Application of industry 4.0 control and “digital twinning” to pneumatic conveying - 3 year paid studentship available  

Improving the efficiencies of manufacturing through the implementation of digital systems in pneumatic conveying pipelines...

Experts at the Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology, University of Greenwich have joined forces with Industry giants Schenck Process UK Ltd to offer a fully paid 3 year studentship to look at how the digitalisation of pneumatic conveying systems can help improve the manufacturing process.

“Industry 4.0” is a defined term indicating the ability of a process to be constantly pro-active or re-active in response to the process conditions or material characteristics, as opposed to the traditional approach of commissioning at a set point and left to operate with the same settings or occasionally reset by the process supervisor.

The key application here is Pneumatic Conveying, the transport of particles through a pipeline by a gas flow.  This is universally applied to in-plant transport of particles between process steps in the power, cement, minerals, food, pharmaceuticals, petro-chem, fines chemicals and metals industries.

The objective of introducing Industry 4.0 control and a digital twin is to reduce power consumption and negative effects on particle quality.   

The research aims to deliver a control system that continuously monitors the behaviour of the material in the pipeline, and readjusts the air flow to account for these material and process changes, giving substantial savings in power (varying up to about 50%) and much reduced particle breakage leading to lower waste and customer complaints. 

Situated within an acknowledged world-leading research team, this project is sponsored by a leading global manufacturer of process engineering equipment.  The focus will be on developing techniques for measurement and control of solids flow in pipelines, which has wide applications across nuclear, minerals, petro-chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries. 

The work will blend mechanical engineering with control technology and modelling techniques will be also combined with experimental approaches to study a pneumatic conveying system. Training will be given where necessary to take a creative approach to address problems associated with pneumatic transport and complement the broad range of expertise of the successful candidate.

To apply you need to hold a 1st Class or 2nd class, First Division (Upper Second Class) Honours Degree or a taught Master’s degree and hold a language proficiency score of at least IELTS 6.5 if English is not your first language.

Full entry level requirements and application details can be found at:              

If you require a copy of the project proposal, please contact Baldeep or Caroline at

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