Welcome to our new academic staff


All staff photo for the Department of Chemical Engineering

Introducing six new academic staff members to the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Dr Salvador Eslava 

Dr Salvador EslavaDr Eslava joins the Department as a Senior Lecturer after five years as a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at University of Bath.

Before Bath, he was a PDRA in the Materials Department at Imperial College London, and in the Chemistry Department at The University of Cambridge. He defended his PhD degree in 2009 conducted in the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (COK) at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and IMEC, Belgium. He holds a Taught Master in Materials Science from Universitá degli Studi di Pavia, Italy, and an MEng in Chemical Engineering from Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

He will also soon start an EPSRC Early Career Fellowship on Interface Engineering for Solar Fuels.

Dr Eslava currently leads a group on novel synthesis approaches for (photo)electrochemical and (photo)catalytic materials, including transition metal oxides, halide perovskites, oxide perovskites, and graphene derivatives. He and his group carry out physicochemical and electrochemical characterisation of these materials to relate their properties to their application on energy conversion and storage and pollutants remediation, as well as on their scale up and development.

Dr Ceri Hammond

Dr Ceri HammondDr Hammond is a Royal Society University Research Fellow, and from will join the Department as the Senior Lecturer. He started his career at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute following periods at the Department of Chemical and Bio-Engineering at ETH Zürich, and the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. He leads the Catalysis Engineering research group which sits at the interface of chemistry and chemical engineering and specialises in several aspects of heterogeneous catalysis. It also performs research on groundwater purification and biomedical engineering.

Dr Maria Papathanasiou

Dr Maria PapathanasiouDr Papathanasiou will join the Department in April as a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering. Her expertise is in process modelling, optimisation and control of biological and biopharmaceutical manufacturing systems, with an aim to apply Industry 4.0 principles.

She is currently working on the development of novel computational tools to address challenges in the design and optimisation of production and supply chain models in personalised healthcare, specifically in adaptive cell cancer immunotherapies (CAR T-cells). She was interviewed about her work on CAR T cell supply chain models in Cell & Gene Therapy

Dr Papathanasiou has been a PDRA in the Department since 2017. She completed her PhD at the Centre for Process Systems Engineering at Imperial College London and holds an MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering from Imperial, along with a Chemical Engineering Diploma from the National Technical University of Athens.

Dr Anna Hankin

Dr Anna HankinDr Hankin’s research interests are in green technologies for the production of hydrogen gas, with particular emphasis on photo-electrochemical systems, aquoues and gaseous CO2 reduction to fuels, 3D printing of functional materials for electrochemical and photo-electrochemical applications and metal recovery from plating wastewater by electrodeposition.

She has spoken extensively about her research at conferences throughout the UK and Europe and co-authored a briefing paper for the Institute of Molecular Science and Engineering on ‘Assessing Carbon Capture and Utilisation in the UK’ with Professor Nilay Shah, current Head of Chemical Engineering.

Dr Hankin completed her PhD in Electrochemical Engineering at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, where she also completed an MSc in Physics. She has been a Postdoctoral Researcher at Imperial since 2012. 

Dr Antonio Del Rio Chanona 

Dr Antonio Del Rio ChanonaDr Del Rio Chanona completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge where he was a member of the Process Engineering Group and received the Danckwerts-Pergamon award for the best PhD dissertation of 2017. That same year he joined the Chemical Engineering at Imperial as an EPSRC Research Fellow and in 2019 he received the Sir William Wakeham award for early career researchers for outstanding research achievements and contribution to the department.

His research focuses on developing and applying computer algorithms from the area of optimisation, machine learning and reinforcement learning to engineering systems. The applied branch of his research looks at bioprocess control, optimisation and scale-up.

Dr Yuval Elani

Dr Yuval ElaniDr Elani is currently a Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London where he leads the Soft Microsystems Group. He is an expert in soft-matter, opto- and microfluidics, synthetic biology, and chemical biology.

His research centres on constructing soft chemical microsystems that can be interfaced with biology, and on the bottom-up construction of artificial cells that resemble biological cells in form and function.  He also investigates how soft microsystems and artificial cells can be interfaced with living biological systems – organelles, cells, and tissues – to yield hybrid cellular bionic systems that are composed of living and synthetic components. 

Dr Elani read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University as an undergraduate, and conducted his PhDat Imperial in the Department of Chemistry. He has published extensively in the areas of synthetic biology, biointerfaces, and soft-matter biotechnology, and has many active collaborations with clinicians and industry. His work has been recognised by a series of medals and awards, including through the World Economic Forum, who selected him to be part of their Young Scientist Community (50 under 40 worldwide). 

Dr Eslava and Dr Hammond will join the Department on 1 November 2019. Dr Elani will join in January 2020, and Dr Papathanasiou, Dr Hankin, and Dr Del Rio Chanona will join in April 2020.


Sara West

Sara West
Communications Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6607
Email: sara.west@imperial.ac.uk

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