Fascinated by pharmaceutical process development and how novel drug manufacturing techniques contribute to that? Eager to pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences on the industrial implementation of continuous tablet manufacturing via direct compression?

This could be your opportunity! A collaboration between Ghent University CESPE and Johnson and Johnson Belgium!

More information on the topic and how to apply on the UGent Job portal!

Short project description:

The pharmaceutical industry is switching from batch-wise to continuous manufacturing of tablets. The aim of current project is to address crucial gaps of knowledge for industrial implementation of continuous tablet manufacturing via direct compression.

During drug product development limited amounts of new chemical entities are available to investigate the effect of formulation and process variables on the final drug product. The first aim is therefore to develop a strategy for identification of a surrogate component, i.e. a component with similar characteristics as the new chemical entity, to use during early process and formulation development trials. Furthermore, continuous feeding of very cohesive raw materials is often challenging and affects further downstream processing. Therefore, various formulation strategies to overcome feeding issues of very cohesive raw materials in function of process parameters will be developed. Finally, a control strategy based on residence time distributions is of utmost importance to ensure the final product quality and traceability along the manufacturing line. Therefore, the critical formulation and process parameters affecting residence time distributions on a continuous direct compression line will be investigated and predictive models will be built for each unit operation and for the integrated line.

Ghent University is one of the most important education and research institutions in the Low Countries. On a daily basis, over 9,000 staff members and 41,000 students implement its motto "Dare to Think". Ghent University's mission statement is characterised by qualitative education, internationally renowned research and a pluralistic social responsibility.

As part of its further academic development, the faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghent University plans to recruit:

  • a full-time tenure track Assistant professor;
  • in the discipline of Pharmaceutical Technology;
  • in the department of Pharmaceutics (FW01)

Interested? Have a look at the vacancy description and application portal!

Apply until 24/04/2020 23:59 (Brussels time)


Interested in the capabilities of continuous freeze-drying? What is the impact on stability, supply chain, manufacturing operations, quality control, etc.?

Subscribe to the hands-on workshop on batch versus continuous freeze-drying of pharmaceuticals!

  • Demonstration of continuous freeze-drying prototypeF

  • Formulation characterization for batch and continuous freeze-drying hands-on training

  • DEMO PAT for continuous freeze-drying

  • Dynamic design space determination

  • Execution of batch and continuous freeze-drying processes for selected formulations

  • Evaluation performed batch and continuous freeze drying runs

  • Determination CQAs freeze-dried products: batch versus continuous

Prof. Thomas De Beer presenting CESPE at inauguration event.

Happy to see innovation domain 'Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering & Manufacturing' as an important axis in the renewal of the innovation charter between Janssen Pharmaceutica, Ghent University and the University Hospital Ghent! UGent Excellence Centre CESPE working together with prominent pharmaceutical industry leaders such as the Janssen Group on building an ecosystem of excellence in Flanders and the Benelux

This PhD project aims at developing mechanistic process models for an innovative pharmaceutical production process (continuous pharmaceutical production process of tablets). The research will be conducted in close cooperation with 4 companies (Janssen Pharmaceutica, GSK, UCB and Pfizer).

Research results will be published in important scientific journals.

  • Profile: master’s degree in bio-engineering, chemical engineering, physics, chemistry. Candidates must have strong interest in mechanistic modeling and pharmaceutical engineering. Experience in Python and/or Matlab is an asset.
  • Duration: 4 years, tentative starting 1/10/2018 (earlier possible!)
  • Statute: PhD scholarship
  • Application: by August 15, 2018

Download the full PhD position description

Contact details: Prof. dr. T. De Beer, and Prof. dr. I. Nopens,

CESPE will present to you at Knowledge for Growth 2018 this week Thursday 17th in Ghent #KfG2018! Visit us at exhibition booth 75, first floor of TTO Flanders Ghent University Tech Transfer to get to know more about the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering. #KfG2018 with

Website Launch

Launch of the new CESPE website! Have a look at the core research areas and services offered by the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable and Pharmaceutical Engineering at Ghent University!

Interested? Visit and Contact us now!