Dr Adriana Matamoros Veloza

Dr Adriana Matamoros Veloza


Dr Adriana Matamoros Veloza is a Lecturer in Materials Science and Engineering in the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering at Leeds, and her research work has been developed by applying fundamental science to understand material synthesis with applications in the fields of materials science, chemistry, engineering, geochemistry, and environment.

Her first job appointments as Research Assistant (Colombian Geological Survey, 1997 -1998) and Analytical Chemist (Colombian Ministry of Culture, 1998 – 1999) allowed her to develop deep knowledge in chemical analysis and characterisation of inorganic materials. Adriana returned to the Colombian Geological Survey (1999-2004) as a Scientific Officer enabling her to advance in methodological approaches for natural material characterisation (soils, sediments, rocks, and water) and to investigate geochemical processes through her participation in a national project to establish the geochemical database of the country.

In the UK, Adriana firstly joined AquaEnviro Ltd (2004-2006) where she gained additional lab experience through chemical and microbiological characterisation of wastewater and engineering process development, as pat of a project to evaluate the use of recycled glass as a filtering media for the treatment of domestic wastewater; this project received the CIWEM World of Difference Award in 2006. In parallel, Adriana was pursuing postgraduate studies at the School of Earth and Environment. After being successful in securing a ESPRC Dorothy Hodgkin Scholarship, Adriana undertook doctoral training by studying the inorganic pathways controlling selenium mobility in natural environments and obtained a PhD in Environmental Geochemistry (2012) from the University of Leeds.

At Leeds (2012 – 2021), Adriana held various academic positions as a Research Fellow across campus including the School of Earth and Environment (Earth Surface Science Institute), School of Mechanical Engineering (Institute of Functional Surfaces - iFS and Institute of Thermofluids - iTF) and School of Chemistry (Functional Materials and Molecular Assemblies). Her research activities were focused primarily on the mechanistic studies and chemical processes involving formation, dissolution, and transformation of mineral phases, getting first-hand experience on using a wide range of synchrotron techniques (absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, total scattering – diffraction and pair distribution function, and imaging) in combination with microscopy, XPS, Raman, FTIR and wet and instrumental chemical analyses.

As a Lecturer in Material Science and Engineering (2021-present), Adriana is working in the application and promotion of new ways of teaching and learning within the Leeds curriculum redefined framework. She contributes to the design and development of new modules in the Materials Science and Engineering program delivered at Leeds and at Southwest Jiaotong University where she contributes to transnational education. Her research focuses on the development of new materials for engineering applications, on the study of industrial processes at laboratory scale and on the development and design of methods to study material degradation.

Highlights of her research include the elucidation of sulfides as the main mineral system hosting and controlling the fate of selenium to soils and groundwaters. This outcome led Adriana to further study the formation of Fe-S minerals at molecular level from the initial nuclei, clusters, poorly ordered phases to crystalline mackinawite using molecular and synchrotron-based techniques (XANES, EXAFS, SAXS and WAXS) under challenging oxygen-free conditions. This work elucidated the mechanism of mackinawite formation and revealed the characteristics of a nano FeS precursor phase of mackinawite.

Furthermore, a great part of her research has involved experimental kinetic studies understanding the formation and dissolution of siderite as a corrosion product on the surface of steel performing experiments under flow conditions applicable to the CO2 transport industries. On this body of work, Adriana successful applied for first time molecular techniques like X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES) mapping and Pair Distribution Function (PDF) analysis. This allowed her to identify atomic clusters, amorphous an intermediate phases involved processes affecting the stability of siderite and integrity of steel. Currently, Adriana is developing a neutron radiography, tomography, and diffraction methods to study steel degradation.

Research interests

Adriana’s current research interests are in the fields of mineral synthesis with applications in industry and environment including inorganic (mineral) synthesis (nucleation, growth, crystallisation, and dissolution) and mechanistic studies utilizing a wide range of characterisation techniques to study the chemical process involved at the molecular, micro and macro scales.  Processes of her interest include metal corrosion and functional surfaces, material development for industrial applications).

  • In-situ process studies and reaction cell development
  • Surface and interface mechanistic studies
  • Synchrotron experiment design and development (Absorption Spectroscopy, Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Diffraction, Pair Distribution Function, and Tomography)
  • Neutron experiment design and development (Radiography, Tomography and Diffraction)

Current research projects:

  • Developing new methods for corrosion and steel degradation studies, PI: Dr A Matamoros-Veloza; Co-Is: Winfried Kockelmann, Nikil Kapur. Partner and co-funder: ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, £76k.
  • Global STEM: Professional Qualifications without Borders: A roadmap for international accreditation of STEM programmes in Mexico. PI: Dr M A Camargo-Valero; Co-Is: A Heitor, A Matamoros-Veloza, M Asachi. Partners: Tecnológico de Monterrey and Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan (Mexico). Funder: The British Council, £25k

Professional Roles, Scholarships, Awards:

  • Peer reviewer of scientific journals (ACS Omega, JACS, Crystals, Mineral Magazine, Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Environment Science and Pollution Research)
  • Beamtime proposal reviewer (Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource)
  • Studentship proposal reviewer (ISIS Facility Studentship)
  • Contributor to the Diamond-II Flagship User Working Groups for the preparation of proposals seeking the investment for new, rebuilt and upgrade beamlines.
  • First prize on the NERC Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Environment YES/2014)
  • Teaching Enhancement Fund (STEF/2013) – School of Earth and Environment. University of Leeds
  • Alan Ure Bursary – Atomic Spectrometry Updates Board and the Atomic Spectroscopy Group (2012)
  • Goldschmidt Travel Grant Program – The National Science Foundation, The US Department of Energy, The European Association of Geochemistry, The Geochemical Society of Japan, and The Geochemical Society (2010)
  • ESSI Travel Awards - Earth Surface Science Institute. School of Earth and Environment. University of Leeds (2010)
  • Dorothy Hodgkin Scholarship to undertake PhD studies (2006).  Inorganic pathways controlling selenium mobility in natural environments The Engineering, Physics and Science Research Council (EPSRC) and Shell (£70k).
  • The CIWEM World of Difference Award (2006) – Chartered Institution of Water and Environment Management (CIWEM). Member of the Aqua Enviro Ltd Research Group.  Winning research project “Glass Media Reed Beds for Tertiary Treatment of Industrial Effluents”
  • National Prize for young researchers – Colombian Society of Soil Science (1998).  Best undergraduate thesis: “Chemical speciation and mobility of Pb, Ni, Cr, Cu, Cd, Co and V in agricultural soils of Bogota Savannah”
<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>


  • PhD in Environmental Geochemistry (2012)
  • PGDip Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Geochemistry (2006)
  • MSc in Agriculture Sciences with emphasis in Soils (2002)
  • BSc (Hons) in Chemistry (1998)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow from Advance Higher Education - AFHEA
  • Chartered Chemist – Colombian Professional Council of Chemistry
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Student education

XJFY0500 Module developer, Leader, and lecturer (Leeds-SWJTU)

CHEM2465 Lecturer, Module development contributor

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>