Raffaella graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Università di Napoli, Italy and obtained her MA and PhD from Princeton University, US. She has held the Chair of Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, UK, since 1999. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2007 she was appointed Cavaliere of the Italian Republic. In The Queen’s 2019 New Year Honours she was appointed Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for services to engineering. She was named as one of the top 100 Most Influential Women in the Engineering Sector in 2019 in the list produced by the board appointments firm Inclusive Boards in partnership with the Financial Times.
Raffaella was appointed the first Caroline Herschel Visiting Professor in Engineering at RUHR Universität, Germany in recognition of her work in ethics and is currently Guest Professor of Engineering there.
She has demonstrated her strategic thinking in chemical engineering and promoted interdisciplinary research and industrial collaboration. In her own institution, Heriot-Watt University, she has contributed to re-aligning the teaching and research as the field was changing.
Raffaella’s involvement in research goes beyond her own research interests: she served on the RAE 2008, REF 2014 and 2022 panels. She undertook the Chemical Engineering Research Review of the Czech Republic in 2015. She has chaired the IChemE UK Research Committee, aiming to establish an agreed view on chemical engineering research needs for addressing key global challenges. She has twice chaired the National Research Committee in Portugal.
Raffaella has served on a large number of committees for various professional bodies including the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
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