Sonia Melendi-Espina


  • 1.25 Sciences

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

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Personal profile


I hold a MEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oviedo (Spain), a PhD from the Spanish National Institute of Coal (INCAR-CSIC, Oviedo) with about one year spent at The University of Nottingham and Imperial College London, and over three years of postdoctoral experience in the UK, split between the Universities of Cambridge (2010-2012) and Nottingham (2012-2014). I joined the University of East Anglia in September 2014.



Key Research Interests

My research interest lies in the field of chemistry and engineering of carbon materials, concretely in the development and processing of functionalised carbon nanomaterials for potential applications in energy, chemical engineering and environmental processes. I have extensive knowledge in their synthesis, functionalisation, characterisation, deposition, processing and handling. During my career, I have worked extensively with large multinationals and SMEs on a wide range of research and consultancy projects. These have focussed on the evaluation of raw materials, characterisation of coals, tars, pitches and residues derived from coal and oil and the revalorisation of some of these products as precursors for valuable materials. Much of my work has been applied in nature and subject to strict non-disclosure agreements, such as the Boeing Strategic Collaboration on carbon fibre composite recycling, and more recently the partnership with Mitravitae Ltd. on wastewater technologies and integrated renewable energy systems. In addition to the large volume of commercially sensitive research, I have led/participated in many other national and international research projects in fields like composite materials, energy storage, water purification membranes and sensors. Currently our work mainly centres on the development and fabrication of nanostructured graphene-based coatings for a variety of applications, such as water nanofiltration membranes, corrosion protection, modified electrodes for flow-redox batteries and optical fibre sensors for the monitoring of emerging pollutants.



Academic Background

  • PhD in Chemical Engineering, Spanish National Institute of Coal (INCAR-CSIC) (Spain), 2011
  • MEng in Chemical Engineering, University of Oviedo (Spain), 2002

Postgraduate Research Opportunities

Feel free to contact me to discuss PhD proposals and sources of funding

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Engineering, Spanish National Institute of Coal

Award Date: 17 Mar 2011

Master of Engineering, University of Oviedo

Award Date: 21 Mar 2002

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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