Contact Dr Raffaella Villa

Areas of expertise


Dr Raffaella Villa joined the Cranfield University in 2007 as Lecturer in Bioprocess Technology. She graduated in 1993 from the University of Milan in Food Science and Technologies, where she also did her PhD in applied biological catalysis.

She was Associate Dean for the Faculty of Science, Environment and Manufacturing from 2012 till 2015, and currently lead of the Water theme Doctoral Training Centre.

Raffaella is an applied microbiologist with particular expertise in microbial and enzymatic processes, which she has adapted to the waste and environmental sectors. She has established herself as an international authority in anaerobic science and she is widely recognised nationally in this capacity – endorsed, for example, via her appointment as the national AD technical support for WRAP in 2013.

She currently leads a group of seven PhD students and coordinates the virtual Centre for Anaerobic Science, which includes a pilot Anaerobic Digestion facility.

She has published over 40 research papers, books and conference proceedings with substantive contributions to biotransformations and biocatalysis.

Current activities

Her current research activities are across the fields of: 
  • Anaerobic digestion of biodegradable municipal solid waste
  • Microalgal remediation and sludge digestion
  • Fat, Oil and Greases (FOG) removal treatments
  • Bioremediation and nutrients removal
  • Biotransformation of waste into added value compounds
  • Impact of Engineered Nanoparticles (ENP) on the operation of wastewater treatment.


WRAP, WRc, Anglian Water, Viridor, Shanks, AddEnergy, Mechline, Biological Preparations Bio-Industries, BioSystem Europe, CBio, Environmental Biotech, Lake, NCH and Organica


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers