International Granulation Workshop celebrates 20 years of powder research in Sheffield

A week-long event saw leading academics, industry members and students converge on the University of Sheffield to share insights into granulation.

People in lab coats interacting with a piece of machinery

Sheffield once again found itself at the centre of the granulation world with the return of the International Granulation Workshop - which celebrated its 10th instalment.

Organised by PhD students from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering’s Sheffield Particle Product Group, the weeklong event began with a two day granulation course.

Granulation is the name for the process of forming grains and granules from various powdery or solid substances and materials. 

The course saw a record number of attendees gain hands-on, practical experience on a wide array of powder technologies such as tableting, characterisation and both wet and dry granulation. 

People at work benches in a lab

In-depth lectures giving insight into the science behind these technologies were also provided by experts from academia and industry. The institutions represented during the event include Nestle, GSK, The University of Sheffield, AstraZeneca, Alexanderwerk, University of Leicester, EIRICH, HARKE group, Bene, Meggle, OMYA, Catalent and Verder Scientific.

The three day Granulation Conference was opened by Prof Agba Salman, with the first plenary lecture being given by Prof Jim Litster (The University of Sheffield) on "AI in granulation control"

A packed conference room

The second plenary lecture was titled "Quo vadis particle technology?" and given by Prof Stefan Palzer (Nestle Research) and Prof Gerhard Niederreiter (Nestle Research). 

Plenary lectures given on the second day included Prof Peter Kleinebudde (Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf) on "The future of the pharmaceutical granulation" and Prof Gabriel Meesters (Delft University of Technology) on "Particle coating".

The third and final day saw Prof Gavin Reynolds (Astrazeneca) and Prof Charley Wu (University of Surrey) give lectures on "Starting with the end in mind – systems modelling of pharmaceutical processes" and "Predicting bulk powder behaviours based upon individual particle properties – ADEM approach" respectively.

In addition to these lectures three parallel sessions saw researchers showcase the most cutting edge and novel developments in the field of powder technology. Also featured were representatives from the department's Particle Product Group, who presented on a wide range of topics, including granulation, sustainable packaging and spray drying.

Four people on stage, three holding up prize certificates

Poster prizes were also given by industry (GSK, AstraZeneca, Glatt and Alexanderwerk) for topics ranging from best pharmaceutically relevant poster to most innovative research.

Attendees were also given a tour of Sheffield’s continuous powder to tablet manufacturing pilot plant.

Several people stood in the Diamond Pilot Plant

Exhibitors from across the powder processing industry also unveiled their latest creations, while the outstanding contributions to the granulation community of Prof Mike Hounslow were recognised during the conference, which returned after a COVID-19 enforced break.

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