Alexander Meister

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About me

Born in Graz, I decided to move to Graz after finishing school at HTL Kaindorf (near Leibnitz, in the south of Styria) in the field of automation technology and mechanical engineering  to study process  engineering  at  Graz University of  Technology.  In  the time between the graduation and the beginning of my studies in winter term 2012/13 I did my alternative civilian service. After  the  bachelor‘s  programme  I  continued  with  the  master’s  programme  of process engineering and finished it in February 2020. Within the scope of my master thesis,  at  the  Institute  of  Chemical  Engineering  and  Environmental  Technology (CEET), I dealt with the planning, construction and commissioning of a falling film absorption plant. Due to my extensive knowledge in the field of plant control and automation and my interest  in  pharmaceutical  process  engineering,  which  I  discovered  during  my master  studies,  I  joined  the  working  group  "Continuous  Processes"  of  Heidrun Gruber-Wölfler at the Institute of Process and Particle Engineering (IPPE) in spring 2020. Employed as a project assistant, I am now continuing with my PhD studies.

Research interests

Within the scope of my work at the IPPE I am dealing with the further development of  continuously  operated  tubular  crystallizers  for  the  production  of  active pharmaceutical  ingredients.  Most  active  pharmaceutical  ingredients  are  further processed  in  crystalline  form.  Therefore,  it  is  of  special  importance  to  design crystallizers  under  the  aspects  of  Quality  by  Design  (QbD),  so  that  besides  high throughput rates, optimal process control can be guaranteed.  Based  on  various  model  systems,  a  special  interest  lies  in  the  research  of measures to eliminate or reduce deposits and accumulations in the hose lines. Such deposits lead from initial cross-sectional reductions to complete blockages, which ultimately mean production stoppages and require expensive and time-consuming cleaning steps. The aim of these measures is a targeted increase in the mean time between failures (MTBF) for practical application in fully continuous crystallization.


Standard  equipment  such  as  peristaltic  or  syringe  pumps,  mass  flow  controllers (MFC),  cooling  or  heating  baths,  etc.  are  used  to  carry  out  practical  experiments with  various  model  systems.  In  the  field  of  measurement  and  control  technology, single-board computers, e.g. Arduino, are used.  For the analysis of crystalline products, the institute has several devices available for this purpose. By means of laser diffraction, sizes and size distributions of the crystals can be determined with the Helos® series from Sympatec. In addition, the QicPic®  of  the  same  company  can  be  used  to  determine  the  shape  and  other product characteristics. Using a high-speed camera the particle flows inside the tube of the crystallizer can be observed and followed.