Dr Manoj Ravi
I joined the University of Leeds in June 2022 as a Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering.
Prior to moving to Leeds, I worked as a research fellow in green ammonia catalysis at the University of Birmingham. I obtained my Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where my doctoral thesis was distinguished with the ETH Medal for research excellence. I completed my Masters in Chemical and Bioengineering from the same institution and my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from AC Tech, Anna University, Chennai, India.
As an early-career academic, I have been awarded several research and education grants from funding bodies, such as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, UKRI), the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Swiss Chemical Society.
I have a long-standing passion for teaching and education, which has shaped my desire to improve the educational experience for students that will better equip them to address current and future global challenges. As a member of the University-wide ‘Curriculum Redefined’ team, I work towards the development of a transformative, sustainable and cutting-edge chemical engineering curriculum.
Having studied and worked in educational institutions in the Middle East, India and Europe, I leverage these diverse experiences to deliver inclusive and flexible education.
My research interests are in chemical engineering pedagogy and heterogeneous catalysis. Having gained expertise in these areas during my doctoral and postdoctoral research, I continue to build on these interests at Leeds. A more detailed description of the themes is provided below.
Chemical engineering educational research
Conventional chemical engineering curriculum is delivered in a context that is skewed towards a fossil-fuel or petrochemical background. While this style of education has helped make significant progress across wide-ranging manufacturing and other sectors over the last couple of decades, there is a pressing need to adapt the curriculum to the current landscape that will enable next-generation chemical engineers to confront global challenges ranging from decarbonisation and energy transition to digitisation and sustainability.
My research aspires to upgrade the chemical engineering curriculum by systematically (re)designing intended learning objectives, module content, learning activities and student assessments.
Systems-thinking tools are a key component of my chemical engineering pedagogical research. Recently, I led a curriculum redesign proposal for catalysis course content through a systems-thinking perspective that is necessary to address issues of sustainability. Through systems-thinking, we ensure that catalysis course content is not presented in isolation but rather embedded in a framework that incorporates the triple P’s of sustainable development: people, profit and planet. The detailed proposal can be found on ACS Publications.
My heterogeneous catalysis research has largely focused on green ammonia synthesis and methane conversion. My interest in the latter application is motivated by the need for an industrially viable small-scale methane conversion technology to stop the currently widely prevalent practice of natural gas flaring. With regards to ammonia synthesis, catalysts that are more efficient than conventional Haber-Bosch catalysts under milder operating conditions can help improve the economic feasibility of small-scale green ammonia manufacture.
I am also interested in enhancing the fundamental understanding of solid catalysts that eventually aid in the development of structure-property-activity relationships, for example, using a combination of characterization techniques to study Lewis acid sites in zeolites.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- MSc Chemical and Bioengineering
- BTech Chemical Engineering
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry
My teaching at the University level over the last five years has spanned from group-based tutorials, flipped classrooms and problem-based teaching to laboratory practical classes and research project supervision. I have contributed to the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate course modules attended by diverse student groups including chemical engineers, chemists, process engineers, material science and health science students.