Maria Cuellar

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

May 22nd, 2018

Ainhoa won the Poster Prize at NBC-18! Congratulations to her and all the team.

May 18th, 2018

We will be participating in the Netherlands Biotechnology Congress NBC-18!

Marina Perdigão Elisiário, from our DIRC partner DAB, will share the latest results obtained with our fully operational, integrated reactor.

Master student Ainhoa Uribarren Marcaide and PhD candidate Joan Gallego Murillo will present a poster in the context of our Sanquin Collaboration project. 

March 31st, 2018

Our collaboration project with Sanquin Research was pitched at the kick-off event of the Delft Bioengineering Institute. The pitches are available in Collegerama.


February 28th, 2018

Kirsten Steinbusch, from our DIRC partner DAB will share the latest results obtained with our fully operational, integrated reactor at ECO-BIO in Dublin, on Monday 5 March, with a presentation entitled "Piloting in-situ oil recovery method for biosynthetic terpene production".

February 2nd, 2018

Susana's paper on the integration of our GEOR technology during fermentation has been published in Biotechnology Journal. It is available on-line, open access, here.

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.