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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD3011 Innovation and Design Principles for Foods

10 creditsClass Size: 32

Module manager: Dr Aleks Ponjavic

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Completion of year 2 of a BSc programme

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Computer Aided Design for complex materials such as food products is within the reach of the product designer. This module teaches the basic principles of Comsol Multiphysics using a practical, project oriented approach. Combined unsteady state heat and microwave transfer can be modelled for complex shapes and desktop experiments conducted in order to optimise a design. The student will learn how to use the Comsol Multiphysics modelling environment and apply it to interesting problems and challenges. An example from food is the design of a heating process for a battered chip which combines unsteady state heat transfer with mass transfer computation of the moisture changes in the chip. The student can choose projects which are not necessarily food related, since the approach is quite generic. Whilst challenging and at the cutting edge of computer modelling, past evidence of teaching and module feedback for the module to food scientists has shown that students from a wide variety of backgrounds can benefit from, and enjoy this module. The learning outcomes aim to ensure the skills and knowledge are provided so that a food processing system can be analysed and an appropriate mathematical model applied to simulate the system and provide predictive capabilities. Use of the computer modelling tool, Comsol Multiphysics, a versatile and powerful application will provide a valuable skill for anyone interested in working in product and process development.


To introduce principles underlying the analysis of food processing operations and their application to process and product design.

Learning outcomes
1. Gain awareness of mathematical modelling in food processing and design
2. Enhance numeracy and mathematical modelling skills and become familiar with advanced modelling software Comsol Multiphysics
3. Understand the innovation process in food processing context
4. Prepare a technical report describing physical and mathematical aspects of the system modelled

Skills outcomes
Developed skills include numeracy and mathematical modelling, computer aided design and application to real problems.


The objectives of this module include an understanding of steady state heat transfer by conduction convection and radiation. Unsteady state heat transfer.
Become familiarised with Comsol Multiphysics software and be able to build steady and unsteady state models of food processing systems.

Gain understanding of the innovation process in the context of food processing and product development.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning201.0020.00
Private study hours72.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students are expected to study lecture material to ensure comprehension of steady and unsteady heat transfer. This should complement their introduction and use of Comsol Multiphysics.
Students are required to gain practice using the software to become proficient in its use, also, research into the specific parameter values required to populate their models is required. Critical evaluation and rationale behind modelling assumptions should be considered during these decisions.
Model predictions should be evaluated against real systems and where necessary, model improvements through an iterative process should be implemented.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative assessment will be a continuous process during weekly computer (2 hours) sessions and through mathematical tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentCompetency Assessment20.00
AssignmentTechnical Report80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/08/2023


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