian Wilson presented papers. Ian was awarded the Malcolm A Brodie Medal for the best paper presented at the conference, entitled 'Cleaning tanks by impinging liquid jets', co-authored by Rajesh Bhagat, Rubens Rosario-Fernandes, Sebastian Hunter and Francois Mace.
  • One year to go to VPF8: P4G are one of the groups organising the biannual workshop on Viscoplastic Fluids: from Theory to Application, being held in Cambridge (UK) from 16-20 September 2019.
  • Paper published: Cuckston, G.L., Alam, Z., Goodwin, J., Ward, G. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Quantifying the effect of solution formulation on the removal of soft solid food deposits from stainless steel substrates, J. Food Eng., 243, 22-32.
  • Paper published: Bhagat, R.K., Jha, N.K., Linden, P.F. and Wilson, D.I. (2018) On the origin of the hydraulic jump in a thin liquid film, J. Fluid Mech. 851, R5. picked up by the Phys.Org website!
  • P4G at UK Fluids Network SIG 10 Conference

    Eight of of the group attended the Special Interest Group on Fluid Mechanics of Cleaning and Decontamination Conference held at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge.

    George, Rajesh and Rubens gave oral presentations while Jheng-Han, Nathan, Melissa, Ian and Dirk gave poster presentations. It was good to see some recent visitors to the group there, notably Jifeng Yang (DTU, Copenhagen) , Hannes Koehler (TU Dresden) and Alistair Rogers (Leeds).

    Recordings of the conference will be available from the SIG website.

    UK Fluids Network SIG10 Conference August 2018 Group
  • Paper published: Chee, M.W.L, Balaji, S, Cuckston, G.L, Davidson, J.R. and Wilson, D.I. (2018) Pendant drops shed from a liquid lens formed by liquid draining down the inner wall of a wide vertical tube, Exptl. Thermal Fluid Sci, 97, 364-374.
  • P4G at FCFP 2018

