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Professor Fernandez-Ibanez’s research focuses on decentralised technologies for drinking water in developing countries

The Royal Irish Academy, founded in 1785, is Ireland’s leading body of experts supporting and promoting the sciences and humanities. As an all-island independent forum of peer-elected experts, the Academy recognises world-class researchers and champions Irish academic research.

During its Admittance Day event, Pilar was one of 28 newly elected members to be officially admitted to the Academy for their exceptional contributions to the sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as to public service.

Professor Fernandez-Ibanez's work is focused on providing safe drinking water in the Global South leading on research projects that install low-cost technologies for water purification in marginalised communities. Her research interests include low-cost technologies for water purification, photochemical and advanced oxidation processes for the removal of microbiological pathogens and hazardous chemical contaminants from water, and decentralized technologies for drinking water.

Pilar is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics-UK and Ireland, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy-UK.

She is also a member of the Climate Change and Environmental Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy and the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland.

On Professor Fernandez-Ibanez’s admittance to the RIA, Ulster University Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Bartholomew said:

“Today we congratulate Professor Pilar Fernandez-Ibanez on becoming an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy. Her dedication and pioneering work in providing safe drinking water to underserved communities in the Global South exemplify the transformative power of research. Her innovative approach and commitment to education and research have earned her well-deserved recognition as a leading expert in Environmental Engineering.

“At Ulster University, we take immense pride in our commitment to impactful research that transforms lives and addresses global challenges. Professor Fernandez-Ibanez's groundbreaking contributions resonate with our mission, as we strive to make a tangible difference in communities and societies worldwide.”

Professor Pat Guiry, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said:

“Ireland should be immensely proud of these 28 women and men who have been elected by their peers and have brought international acclaim to our country through their distinct areas of research. As Members of the Royal Irish Academy, they will support and  strengthen our capacity to achieve our strategic goals and objectives as we look to the launch of our Strategic Plan 2024-2028 in the coming weeks.”

About the RIA:

The Academy has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. At its inception, the Academy had 88 Members; now there are 681 (of whom 98 are Honorary Members), almost equally divided between the sciences and the humanities.

Notable current members include: Nobel Laureates William C. Campbell, Peter Agre, Paul Nurse and John O'Keefe; Frances Ruane, economist; Philip Lane, European Central Bank; Fabiola Gianotti, Director General CERN; Brigid Laffan, Irish political scientist; and Geraldine Byrne-Nason, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States of America.

Past members have included Nobel Laureates: WB Yeats, Ernest Walton, Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger and Seamus Heaney.

Find out more:

Further information on the Royal Irish Academy is available at RIA - Membership.

You can contact Professor Pilar Fernandez-Ibanez by email to