At the end of my PhD at RWTH Aachen University, I had the chance to visit Cambridge CARES for 3 months combining my expertise in optimisation-based process development with the expertise of Prof. Alexei Lapkin’s group in autonomous reaction optimisation. The idea of a completely autonomous process development seemed extremely exciting for me. To realise such a system, my supervisor Mohammed Jeraal developed an experimental setup which can execute a certain reaction and autonomously decide on more promising operating conditions. To also consider the effect the reaction has on a potential downstream process (e.g., for product separation and the recycling of unreacted educts), I developed a process model which can be used for process optimization – considering optimisation variables regarding both the experimental setup as well as the process model. The highlight for me in this project was to see that changes to the experimental setup, which were motivated by the considered downstream process, could be realised easily and yielded a higher process performance.

During my entire stay at Cambridge CARES, I felt extremely welcomed and was supported in every aspect from the very beginning. All administrative measures were taken care of such that I could really concentrate on my research. Even a transfer between working places between the lab and the office was possible considering all COVID-related measures. I was particularly grateful for the opportunity of gaining first experiences in the lab. One thing I enjoyed the most: the highly international and motivated atmosphere. It was great to see that so many researchers from all around the world work so determinedly on different topics, always with the aim of combining their outcomes into the world avatar.

The outcome of my research stay at Cambridge CARES was many new friends, valuable experiences both personal and professional, and a highly interesting presentation that I gave to finish my PhD in Germany. I am grateful to CARES for this opportunity and can’t think about a better way to finish my 5-year journey as a PhD student. I can’t wait to come back at some point.

Jannik Burre, Chemical Engineer PhD student at RWTH Aachen University


C4T occasionally hosts internships (usually for undergraduate or graduate students studying a Chemical Engineering or Engineering programme). If you are interested in applying for an internship with us, in the first instance please send your CV and a brief description of why you are interested in an internship with C4T to


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