UCL Electrochemical Innovation Lab

Prof Paola Lettieri

Prof Paola Lettieri

Pro-Provost (UCL East) and Professor of Chemical Engineering

Dept of Chemical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2001

Research summary

Prof. Paola Lettieri has 25 years' experience in Particle Technology and Fluidization. Through research collaboration and consultancy, she has enabled the development of new fluid-bed processes, resolved significant operational problems in complex industrial plants, and supported the design of sustainable processes. Her work encompasses experimental measurements, x-ray imaging, and mathematical modelling. Her pioneering work on the effect of process conditions on gas fluidized beds contributed to understanding the role of interparticle forces and has been applied in industries in the chemical, petrochemical, nuclear and energy-from-waste sector, enabling: the development and scale up of fluid-bed processes at BP Chemicals; the development of the energy from waste fluid-bed gasification process at Advanced Plasma Power. Her work in Fluidization also supported the operation of the Magnox Thermal Denitration fluidized bed reactor operated at Sellafield.

She is also expert in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and her work in LCA has influenced waste management strategies for energy recovery from waste, plastic waste reduction and nuclear waste management. She currently leads research in LCA on several major EPSRC and EU funded projects, covering: plastic waste management (examples are: face coverings with IChemE and NHS; tree shelters with the Woodland Trust; remembrance poppies with Royal British Legion); bio-hydrogen production; nuclear waste management in collaboration with NNL; and the enviromental impact assessment of construction projects with MACE.

Teaching summary

Prof. Lettieri's departmental teaching activities are mainly in the areas of fluid particle systems, and sustainability. Today chemical engineers have to juggle economics and safety with broader aspects of environmental issues, economic development, and social responsibility. Prof. Lettieri is interested in providing new teaching methods and tools to prepare the future professional chemical engineer for this new role, making use of her industrial experience and through teaching life cycle assessment as a tool for assessing the full environmental impact of a given product and technology development. 


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE Part 2 |
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE Part 1 |
University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1999
Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
First Degree, Laurea | 1994


Prof. Paola Lettieri is Director of UCL East, UCL's new Campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. She is Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE). She joined the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2001 as a Research Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the first female engineer to be awarded a RAEng Fellowship. Prior to this, she spent 5 years at BP Chemicals, Sunbury. Her research interests are in Fluidization and Life Cycle Assessment, with applications to the chemical, petrochemical, nuclear and energy sector. She was the recipient of a prestigious Senior Research Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering and The Leverhulme Trust for her work on nuclear waste management. She has authored over 250 papers and 7 book chapters. She is co-author of a book published by Springer on Fluidized bed reactors: processes and operating conditions. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. She is a member of the International Expert Group on LCA for integrated waste management.