Faculty of Engineering

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Rebecca Ferrari

Assistant Professor in Environmental Process Engineering and Study Abroad Tutor, Faculty of Engineering



I studied for both my MEng and PhD at the University of Nottingham (2011 and 2014, Environmental Engineering). My PhD focused on the developing microwave-infrared ore sorting technologies to reduce energy use in mineral processing.

After my PhD, I worked as a research fellow in the National Centre for Industrial Microwave Processing at UoN. This was a great experience exposing me to diverse industrial and academic projects across mineral processing, oil and gas, food and agricultural products, chemistry and energy. Every day and every project was different and I helped to deliver multidisciplinary projects from laboratory up to 100 tonne per hour industrial scale.

In July 2016 I started a new role as Assistant Professor of Environmental Process Engineering.

Teaching Summary

I am currently teach on the following modules:

  • Waste Management (module convenor)
  • Environmental Risk Assessment (module convenor)
  • Environmental Field Course
  • Process Engineering Labs

I also supervise several final year MEng and MSc R&D projects each year.

I have a strong interest in digital learning technologies, and like to trial new tools in my teaching and learning design that lead to more student focused learning experiences. This ranges from making the most out of Moodle, to lecture capture, to live interactive platforms.

I am also the study abroad co-ordinator for my department and work with colleagues at our overseas campuses to provide opportunities for student mobility. This role also extends to welcoming overseas 2+2 students into our department; Nottingham is a truly global university and the ability of our students to work effectively in diverse multicultural teams is one of their greatest strengths when they graduate.

Research Summary

I am a member of the Food, Water, Waste Research Group. Current interests and projects fall under two main areas:

Sustainable production and recovery of resources

  • From plant to product: A new method for processing nickel (UNICAS)
  • Environmental and health impacts of landfill mining (PhD project, Mohammed Zari)
  • Maximising copper recovery from incinerator bottom ash (NSERP, BP/FCC Environmental)
  • Energy efficiency and waste valorisation for small scale breweries and wineries (various SMEs, Energy for Business RDF)

Transformative processes using electromagnetic fields and materials

  • Process optimisation and product development using radio frequency heating (Innovate UK KTP, Base Materials)
  • Microwave foaming of biopolymers (PhD project, Mukarram Zubair)
  • Magnetic materials for sustainable chemical processing
  • Microwave sorting of ores
  • Electromagnetic sensors for processing monitoring and analytics

Current PhD Opportunities

PhD opportunities are available in most of the above areas, for informal enquiries please get in contact via email with a CV and cover letter. Funding is available for PhDs via our Doctoral Training Centres. The University also has an extensive portfolio of Research Scholarships for international students.

Selected Publications

Future Research

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates from Home, EU and international countries who are interested in the following research areas: The circular economy, resource sustainability and waste. Sustainable extraction and production of raw materials, regeneration of materials, separation of materials and components for reuse, recovery of energy and biochemical value, materials production from waste derived and secondary resources, end of life solutions for hazardous materials.

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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