Professor Raffaella Villa

Job: Professor of Environmental Bioengineering - Interim Associate Dean of Research and Innovation

Faculty: Computing, Engineering and Media

School/department: School of Engineering and Sustainable Development

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: 0116 255 1551




Personal profile

Professor Raffaella Villa joined De Montfort University in 2019 as Reader in Environmental Engineering. Prior to that she worked at Cranfield, Stirling, Exeter and the University of Milan (Italy).

Raffaella has worked on microbial bioengineering for the last 20 years. Her major contributions relate to the delivery of the next generation biotechnological processes that combine protection and production for a more circular bioeconomy, such as bioremediation and high-value products from waste. This is achieved by understanding the common science in the two areas (protection and production) on how to control and enhance specific functions of microbial communities by manipulating operative conditions to increase process yields and stability, with increasing emphasis on the concept of the “waste biorefinery”.

Raffaella has published over 60 research papers, books and conference proceedings with substantive contributions to waste biotransformations, bioremediation and anaerobic digestion.

Research group affiliations

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)

Publications and outputs

Research interests/expertise

Professor Villa's research interests include:

applied microbial processes across the fields of wastewater treatment (bioremediation) and energy from waste (anaerobic digestion and algae);

waste biotransformation;

environmental engineering.


PGCert in Academic Practice (Cranfield University)

PhD in Food Biotechnologies, Universitá di Milano (Italy)

BSc and MSc in Food Sciences and Technologies, Universitá di Milano (Italy)

Courses taught

ENGT5268 Environmental Management and Policy

Honours and awards

Personal Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Fellowship (EU FP5), Stirling University 2000

MIUR (Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) Personal Advancement Fellowship (1995)

Membership of external committees

Member of the Editorial Board of ICE Water Management (

Editor in Chief of Environmental Technology Reviews (

Membership of professional associations and societies

Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology

Recent research outputs

See link to Orcid and Scopus profiles