Chemical engineering professors awarded New Year’s Honours

Chemical engineering professors awarded New Year’s Honours

3rd January 2019

Chemical engineering professors and Fellows of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), Geoffrey Maitland and Raffaella Ocone, have been recognised in the Queen’s 2019 New Year’s Honours list.

Professor Geoffrey Maitland, Professor of Energy Engineering at Imperial College London, was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to chemical engineering.

At Imperial he has helped develop the university’s leading work in carbon capture and storage. He also played a key role on the government’s Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) Cost Challenge Taskforce. This work recently led to a new government action plan for mitigating climate change, which includes the commissioning of the UK’s first ever commercial CCUS facility by the mid-2020s.

Geoffrey Maitland, a former President of IChemE, said:

“I am delighted to have been recognised by the Queen for this honour, which has been possible due to the contributions and support from the many excellent students and collaborators I have been lucky enough to work with over the years. 

“I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to work with staff and colleagues at IChemE, which has allowed me to interact with so many amazing chemical engineers across the world, support the profession, and help raise awareness of how exciting and impactful chemical engineering is.

“My journey with chemical engineering has been a wonderful experience and I hope that this honour to some extent highlights the achievements of chemical engineers everywhere.”

Professor Raffaella Ocone, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to engineering.

With more than 25 years of experience in modelling complex systems, Ocone’s areas of research include hydrodynamics of granular materials, continuum lumping of multicomponent systems and carbon capture.

In 2018, Ocone played a key role for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which is the body that assesses the quality of research and studies in UK higher education institutions.

Raffaella Ocone, who is also Chair of IChemE’s UK Research Committee, said:

“I am both humbled and honoured to have been awarded an OBE. It is a recognition to engineering in the UK and abroad.

“I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the international nature of engineering; the foundations of my engineering skills come from Europe and the US, but I could have not reached what I did if the UK had not offered me huge opportunities to practice and enhance my skills.”

Jon Prichard, IChemE Chief Executive, said:

“I am delighted to see that professors Geoffrey Maitland and Raffaella Ocone have been awarded a CBE and OBE, respectively, in the New Year’s Honours.

“They truly deserve these recognitions by the UK Government for many years of outstanding contributions to chemical engineering.

“It is fantastic to see them be recognised for their leading research, which is helping to advance chemical engineering in the energy sector and providing great benefits for wider society.”


Left to right: Raffaella Ocone and Geoffrey Maitland


New Year’s Honours List 2019


For more information please contact:

Tara Wilson, Head of Communications, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534454

Rachael Fraser, PR and Communications Executive, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534435

What is chemical engineering?

Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, maths and economics in the process of turning raw materials into everyday, and more specialist, products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world. Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role.


The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) advances chemical engineering's contribution worldwide for the benefit of society. We support the development of chemical engineering professionals and provide connections to a powerful network of around 37,000 members in 100 countries.

We support our members in applying their expertise and experience to make an influential contribution to solving major global challenges, and are the only organisation to award Chartered Chemical Engineer status and Professional Process Safety Engineer registration.