UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Honora Driscoll

Honora Driscoll

What course did you study at UCL?
Chemical Engineering MEng

What year did you graduate?

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey?
The current climate crisis motivated me to study Chemical Engineering at UCL. Chemical engineers can have a large scale impact on energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in chemical plants.   Chemical Engineering was the right choice for me for my MEng, and I’m excited to learn more within the field of Chemical Engineering and Energy systems.  

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?
Looking back on my MEng, although the course was intense and demanding, I learnt a huge amount. I enjoyed learning and understanding the practical applications of the degree content.

What were the most interesting things you did, saw or got involved with while at UCL?
The Catholic Chaplaincy at Newman House (on Gower street) was an excellent community and allowed me to feel at home in the centre of London. It was great to meet people from all over the world. 

What is your current job title/company?
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. 

How did you arrive at your current job and what do you do?
My research focusses on green ammonia – producing ammonia using renewable energy and using ammonia as an energy vector (analogous to green hydrogen). To make green ammonia, nitrogen (from air separation) and hydrogen (from water electrolysis) react together in a Haber-Bosch reactor. 
Today, ammonia production is responsible for around 1-2% of global GHG emissions. Thus, there is a clear need for a shift to producing ammonia from renewable energy. 

Which parts of your UCL experience were the best preparation for your job? 
Being confident to work independently and in groups at UCL has definitely helped me in my PhD position.

Is there anything that you did at UCL that you think helped you succeed in finding a job/starting work?

What advice would you give to current/prospective students? (both in terms of studying at UCL and also in terms of starting your career)?
Work hard and ask lots of questions whenever you can!