Pilar Fernandez-Ibanez


  • Shore Road, Jordanstown Campus

    BT37 0QB Newtownabbey

    United Kingdom

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

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Personal profile


Beginning as a theoretical physicist, I have developed my skills as a researcher using physical science and engineering to develop safe drinking water solutions for low economy and marginalised communities in the Global South. My research helps to empower women and girls in these communities since it is they who are normally responsible for water in the households. For example, my contribution to the H2020 WATERSPOUTT project delivered two solar disinfection systems to primary schools in Uganda with 500 children now drinking safer water.


I took up a lecturing post in the School of Engineering at Ulster University in 2017. Prior to that I was Head of the Solar Treatment of Water Unit (since 2012). From 2003 to 2012 I had worked in 15 EU-funded and 6 National research projects in water treatment. Since joining Ulster I have established myself as a leading researcher. I am PI in two EU H2020 projects (PANIWATER, REWATERGY, 2019-2023) and I held a Royal Society Newton mobility grant.  My networks and collaborations were critical to securing the flagship GCRF UKRI SAFEWATER project in which I am a Co-I and WP leader (£4.9 M from EPSRC).  I am also Co-I in GCRF Global Research Translation Award SAFEWATER Translate (£827k), which is focused on accelerating impact from SAFEWATER technologies. While at Plataforma, I was PI and WP leader in the H2020-WATERSPOUTT (3.8M€) and I have maintained my role as WP lead after moving to Ulster.  


I have published 148 peer-reviewed papers and (H=53, total citations >10000).  I have supervised 8 PhD students to completion and acted as line manager to 5 post-docs.  Currently I am supervisor to 6 PhDs and line manager to 3 post-docs.  


I take an active role in research committees and outreach.  I am Associate Editor for Europe for the Elsevier Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, I am member of the Royal Irish Academy Climate Change and Environmental Sciences Committee, and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Granada

1 Mar 19964 Feb 2004

Award Date: 4 Feb 2004

Bachelor, University of Granada

1 Sep 198930 Jun 1994

Award Date: 30 Jun 1994

External positions

Head of group & Senior researcher, CIEMAT

1 Jan 201231 Dec 2016

Senior researcher, CIEMAT

9 Oct 200931 Dec 2016

Research Fellow, CIEMAT

1 Jun 20038 Oct 2009

Project Manager, SERSA, SAU

1 Jun 200030 May 2003

Research scholarship, University of Almeria

3 Mar 199730 May 2000

Research assistant, University of Granada

1 Oct 199530 Jun 1996


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