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Lancaster University

Masters by Research: Spiroflow
Location Lancaster University
Starts Oct 2021
Deadline 18 Jul 2021

Get paid to do a Masters with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University and Spiroflow.

Location: Lancaster University

Project details

• Get paid £16,000 tax-free.

• Have your tuition fees reduced. Your partner company pays £2,200 towards your fees, meaning students eligible for home fees pay only £2,300. International students will need to pay the remaining £20,050.

• Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation within a cohort of talented graduates working on exciting business-led R&D.

• The Centre is based at Lancaster University, so you will gain your Masters from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Sunday Times University of the Year 2018 and International University of the Year 2020. 

• Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas or progress on to further study.

The business and academic support

This project will be supervised by Dr David Cheneler – Senior Lecturer, Faculty Of Engineering, Lancaster University and Dr Xiaonan Hou – Lecturer in Engineering, Lancaster University and by James Poydevyn – Joint MD, Spiroflow Ltd.

Spiroflow, based in Clitheroe, Lancashire, has been in operation for 45 years. It is a global leader in the field of powder handling, and dry solids processing and now an emerging leader in control systems integration. Spiroflow has a range of design engineers and process automation specialists and work to introduce efficient, innovative and reliable process solutions for its customers.


You have: a 2:1 degree or above in 1st in Mechanical or Mechatronic Engineering with a strong competence in mechatronic design and numerical simulation, such as FEA or CFD. Other related degrees will be considered if applicants can demonstrate competence in these areas either through their degree or industrial experience.

You have: excellent English language skills.

The Challenge

Development of a precision calculation tool for scaling industrial dry ingredient conveying systems.

The conveying of dry materials is paramount to any manufacturing process but these conveyors have not changed in design or function for decades. Even though ‘features’ and improvements are made to improve the systems, the basic calculations needed to specify the size needed are often based on archaic calculations, rules of thumb, experience and the limitation of risk.

Conveyors are sized using some preconceived parameters that have never evolved. This project identifies one widely used conveyor technology and aims to create a fit for purpose calculation tool that takes into account several key inputs – e.g. product friction, product density, length, angle, volume per second, conveyor load, material of construction. The objective is to use calculations to prove the concept more accurately and allow longer length conveyors and smaller drive motors. As such this will greatly reduce the energy and carbon footprint used for potentially every blue chip manufacturing company that all use these conveyors.

What you will gain

  • • Work alongside a business partner gaining enviable industry experience
  • • Gain input from a team of academic supervisors
    • Gain a tax-free stipend each year
    • Have reduced tuition fees
    • Access a research budget for travel and consumables
    • Further your career with a postgraduate application
    • Develop links with both the business and academic community
    • Help to solve a real-world problem which allows a shift to a low carbon economy

Our research is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Learn more about Lancaster University

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation was established in 2012 based on the University’s pioneering decision to place its world-class environmental research at the heart of driving innovation for Clean and Sustainable Growth. Our previous projects have supported more than 700 SMEs since 2012 and two of its graduates won the prestigious James Dyson Award in 2018.

Through our flagship project Eco-I North West we are recruiting researchers onto a number of funded Master's by research (MRes) projects. These will be recruiting from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Graduates join a substantial cohort of like-minded and ambitious researchers, providing an important peer network and support group. You’ll be mentored by our Innovation Fellows and benefit from both academic and business supervision and support.


“Being a part of this research group gives you a unique perspective into how businesses and centres for academic research can work together to generate real world impact. You feel part of something bigger, because you are!”

Phoebe Sutton, Graduate Researcher, May Barn Consultancy Ltd

“Being a researcher within the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation has given me an amazing opportunity to be involved in the development of technology that will hopefully have a real, tangible and positive impact on reducing energy consumption.”

Cathy New, Graduate Researcher, Hardy and Ellis Inventions Ltd

“It has opened so many doors for me as a researcher. My company has taken me to Germany, France and London, so I’ve had the chance to travel. It’s really opened my eyes to the possibility that the skills I have learnt could allow me to work abroad.”

Rebecca Burns, Graduate Researcher, Isoprime

“The idea of curiosity-driven science never appealed to me, as the possibility that all of my hard work may never benefit anyone was too daunting. However, my project had very specific research objectives and I was safe in the knowledge that my research was likely to benefit my business partner.”

Jonathan Longden, Graduate Researcher, Nucleotide Nutrition Ltd

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