Jelena Pavlovic


MSc study: Dairy Science and Technology

University: University of Copenhagen (KU)

Company: NNE A/S

Project title: Kinetics and parameter control of membrane Cleaning in Place (CIP)

Project description:

In the industry and particular in the pharmaceutical industry, cleaning of membranes is a key requirement to ensure safety and hygiene standards. Cleaning of the membranes is typically done by a combination of base, acid, water, temperature and flow. The cleaning process is requiring significant resources, e.g., time, water, chemicals, therefore not only creating bottlenecks but also having a negative environmental impact. This project aims to review the mechanisms of fouling and cleaning of an ultrafiltration membrane. Laboratory equipment, i.e., scale down membrane processes will be used to estimate fouling and cleaning kinetics and estimate parameters to control fouling and cleaning. The reproducibility of the cleaning process will be investigated. Tackling this subject will address the following industrial needs: increase the process understanding, provide ideas for resource optimisation, and optimise the design of manufacturing and CIP systems. Furthermore, it will increase process sustainability and improve overall CIP efficiency.

What was your motivation for becoming a Helix Lab Fellow?

Since I started studying, my ultimate goal was to do a practical and result-driven master thesis in collaboration with the industry. I see my master thesis as my latest expertise, and Helix Lab as the meeting point of knowledge and competence, since it is an ideal blend of academia, scientific expertise and industrial know-how. Furthermore, cutting edge technology the laboratory is equipped with and the prospect of working with the experts in the field is an opportunity I would not like to miss. I see this Helix Lab Fellowship as a once in a life time experience and one that is highly recommended for my future growth.

Helix Lab is a firm link between the students and the industry experts and what makes this link beneficial for both sides is the perfect mix of learned enthusiasm and in-depth competence. Quality equipment and the support system, not only from one’s own supervisor but overall, are the building blocks of conducting high-quality research.

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

Acquiring knowledge while being a part of the very practical and application-related industrial project is just one of the benefits. Instant communication with the experts that can resolve dilemmas and issues during the work on the thesis is one of the things I greatly appreciate and it has helped and improved my work and learning.

A true feeling of belonging among peers. Sharing knowledge, insights and experiences with the other students, from other universities and countries, has been a noteworthy opportunity. Both learning and social interaction through events and industrial-site visits Helix Lab ensured, created a unique experience which I am thankful for.

Also, everyone related to Helix Lab have been welcoming and helpful, which makes for a very pleasant environment to be in. What I especially appreciate is that everything I needed for my project was immediately provided by the Helix Lab, creating a dependable working atmosphere. The vastness of the resources Helix Lab has access to is truly exciting.   

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

I think Helix Lab provides a chance to experience being in an academic environment while networking with industry experts. All this can lead to a better future career opportunity, ideally in industrial symbiosis in Kalundborg. I am well aware that the link between the industry and the university is important and given opportunity to become an employee, I would be delighted to further strengthen and develop that link.