Touraj Eslami

hosted at evon, Austria
I was born in 1988, Iran. After finishing my BSc (2007-2011), in mechanical engineering, i joined superfine pulverization manufactory for 3 years. Then my curiosity about automation led me to pursue my higher education in robotics and automation engineering at university of Siena in Italy. Upon successful completion of MSc with a thesis on grasping unknown objects with humanoid robots, I continued my career by developing control schemes in Nano-robotic area at university of Tampere in Finland. Currently, I am a PhD candidate at Boku university in Vienna, Austria. My research project is to implement an online control in chromatographic steps by using Hybrid model (MPC-ILC) to achieve continuous downstream process. This research is funded under CODOBIO-MSCA-ITN project and supervised by ING G.Ebner (EVON) and Prof. A.Jungbauer (BOKU university).

Short description of project:

I was part of the CODOBIO project, an international training programme focused on improving the process of pharmaceutical manufacturing. My specific project was about making a key step in this process, called chromatography, more efficient. I developed new strategies that could lead to more efficient and cost-effective production.

What new skill/skills did you learn?

I learned a lot about process optimization and control algorithm development. I also got to do hands-on work in the lab, particularly with ion-exchange chromatography and protein A affinity chromatography. I learned about Model Predictive Control (MPC) and Extended Kalman Filter (EKF), two techniques that were key to my research..

What did you enjoy most about your project?

What I found most fulfilling about my project was its tangible connection to real-world challenges in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Knowing that the strategies I was developing could make the process more efficient and cost-effective was really motivating.

What do you believe is your biggest contribution to the scientific community?

I think my biggest contribution is the new strategies I developed for optimizing the chromatography process. These strategies can improve productivity and make better use of materials, which could have a big impact on biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

What would your advice be for future Early-Stage Researchers at the start of their project?

My advice to future Early-Stage Researchers would be to always keep the real-world applications of their research in focus. It is crucial to understand how your work can address real-world problems and contribute to the advancement of your field. Moreover, do not shy away from complex challenges – they often lead to the most innovative solutions.

What do you plan next?

Moving forward, I am eager to continue my research in process optimization in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. I am particularly interested in exploring how the strategies I developed during my PhD can be applied in an operational environment. I am also open to collaborations with other researchers and industry partners to further advance this field.
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