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Assistant professor, University of Nottingham

Helena is an Assistant Professor passionate about remediation and resource recovery. She joined the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Food, Water, Waste Research Group with a prestigious Anne McLaren Research Fellowship in 2018. Helena's current research addresses two global challenges of modern society: generation of renewable, clean forms of energy, and provision of water at a quality that is fit for reuse. Her research interests lie within resource recovery from wastewater, particularly for the production of electricity and recovery of metals (simultaneously contaminants and valuable assets) and nutrients.

Other research interests comprise sustainable remediation and the use of treatment trains and combined remediation technologies. Specifically, Helena is interested in combining different technologies for the treatment of mixed contamination, persistent and emerging contaminants in contaminated soil and other matrices such as wastewater, industrial by-products, or wastes.

Before her PhD, Helena worked as environmental consultant and project manager. She led the environmental and radiological monitoring programme of uranium abandoned mines in Portugal. Helena holds a PhD in soil remediation from the New University of Lisbon. In her PhD, she combined two remediation technologies: electrokinetics and zero valent iron nanoparticles. She studied mobility of iron nanoparticles under direct current, in different porosity media, and tested their efficacy in soils with inorganic and organic contaminants (chromium, the herbicide molinate, and polychlorinated biphenyls). She was visiting researcher at Lehigh University, USA; Technical University of Denmark, Denmark, and Málaga University, Spain. Later, she was a postdoctoral research assistant in the NERC funded project "R3AW - Resource Recovery and Remediation of Alkaline Wastes", at the University of Hull, focusing on demonstration of metal recovery using ion exchange resins and bioleaching, as well as passive treatment of alkaline leachates (mesocosm and pilot scale) using cascades and constructed wetlands.


  • 2018–present
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Nottingham
  • 2015–2017
    Postdoctoral research associate, University of Hull


  • 2014 
    New University of Lisbon, Ph.D.