York academics to form Knowledge Transfer Partnership with global manufacturer of speciality chemicals

Posted on 29 August 2019

We have formed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Croda; this new KTP will see the innovative speciality chemical manufacturer work with the University developing novel algorithms for product comparison and quality control.

Croda logo (optimized)

The KTP is funded by UK Research and Innovation through the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and is the first part-time KTP ever formed at York, ensuring it attracted a more diverse talent pool. Croda is a global organisation operating across 38 different countries; this partnership with the University's Department of Mathematics will work with their founding manufacturing site at Rawcliffe Bridge, England, which is one of their four manufacturing sites within the UK.

The partnership is backed by the expertise of two academics: Professor Julie Wilson who brings expertise in the application of mathematical modelling and statistical methods to biological and chemical problems; and Dr Marina Knight, a Senior Lecturer in Statistics, whose research interests are centred on the modelling of stochastic processes with time-evolving statistical characteristics which is of particular relevance to this partnership.

Commenting on the project’s objectives, Professor Wilson said: “The ability to make the same product in a number of different locations globally provides maximum manufacturing flexibility, but the product must remain constant wherever it is made. This project will involve the development of methods to objectively and quantitatively compare the similarity of speciality chemical ingredients manufactured in different locations, assessed through detailed compositional analysis. Adding data analysis like this to Croda’s already high quality control standards will enable them to continue to demonstrate the consistent composition of their products across their manufacturing sites."

Dr Elizabeth Dickinson has been appointed as a KTP Associate and she will be playing a key role in creating innovative data analysis techniques as well as working to embed the skills and knowledge of these techniques at Croda. Dr Dickinson brings expertise in statistical modelling and pattern recognition of data from analytical chemistry (chemometrics), and said: “I'm really excited to be working on this fantastic opportunity with the Department of Mathematics and Croda. The fact that the position is part-time means that I am able to balance work and family commitments, and carry out really interesting research at the same time. It's excellent for my professional development working in both industry and academia, so I feel very lucky to be working on such a great project!”

Further information:

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership Programme aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. KTPs are funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

To find further information on KTP, or speak about project ideas, please contact Dr Rukmal Abeysekera, Knowledge Transfer Manager on 01904 321124 or rukmal.abeysekera@york.ac.uk.