The role of chemical engineers in pharmaceutical industry

Fran├žois Yacoub, PhD. , Technical Directorate, GlaxoSmithKline

25 February 2010 at 10:30

Location: JHE 326H

The task of chemical process development in the pharmaceutical industry has grown into a multidisciplinary endeavor requiring very unique skills. Increased competition in the pharmaceutical industry and ever-tightening regulatory environment has resulted in demands to shorten development time and produce superior quality. This has required very specific new skills to the pharmaceutical industry. Special emphasis is placed upon the role of chemical engineering as a key leader along with synergies that are possible between.
Chemical engineers have a strong background in multiple disciplines with competencies in rate and equilibrium processes, computational techniques examining heat and mass transport, reaction rate analysis, mixing/fluid dynamics, separation processes, scale-up phenomena, safety analysis, mathematical modeling and reactor/equipment design. The primary role of the chemical engineer is therefore to use these capabilities to help realize the potential that the chemists provide them.
The current challenges present great opportunities for chemical engineers to shape the future of the pharmaceutical industry. Process design, Quality by Design (QbD), and Process Analytical Technologies (PAT) are among the key focus areas.

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