    The international conference on Fouling and Cleaning in Food Processing was held in Lund, Sweden, from 17-20 April. A P4G mini-reunion took place, with (from left) Jen-Yi Huang (Purdue University, USA), Phanida Saikhwan (Thammasat University, Thailand), Ian Wilson (still in Cambridge) and John Chew (University of Bath, UK) pictured enjoying drinks in the Hyproteck room garden with the cathedral's spires in the background. PhD students George Cuckston and Rubens Rosario-Fernandes also attended.
    P4G people at FCFP2018
  • Paper published: Zhang, M., Li, X.K., Wilson, D.I., Yao, T.T. and Zhang, Y.Y. (2018) Influence of the dimensions of spheroniser plate protuberances on the production of pellets by extrusion-spheronisation, Adv. Powder Tech., 29, 1128-1141.
  • Paper published: Liu, W., Wilson, D.I, Chen, X.D and Mercadé-Prieto, R. (2018) Quantification of the local protein content in hydrogels undergoing swelling and dissolution at alkaline pH using fluorescence microscopy, Food Bioprocess Tech, 11, 572-584.
  • Congratulations to Sarah Rough, who has been awarded one of the university's Pilkington Prizes for excellence in teaching!
  • Paper published: Zhou, K.X., Ionescu, A., Wang, E., Hoa, Y.N., Barnes, H.W., Christie, G. and Wilson, D.I. (2018) Paramagnetism in Bacillus spores: opportunities for novel biotechnological application, Biotech. Bioeng, 115, 955-964.
  • Paper published: Al Ismaili, R.,  Lee, M.W., Wilson, D.I. and Vassiliadis (2018) Heat exchanger network cleaning scheduling: from optimal control to mixed-integer decision making, Comp. Chem. Eng., 111, 1-15.
  • Paper published: Zhou, X.K.,  Li, N.,  Li, N., Christie, G. and Wilson, D.I. (2017) Assessing the impact of germination and sporulation conditions on the adhesion of Bacillus spores to glass and stainless steel by fluid dynamic gauging, J. Food Sci, 82(11), 2614-2625.
  • Paper published: Patel, M.J., Blackburn, S. and Wilson, D.I. (2018) Modelling of pastes as viscous soils - lubricated squeeze flow, Powder Tech, 323, 250-268
  • Paper published: Bryan, M.P., Rough, S.L. and Wilson, D.I. (2018) Measurement of the wall slip behaviour of a solid granular soap in ram extrusion, Powder Tech, 323, 76-85.
  • Paper published: Bryan, M.P., Rough, S.L. and Wilson, D.I. (2017) Flow visualisation and modelling of solid soap extrusion, Chem. Eng. Sci., 173, 110-120.
  • Paper published: Patel, M.J., Blackburn, S. and Wilson, D.I. (2017) Modelling of paste ram extrusion subject to liquid phase migration and wall friction, Chem. Eng. Sci., 172, 487–502. Audio Slides are available.
  • Congratulations to Xu Ke Zhou and to Shiyao (Eric) Wang, who have both been approved for the PhD degree!
  • The conference flyer for the Fouling and Cleaning in Food Processing 2018 meeting, to be held in Lund, Sweden, is now available.
  • Paper published: Zhou, X.K., Wisnivesky, F., Wilson, D.I. and Christie, G. (2017) Effects of culture conditions on the size, morphology and wet density of spores of Bacillus cereus 569 and Bacillus megaterium QM B1551, Letters in Applied Microbiology, 65(1), 50–56.
  • Paper published: Markl, D., Yassin, S., Wilson, D.I., Goodwin, D.J., Anderson, A. and Zeitler, J.A. (2017) Mathematical modelling of liquid transport in swelling pharmaceutical immediate release powder compacts, Intl. J. Pharm., 526, 1-10.
  • P4G have left the building! We moved from the old Chemical Engineering building on Pembroke Street to 'new CEB' at Philippa Fawcett Drive on the West Cambridge site over the Easter break. There is daylight in the new labs!
  • L2-11 Dry Lab L2-12 Wet Lab L2-9 Process Lab
    P St Dry Lab P St Wet Lab P St IMPL
  • Paper published:O'Neill, R., McCarthy, H.O., Montufar, E.B., Ginebra, M.-P., Wilson, D.I., Lennon, A. and Dunne, N. (2017) Critical Review: Injectability of calcium phosphate pastes and cements, Acta Biomateriala, 50, 1-19.
  • Paper published: Wilson, D.I., Polley, G.T. and Ishiyama, E.M. (2017) Twenty years of Ebert and Panchal—what next? Heat Transfer Engineering, 38(7-8), 669-680.
  • Paper published:Lister,V.Y., Davidson, J.F., Sutcliffe S.J. and Wilson, D.I. (2017) Management of acute particulate fouling in a titanium dioxide reactor system, Heat Transfer Engineering, 38(7-8), 796-804.
  • Entrepreuner Guy!

    P4G alumnus Salvatore Mascia has been awarded the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2017 prize for the best start-up company founded by an Italian entrepreneur. Salvatore is CEO of Continuus Pharmaceuticals, which he spun out of the MIT/Novartis centre for continual processing for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Sal did his PhD in the group and then moved to MIT to work with Prof. Bernhardt Trout. The photograph shows Sal (on the right) receiving his award from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Salvatore Mascia Entrepreneur Award


Determination of quality parameters for consumer goods (baked cakes!)

News Archive

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of a cellulose membrane, before foulingVacancies/Studentships

Extrudates of microcrystalline cellulose water-based paste (3 mm die diameter). The difference in appearance is due to the extrusion velocity - a higher velocity induces surface fractures

 Academic collaborators within other groups at Cambridge include

Active external academic collaborators

Sponsorship and funding comes from a range of sources, including the TSB, ESPRC and industry. This support is gratefully acknowledged: more information about sponsoring bodies is available on the Group Links page.

P4G also hosts the Fluid Dynamic Gauging website: this technique was developed within the P3G group.

The former P3G or Polymer Fluids Group websites can be viewed for more information.

 Squeeze-flow testing of a ceramic paste