Christina Papamichail

Helix Lab Fellow, Class of Fall 2022

MSc study:

Food Science and Technology, Dairy


Copenhagen University


Novo Nordisk

Project title:

Optimizing Cleaning In Places Process in an API production

Project description

CIP is an abbreviation of Cleaning In Place, which means that the interior surfaces of the equipment in a process, are being cleaned without dissembling the equipment. It is an automated process to eliminate human errors, that is performed right after the production to eliminate the risk of contamination either between batches of a product or during the changeover of the production to another product. It is an essential process during manufacturing of a product, as insufficient CIP or no CIP at all could impair the equipment and compromise the quality of the product. It is an important part of production as it guarantees that the safety and hygienic conditions meet the regulatory’s affairs standards in every batch. In addition, from a process perspective, CIP ensures that there is a consistent process performance.


What was your motivation for becoming a Helix Lab Fellow?

I had a more academic background, because I had focused on my studies and research. I was a research assistant at the University before starting my second master. However, I wanted to broaden my qualifications and be a process engineer. My decision resulted in conducting the Food Science and Technology Master at KU. It is a master that from the beginning had a close relationship with different industries, either through internships or lectures from experts working at well-known companies. Thus, I wanted to continue in the same pattern and have as a master thesis a project that was in close collaboration with a company. After talking to different professors regarding possible master thesis projects, I figured that I could have a master thesis project in collaboration with a company through the Helix Lab Fellowship.

The Helix Lab fellowship was everything I wanted for my thesis. I had the chance to put the scientific background in practice, while working at a pharmaceutical company. It was the meeting point of knowledge and competence, as it has an ideal blend of academia, scientific expertise and industrial know-how.

Helix Lab is a beneficial link between the students and the industry experts; as it brings a new point of view and enthusiasm from the students to industrial projects, while the industry experts provide the students the chance to work on a current industrial project and prepare them for their next step in their career.

I saw the Helix Lab Fellowship as an experience that could assist my future growth.


What is the most exciting part of being a Helix Lab Fellow?

The people of Helix Lab are very nice, helpful and easy to talk to. It was very clear from the beginning that they care; not only for the students having anything that might need for their project, but also the student’s wellbeing. They arrange for us: different activities to participate every Thursday for free, visits to all the companies at Kalundborg to know them better and many interesting Tech Talks to inspire us. In the stressful period of conducting the master’s thesis, combined with a new environment and relocation, these activities is what I am looking forward to every week. It is nice to do something together with the other students, relax a little and have fun while learning something new.


What perspectives do you see for your future after being a Helix Lab Fellow?

Due to master’s thesis project, I have a clear view of my next career steps. I got a full-time position at NN, starting right after defending the master thesis. In addition, the Helix Lab Fellowship experience shed light on what I want to achieve in the near future and which steps I will have to follow to achieve my goals.