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Prof Suzanne Farid
Room 3.7 (Bernard Katz Building)
Dept Biochemical Engineering
  • Professor of Bioprocess Systems Engineering
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science
Research Summary

Suzanne Farid leads research into novel computer-based decision-support tools that provide systematic foundations to help companies make better decisions where there is inevitable uncertainty in process performance, market projections and clinical success rates. The research focuses on establishing and integrating models on bioprocess economics, manufacturing logistics, dynamic simulation, uncertainty analysis, multi-objective decision-making and combinatorial optimisation.

A major part of this activity is creating decision-support tools for the design of cost-effective bioprocesses. Studies in collaboration with Prof Nigel Titchener-Hooker (Biochemical Engineering), Prof John Washbrook (Computer Science) along with a consortium of companies have led to the creation of frameworks that facilitate rapid evaluation of manufacturing alternatives in terms of operational, financial and risk metrics while accounting for intrinsic complexities specific to biopharmaceutical manufacture. These tools have been used to analyse economic drivers and trade-offs in the production of the most expensive class of biopharmaceutical medicines, antibodies. These techniques are being developed further to more effectively shorten the time required to prioritise cost-effective strategies to cope with future trends. This is in collaboration with biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the new EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies, the IMRC in Bioprocessing, Engineering Doctorate collaborations as well as TSB-funded projects.

Another major focus of Suzanne’s research is in the area of creating decision-support tools for capacity planning and portfolio management. The research focuses on capturing the impact of inherent uncertainties in R&D, manufacturing and clinical trials when addressing the questions of portfolio selection, management and resource allocations. Recent work in collaboration with Dr Papageorgiou (Chemical Engineering) and Dr Yuhong Zhou (Biochemical Engineering) have created planning models specific for biopharmaceutical production that have been added to the portfolio of consultancy services of the industrial sponsor.

A recently awarded TSB Technology Programme with Prof Chris Mason, Dr Farlan Veraitch and Dr Ivan Wall , is enabling research into decision-support tools that help devise successful business models for novel regenerative medicine therapies such as stem cells and cell-based vaccine cancer therapy. This is in collaboration with Lonza Biologics, UCL Dept. of Management Science & Innovation, the NHS Technology Adoption Centre, LGC and Future Medicine.

Suzanne’s research also examines how best to interface experimental studies with modelling tools. Recent examples include assessing the potential of converting a waste product into a commercial product in blood plasma processing and comparing alternative manufacturing routes for the production of bio-active matrix for artificial skin substitutes.

Funding for the above research has come from the UK EPSRC, the TSB Technology Programme and a range of company collaborators including Bayer, Medimmune, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Lonza Biologics, Protherics (now BTG), Delta Biotechnology and Smith and Nephew.

Teaching Summary

Suzanne’s current teaching activities include guiding both Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology students in their 3 rd year Bioprocess Plant Design Project which involves the complete design of a bioprocess plant for the production of biotech products arising out of life science discoveries. Suzanne’s earlier teaching roles include co-ordination of the following core process engineering courses to undergraduate and MSc students: Fluid Flow & Mixing in Bioprocesses, Heat & Mass Transfer in Bioprocesses and Computer-Aided Bioprocess Engineering. She also co-ordinates the department's post-experience MBI® training module on Quality by Design for Effective Bioprocess Characterisation and Validationand teaches on some other modules on approaches to accelerating bioprocess development, process economics and R&D portfolio decisions.

Suzanne acts as Director of Student Recruitment and Chair of the Recruitment Committee. She was previously Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, co-ordinating UCAS interview days, summer visits for A-level students, Headstart Courses for Teachers. She is also a member of the UCL and Faculty Admissions groups and participates in the Undergraduate Staff-Student Consultative Committee.

Academic Background
2001 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Biochemical Engineering University College London
1997 BEng hons Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) – Biochemical Engineering University College London
03-05 CLTHE_1 Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE Part 1 – Academic studies in Higher Education University College London
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