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Chemical engineering professors awarded New Year’s Honours in 2019

10 January 2019

Chemical engineering professors and Fellows of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), Geoffrey Maitland and Raffaella Ocone, have been awarded honours in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2019 New Year’s Honours list.

Professor Geoffrey Maitland, Professor of Energy Engineering at Imperial College London, was awarded a Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to chemical engineering.

At Imperial he has helped develop the university’s leading work in carbon capture and storage. He also played a key role on the government’s Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) Cost Challenge Taskforce. This work recently led to a new government action plan for mitigating climate change, which includes the commission the UK’s first ever commercial CCUS facility by the mid-2020s.

Geoffrey Maitland, a past President of IChemE, said: “I am delighted to have been recognised by the Queen for this honour, which has been possible due to the contributions and support from the many excellent students and collaborators I have been lucky enough to work with over the years. 

“I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to work with staff and colleagues at IChemE, which has allowed me to interact with so many amazing chemical engineers across the world, support the profession, and help raise awareness of how exciting and impactful chemical engineering is.

“My journey with chemical engineering has been a wonderful experience and I hope that this honour to some extent highlights the achievements of chemical engineers everywhere.”

Professor Raffaella Ocone, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, has been awarded an Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to engineering.

With more than 25 years of experience in modelling complex systems, Ocone’s areas of research include hydrodynamics of granular materials, continuum lumping of multicomponent systems and carbon capture.

In 2018, Ocone played a key role for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which is the body that assesses the quality of research and studies in UK higher education institutions.

Raffaella Ocone, who is also Chair of IChemE’s UK Research Committee, said: “I am both humbled and honoured to have been awarded an OBE. It is a recognition to engineering in the UK and abroad.

“I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the international nature of engineering; the foundations of my engineering skills come from Europe and the US, but I could have not reached what I did if the UK had not offered me huge opportunities to practice and enhance my skills.”

Jon Prichard, IChemE Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to see that professors Geoffrey Maitland and Raffaella Ocone have been awarded a CBE and OBE, respectively, in the New Year’s Honours.

“They truly deserve these recognitions by the UK Government for many years of outstanding contribution to chemical engineering.

“It is fantastic to see them be recognised for their leading research, which is helping to advance chemical engineering in the energy sector and providing great benefits for wider society.”