Professor Raffaella Ocone holding a small-scale model of a conical hop.

I am an Engineer who works in academia. I was the first woman to be Professor of Chemical Engineering in Scotland; the second in the UK.

My research deals with the design and operation of industrial processes, such as oil refining.

Professor Raffaella Ocone

As the world population continues to increase so the energy demand is predicted to increase. My work is aimed at the development of technologies for sustainable and clean energy generation at a large scale that will be able to meet the energy demand whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Those technologies include biomass pyrolysis and chemical looping for hydrogen production.  We study the technical challenges that might hinder large scale economically viable conversion processes. 

We study pyroclastic flow and lahars to gain information into the management of people safety and environmental protection following a volcano eruption and flooding. 

My research includes scientific and economic analysis, as well as social responsibility and ethics. 

My latest moves have been to use artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle the floods of data available in the chemical and process industries where our work is applied.

I love what I do. I’ve always been interested in understanding how things work. I enjoy finding practical solutions that can change the way we live, such as clean water and clean energy. My work allows me the opportunity to travel and meet people from different backgrounds and cultures: diversity is the most important aspect of my work and I really hope I can inspire our younger generation – especially young women – to study engineering. 

Raffaella is holding a small-scale model of a conical hopper, which is used to analyse the flowability of powders.