Imperial College London

Undergraduates highly commended by chemical engineering qualifying body

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Fourth year chemical engineers were nominated and recognised for their student design project based on a sustainable alternative meat product.

The Macnab-Lacey Prize for Student Design Projects is administered by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and is awarded to the undergraduate student design project team whose design project submission best shows how chemical engineering practice can contribute to a more sustainable world. 

All design projects involving students on courses accredited by IChemE are eligible for entry and the winning project is awarded a prize of £750. 

“The Meatastic Team put forward innovative green engineering solutions to the large-scale production of cultured meat, which is an emerging field with little industrial understanding so far." Professor Rongjun Chen Department of Chemical Engineering

MeaTastic, which was chosen by the Department of Chemical Engineering panel as the highest standard among the Final Year Design Projects and nominated for the Macnab-Lacey Prize by Professor Rongjun Chen and Professor Paul Fennell, was Highly Commended by the IChemE judging panel.

The project was designed by Mihai-Andru Angheliu, Hamza Arafat, Adrian Ize-Iyamu, Ming Hei (Hale) Lee, Wai Lee, Long Mak, Isobel Melvin, Natalia Neocleous, Oyekitan Oyeleke, Irmantas Racaitis, Aleksander Ziolkowski

MeaTastic is a Singapore-based food technology company specialising in the production of ethically cultured beef patties using a combination of satellite stem cells (SSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The design team utilised the Twelve Principles of Green Engineering, putting forward innovative engineering solutions, such as dissolvable microcarriers, and animal-free growth culture media.

“Congratulations to the Meatastic Team, who delivered a very high quality design project on a topic of critical importance for the future of the planet." Professor Paul Fennell Department of Chemical Engineering

The project details a sustainable way to scale up production to 205 tonnes of beef patties per annum. Stem cells are seeded in a reactor where they multiply, after which they’re moved to differentiation reactors where the different cell types are differentiated into fat and muscle tissues. Other reactors are responsible for maintaining appropriate levels of glucose, amino acids, and hormones, while keeping concentrations of growth inhibitors (lactic acid and ammonia) under the design limits.

Professor Rongjun Chen commented on the project: “The Meatastic Team put forward innovative green engineering solutions to the large-scale production of cultured meat, which is an emerging field with little industrial understanding so far. Their design project was of a very high standard and best embodied sustainability. I am so proud and happy for the team.”

Professor Paul Fennell added: “Congratulations to the Meatastic Team, who delivered a very high quality design project on a topic of critical importance for the future of the planet. They were tenacious under the challenges of a very difficult design brief. Well done also to the winners, Manchester.”

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Sara West

Sara West
Department of Chemical Engineering

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6607
Email: sara.west@imperial.ac.uk

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