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Reyes Mallada-Viana

Associate Professor at the University of Zaragoza, Spain


Reyes Mallada finished her PhD in Chemistry, in the topic of catalytic membrane reactors, in 1999, at the University of Zaragoza. After that she did a postdoctoral stay at the University of Southern California working in membranes for landfill gas application. In 2001 she joined again University of Zaragoza as research associate and in 2007 she became associate professor in this university.

Her research interests include:

  • Synthesis and characterization of zeolite layers over different supports: tubular ceramic, stainless steel grids and foils, silicon, ceramic honeycomb.

  • Study of different methods for catalyst deposition in micro-reactors; microchannels and siliconsubstrates.

  • Synthesis and surface modification of mesoporous M41S materials for its use as adsorbents and membranes.

  • Microwave assisted heated microreactors.


Eduardo: Please tell us about yourself, your research area, and why you decided to focus your research on process intensification.

Reyes: My entry into process intensification began serendipitously during my PhD work on membrane reactors, where I combined reaction and separation processes. This led me to explore the development of functional materials for innovative processes. I am particularly interested in synthesizing and characterizing nanostructured materials for novel applications, aiming to create impactful and sustainable technologies.

Eduardo: Do you see any barriers or challenges to overcome to make science more inclusive?

Reyes: Education is crucial for equity in science. Both men and women should have equal opportunities to learn science from an early age, regardless of economic status. Although progress has been made, especially in terms of representation in technical careers, career development often falters when women become mothers. Equal parental responsibility and supportive policies are essential to address this issue and ensure continuous career growth for women.

Eduardo: What advice would you give to your younger self as an early career female embarking on this path in academia?

Reyes: I would advise patience, as it is fundamental in academia. Passion for your work is crucial, and it will naturally foster the patience needed to navigate challenges. Additionally, organizing and prioritizing research activities is essential to maintain focus and achieve long-term goals. These principles apply universally, regardless of gender.

Eduardo: What has been your most important achievement in the context of process intensification?

Reyes: My significant achievements include developing continuous systems in pervaporation membrane reactors and synthesizing nanomaterials using unconventional reactors. Notable contributions include the use of microwave heating for fast synthesis and the continuous production of metallic clusters in microfluidic reactors. These innovations have advanced our understanding and capabilities in process intensification.

Eduardo: Do you have a final comment about women in science or any particular aspect?

Reyes: I encourage young people to find and pursue their passion, whether it arises unexpectedly or is a long-held aspiration. Passion drives success and fulfilment in any field. Additionally, never underestimate the importance of support from friends and family, as they as they are integral to both personal and professional success.

Interview with Reyes Mallada-Viana