Professor Frans L Muller has been appointed as Chair in Chemical Process Engineering at the University of Leeds. He will be based in the Institute of Process Research and Development (iPRD), which brings together experts from chemistry, engineering and industry to provide innovative new solutions for chemical manufacturing.
Professor Muller will oversee research into continuous flow processing, process modelling and simulation, and innovative ways of working in the process environment when he takes up his position on 1 August 2011.
Professor Muller said: “I am very pleased to join the team at iPRD. Having enjoyed working as a process engineer in compound development teams, I look forward to solving industrially relevant problems and helping train a new generation of process chemists and engineers with an aptitude for scale-up and manufacture.”
A much respected expert in the areas of agrochemical and pharmaceutical compound development, Professor Muller arrives at the Institute with a distinguished career. His academic studies began in Holland in 1983 where he studied Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology.
He then completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge with Professor John F Davidson before pursuing a substantial and varied career in industry. In 1994 he joined Zeneca Huddersfield (Later Syngenta) where he was involved in a project to write and develop ‘DynoChem’, a dynamic simulation package now used across the pharmaceutical industry.
After establishing himself as a Process Engineering Scientist in Syngenta, he moved to world-leading pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in 2006 to become one of the first Associate Principle Scientists in process engineering.
Since then Professor Muller has helped bring large-scale thinking to early development through his invention of the scale-up risk evaluations and his work on the crystallization workflow concept. He is also currently the AstraZeneca project leader on F3 factory, a €30m euro pan-European project.
Professor John Blacker, iPRD Director in the Schools of Chemistry and Process, Material and Environmental Engineering at the University of Leeds, said: “This is a very exciting appointment for us which will strengthen our capabilities across the process chemical and engineering interface to enhance our ability to innovate in this area and reinforce the links iPRD is making between industry’s needs and creative academic problem solving.”
Established in 2008 by the University of Leeds’ transformation fund, the iPRD brings together expertise in chemistry and engineering in academia and industry to support manufacturing process innovation.
iPRD is partly funded by a £4.85 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward. The Institute houses a new £4.3 million process laboratory, which is the first of its kind in the UK.