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Sandra Lenihan

Sandra Lenihan, PhD
Room: E10
Tel: +353-21-4335886

Sandra  graduated with a degree in Industrial Chemistry from UL in 1997 while accumulating industrial experience in Eli Lilly and Astellas.  In 2003, she completed a PhD in Physical Chemistry in UL, on the Oxidation of Ammonia (Environmental Engineering).  Upon completion of her PhD, Sandra worked as a Research Engineer with AMT Ireland in UCC.  In 2005, she joined Gilead Sciences (formerly ALTANA Pharma) as a Technical Support Scientist. She was responsible for the transfer of new solid dosage products from sites in Germany and USA to the facility in Cork. She also held a lead role in the organisation of R&D activities for this company.

In 2008, Sandra was appointed as a lecturer in the Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering Department.   She lectures  the following modules:  Formulation, Particulates,  Technology Transfer, Biopharmaceutical Processing and GMP  in Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering and BSc in GMP and Technology. 

Interests include industrial-academic collaborations/commercialisation in the areas of pharmaceutical formulations, with particular focus on solid dosage processing, physical characterisation, environmental engineering and bioprocessing.

Current Research

Sandra and Dr Keith Byran (Mechanical Engineering) were recently funded by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (hosted in University of Limerick) for the following project “Powder Modelling for Tablet Processing”.  The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC) is an Enterprise Ireland/IDA funded research group to assist the Irish Pharmaceutical Industry improve its competitiveness. 

Previous Research


Sandra and Dr Caroline O’Sullivan were funded (78,000 Euros) under the Enterprise Ireland Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre Initial Research Programme, “Enabling and Control of Continuous Processing”. The Project established best practice through Quality by Design (QbD) and Process Analytical Technology (PAT) initiatives while achieving a quality product consistently from a continuous dry granulation process in order to support manufacturing.  Led by the School of Pharmacy in UCC, project partners include CIT’s Centre for Advanced Photonic and Process Analysis (CAPPA), and WIT’s Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC).  University of Limerick were also joint stakeholders in this project.


McAuliffe, Michael; O'Mahony, Graham; Blackshields, Caroline; Collins, John; Egan, David; Kiernan, Luke; O'Neill, Eamonn; Lenihan, Sandra; Walker, Gavin; Crean, Abina:  "The Use of PAT and Off-line Methods for Monitoring of Roller Compacted Ribbon and Granule Properties with a View to Continuous Processing”. Organic Process Research and Development; American Chemical Society,  April 2014

Conference Proceedings

A STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF ROLLER COMPACTION PARAMETERS ON RIBBON AND GRANULE PROPERTIES BY OFFLINE AND INLINE METHODS WITH A VIEW TO CONTINUOUS PROCESSING. McAuliffe, Michael; O'Mahony, Graham; Blackshields, Caroline; Collins, John; Egan, David; Kiernan, Luke; O'Neill, Eamonn; Lenihan, Sandra; Walker, Gavin; Crean, Abina Presented at the EuPAT Conference, Tailoring QbD & PAT Science to Pharmaceutical Industry Needs, HF Hotel Ipanema Park, Porto 23-24 Sept 2013.

2008-2006 Formulation

“Development of Taste Masking Technologies” collaboration with The School of Pharmacy, University College Cork and ALTANA Pharma.  Enterprise Ireland and ALTANA Pharma 500,000E- Grant funding of approximately 50%.  This collaboration consisted of two sub-projects namely Taste Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals and Taste Masking Development (formulation based project). The former project was to study the feasibility of using an electronic tongue for taste evaluation of pharmaceuticals and the latter to develop an alternative taste masking technology (two approaches used were microemulsions and solid dispersion) for oral dosage forms. Five full time researchers were employed on this project.

2003-2004 Lean Manufacturing

Food Factory of the Future - Application of lean manufacturing over a variety of Irish industries (e.g. Wyeth Medica, Sensormatic, Musgraves & Lufthansa).

1996-2003 Environmental Engineering

Supported Heteropoly Acids as Solid Acids in the Beckmann Rearrangement and Catalytic Oxidation of Ammonia to Nitrogen and Water. The former topic is a proactive approach whereas the latter project is an end of pipe solution but both resolve serious environmental problems through heterogeneous catalysis. To undertake the Catalytic Oxidation of Ammonia to Nitrogen and Water research, a micro reactor to treat effluent streams was designed.

This page was last updated 20 Oct 2014