Maria Cuellar Group

I am a bioprocess engineer passionate about interfaces: between microbial production and recovery, between disciplines, between fundamental sciences and engineering, between academy and industry. My research and education style is to address the fundamentals of application‐driven questions through design‐inspired, systematic approaches combining experimental and modelling tools.


How do we generate bioprocesses that are competitive at the relevant production scale? What would an ideal bioprocess  look like? If you ask me, it would have the elements shown in the figure below:

These thoughts inspire my research, with the following focus areas:

  • Novel process concepts and equipment for integrated fermentation and separation
  • Scale up/down of bioprocesses
  • Integration of tools for microorganism development and process design
  • Multi-phase bioprocessing

Current projects


I frequently supervise Group Design Projects and Individual Design Projects of the PDEng program Designer in Bioprocess Technology, in collaboration with industry.

Some examples of assignments:

  • Comparison of microbial production of compound A vs other routes
  • Scale up and techno-economic evaluation of a novel bioprocess
  • Scale down of an existing process
  • Flowsheeting of an existing process for debottlenecking
  • Design of a novel piece of equipment


Transport & Separation

Level: Master Life Science & Technology
Course code: LM3751

Biochemistry of biomass conversion

Level: Master Sustainable Energy & Technology
Course code: LM3261SET

Dr. Maria Cuellar Soares

Assistant professor

News from the group

January 19th, 2018

We will participate in the 40th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. More details will follow.

September 27th, 2017

Today three former DIRC members obtained their MSc diplomas in Life Science and Technology: Lisette Gijsbertsen, María Casals Peralvarez and Carla Prat Llenas. Congratulations!

From left to right: Rita, Lisette, Maria, Maria and Carla.

September 4th, 2017

Don't miss our presentations at  WCCE10+ECCE11+ECAB4 in Barcelona, both on Tuesday, October 3rd:

"Integration and scale-up of multiphase fermentations" by Maria Cuellar. Topic 6, Reactor Design & Engineering 2.

"Hydrodynamics for the integration of fermentation and separation in the production of diesel and jet biofuels" by Rita da Costa Basto. Topic 6, Biofuels session.

 June 16th. 2017

Our DIRC partner, DAB, has published a video featuring the pilot bioreactor for in-situ recovery of oil products. Check it out!