Using machine learning to analyse biomass feedstocks and reduce food waste

Get paid to do a Masters with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University (The Sunday Times' University of the Year 2018) and Bio-Shape Ltd.

1 Year Enterprise-led Masters by Research, Ref. No. 125

  • Get paid £15,000 tax-free
  • Have you tuition fees reduced. Your partner company pays £2,000 towards your fees, meaning UK/EU students pay £2,327, and international students pay £16,390.
  • Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation with a cohort of 50 talented graduates working on exciting business-led R&D.
  • The Centre is based at Lancaster University, so you will gain your Masters from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Sunday Times University of the Year 2018.
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

The Project

Carbohydrates constitute the largest source of biomass on Earth and their exploitation is crucial towards a more sustainable future and creating a circular bio-economy. Chemical companies are increasingly looking towards utilizing waste biomass as renewable feedstocks, however, the complexity and variations of carbohydrate structure is a major challenge and an obstacle towards the effective management and processing of these feedstock.

Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are a significant waste product from the coffee industry with over 500,000 tonnes produced each year in the UK alone, with the majority of this waste going to landfills. Focussing on SCG’s this project will look to develop software with machine learning capabilities to analyse complex polysaccharide from food waste. The skills learned in this project will be in high demand as the European consumer market moves towards sustainable products from low-carbon processes significantly changing the manufacturing landscape across Europe.

The successful candidate will have a minimum 2:1 degree in Computer Science, Software Development, Statistics or a related discipline.

Enterprise and collaborative partners

This Masters by Research is a collaborative research project between Lancaster University and Bio-Shape Ltd. Supervised by Dr. Frank Dondelinger, a researcher with extensive experience in applied machine learning and Dr. Bob Lauder, an expert in the structure and function of complex polysaccharides. You will work in collaboration with Bio-Shape Ltd; a start-up company developed by academics from Manchester and Liverpool Universities to support the biotechnology industry. They are developing their capabilities into waste management, analysing high-value biomolecules from waste streams to help companies transition towards a circular economy.


Apply Here

Download the application documents for this project


Deadline:            Midnight Sunday 14th July 2019

Start:                    October 2019


This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. For further information about the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, please see our website.