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Personal profile

Research interests

Sheila is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath. Her expertise is in developing large, high-fidelity optimisation models for whole-system value chains to achieve net-zero, while protecting the environment, ecosystem services and biodiversity. 

Sheila is one of the 15 members of the Science Expert Group of the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), providing independent scientific and technical support to the BEIS Chief Scientific Adviser.

She received the 2021 IChemE Junior Moulton Medal, which is awarded to the most meritorious paper published in all IChemE journals during the last year.

She is PI of various projects funded by the EPSRC, BEIS, Newton Fund, STFC etc. to develop sustainable systems and value chain models for key natural and emerging resources, and leads her research group at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath.

Her research interests focus on multi-scale mathematical modelling and optimisation and their application to process systems engineering problems, such as process synthesis and integration, whole systems design and operation, production planning and scheduling, supply/value chains, location and transportation problems and so on. In particular, she has great interest in the following:

  • Whole-system value chain modelling and optimisation for key natural and emerging resources (e.g. hydrogen, biomass/bioenergy, CO2, plastics etc.)
  • Circular economy
  • Food-energy-water-environment nexus
  • Design, planning and operation of multi-vector energy networks comprising technologies for conversion, storage and transport
  • Heat, electricity, transport fuels, alternative energy vectors (e.g. hydrogen, syngas, methanol, ammonia)
  • Energy storage
  • Power-to-gas and hydrogen injection into gas grids
  • Water exchange/distribution networks
  • Optimisation under uncertainty (stochastic analysis, robust optimisation etc.)
  • Efficient methods for large scale optimisation problems (e.g. decomposition)
  • Mathematical programming and game theory for decision-making
  • Application of methods in Artificial Intelligence (e.g. Constraint Programming) for planning and scheduling of chemical plants

She received “high commendation for outstanding contribution in research (Sir William Wakeham Prize 2016)” during her appointment at Imperial College London.

She leads the systems modelling subtask of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Hydrogen Implementing Agreement Task 38 Power-to-Hydrogen-to-X.

She is a key developer of the Energy Technologies Institute's Biomass Value Chain Model, which is being used by the ETI, BEIS and ETI's industrial members to drive bioenergy policy in the UK. Sheila extended the maths of the BVCM to model forestry value chains in New Zealand, and this is being used by Scion Crown Research Institute to optimise sustainable roadmaps for the use of biomass resources for biofuels and bioenergy.

She is the Lead Guest Editor of Special Issues in: Elsevier's Food and Bioproducts Processing journal on "Towards a sustainable bioeconomy: Working in harmony with the environment-food-energy-water nexus" and Frontiers in Energy Research journal on "Integrated Energy Networks and Sustainable Value Chains".

Sheila is the pioneer of the Value Web Model, which transcends traditional supply chain models by modelling circular pathways and interlinking circular value chains (i.e. value webs). This has a wide range of applications at different spatial and temporal scales, including integrated energy systems, water networks, supply chains for food, chemicals etc. and the circular economy.

Sheila received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from University College London (UCL) and then worked as a Research Associate at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London before joining University of Bath.

Willing to supervise doctoral students

Sheila is keen to supervise PhD projects on the following topics; please email her if you are interested:

  • Whole-system modelling and optimisation for net zero
  • Value chains for circular economy
  • Plastics value chains
  • Biomass value chains
  • Forestry value chains
  • Hydrogen (and other emerging energy vectors) value chains
  • Food-energy-water-environment nexus
  • Sustainable fashion
  • Integrated renewable energy value chains
  • CO2 value chains
  • Modelling and optimisation of heat networks
  • Modelling and optimisation of water distribution networks
  • Modelling and optimisation of energy storage (process and system level)
  • Optimisation under uncertainty of integrated multi-vector energy networks
  • Efficient methods for large scale optimisation models
  • Application of methods in Artificial Intelligence (e.g. Constraint Programming) for design, planning and management of value chains and process systems
  • Optimising energy and/or systems in cities
  • Mathematical programming and game theory for decision-making

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports - Nature

Dec 2021 → …

Associate Editor, Frontiers in Energy Research journal (IF 4.008)

Sep 2021 → …

Non-Executive Board Member, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

25 Mar 2021 → …


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