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Assoc. Prof. Jessica Whelan

Funded Investigator Manufacturing

University College Dublin


My career to date has been a blend of both academic and industrial positions. I was awarded a BE (Chemical) from University College Dublin in 2002 and joined MSD in Ballydine as an engineer supporting small molecule pharmaceutical manufacture. In 2004, I returned to the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering and completed a PhD in the area of bioprocess optimization under Prof. Brian Glennon and Dr. Susan McDonnell. Subsequently, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher on an Enterprise Ireland-funded, industry-led research project which sought to implement PAT-enabled model predictive control for mammalian cell cultures. Over the course of my time as a PhD and postdoctoral researcher, I developed capabilities in the fields of modelling, PAT, bioprocess design and optimization, advanced process control and scale up/down. In 2012, I joined APC, a company spun out from the School, focused on providing process development and support to the pharma and biopharma industries. As Director of Technical Operations, I was responsible for overseeing a large number of applied research projects for both small and large molecule processes. In 2017, I took up a position as Associate Director, MS&T Upstream at BMS Cruiserath. During my time with BMS, I was part of the team tasked with starting up the new €1 bn biologics facility and particularly introducing the first process. I was also closely involved in the late stage development and characterization of next-generation processes. My current research interests span both chemical and biological processes and include process optimization and control with an emphasis on process intensification and effective scale up.


- Biopharmaceutical process optimization
- Bioprocess intensification and continuous processing
- Scale up / Scale down
- Flow
- Process modelling and control