News

Finalist in Engineering Excellence Awards from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


24 August 2011

3D model of the process
3D model of the process

Nima Yazdanpanah and Professor Tim Langrish, Drying and Process Technology Group, have been shortlisted as finalists in the Engineering Excellence Awards 2011 by Engineers Australia. Their innovative project, called "crystallized milk powder", is in final competition with six other innovative projects from different research organizations and companies. The Engineering Excellence Awards recognise the expertise of individuals and engineering organisations and highlight the work that engineers in a variety of industries are doing for the benefit of communities around the world.

The Engineering Excellence Awards has been run for 27 years. In 2011 a total of 90 entries were placed in Level 1, with 51 progressing to Level 2 - Finalist stage. The University of Sydney is competing in the Innovations and Inventions section and is in a tough competition, in the final stage, with National ICT Australia, CSIRO, ResMed, Ocular Robotics, Braingauge, and Finisar Australia. The winners of the Excellence Engineering Awards will be announced on Friday September 16.

Drying and Process Technology Group's major research activities include food drying, solar timber drying, crystallization in drying and surface coating technologies. Crystallization of spray-dried milk powder in a fluidized bed dryer is one of the leading projects in the past year.

The pilot of the fluidized bed crystallization of milk powder at School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
The pilot of the fluidized bed crystallization of milk powder at School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Australia is one of the main milk powder producers and exporters in the world, with million-tonne scale production performance. Spray-dried milk powder by conventional methods is unstable in storage, by sorbing moisture and forming cakes, and it is not free-flowing when handled, and pron to deteriorative changes. The research project of crystallized milk powder has provided an efficient and robust solution for this industrial problem. The powders from this innovative technique are very stable and free-flowing; in addition, the novel particle structure that has been developed in this project, "Egg-shell particle" with crystalline surface and amorphous core, will maintain the desirable quality of conventional milk powders and improve the functionality and shell-life span of milk powders. The project is designed and developed based on considering the reality of the current full-scale dairy industry approaches, so that the laboratory results have attracted industrial partners to invest in scaling-up from this laboratory scale to potentially employ the process in dairy mega-plants. This innovative project is expected to support the key role of Australia in the world milk powder market. ">

Contact: Alexandra Missiris

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