One of the benefits of undertaking IBioIC’s HND in Industrial Biotechnology is the real-world experience, and it doesn’t get much more real-world than getting up close and personal to some industrial scale fermenters!

This was the treat in store for our HNC/D students when they went on a site visit last month to the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) facility in Irvine, Ayrshire.

Peter Hiller, Fermentation Technology Development Lead and Sheila, Fermentation Scientist, gave the students and staff a full tour, allowing them to see the facility in 24/7 operation, including access to their impressive industrial scale 100,000 and 200,000 litre fermenters. The HNC/HND students and staff were impressed by the sheer scale and size of the production plant. (We’d love to show you some pictures, but this access was so exclusive that we weren’t allowed to bring phones into the lab!)

Colin Nivison, Site Technical Director and Julian Harber, Business Development Leader, also gave presentations on the various production processes of GSK’s antibiotic manufacturing facility, touching on some of their fermentation techniques, downstream processing, antibiotic resistance and strain development and improvements, to aid the students understanding.

The team at GSK were fantastic hosts, and Colin Nivison said afterwards, ‘It was great to host the visit from the HND students and this is part of GSK’s commitment to engage with Universities and Colleges to build relationships with the scientists of the future. It was also a great opportunity for the students to see what they are learning on their course at an industrial scale.’

The students themselves agreed.  ‘The visit was fantastic for developing our understanding of Biotechnology downstream processes. We have been studying these in theory, but seeing the fermenters and processes in practice has made the theory come alive, and we feel more confident with several of the topics we are soon to be assessed on. Speaking with the employers about the workplace training has also made us feel more confident about moving from the college environment into IB work.’

IBioIC's HND programme is run in collaboration with Glasgow Clyde College and IBioIC give additional support through our industrial network.

The HND programme is still recruiting, you can apply here 


For more information contact:

Keira Geddes
Senior Lecturer Science
E-mail: KGeddes@glasgowclyde.ac.uk
Web: Glasgow Clyde College