IDRIC Team

IDRIC’s team works closely with stakeholders and supports the wider IDRIC community in delivering the Centre’s goals.

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Champion and Director

As well as Champion and Director of IDRIC, Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer (FRSE, FIChemE, FRSC, FRSA, FEI) is Deputy Principal (Global Sustainability) and Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University. RCCS is a world leading multidisciplinary centre delivering innovation for the wider deployment of low-carbon energy systems required for meeting net zero targets. She has held appointments at the University of Kentucky (1997-1998), Pennsylvania State University (1998-2004) and University of Nottingham (2005-2012).
Her internationally recognised track record covers energy systems, CCUS, integration of hydrogen technologies and low carbon fuels. She has over 550 publications, has been editor of 4 books and 15% of her publications are in top 10% most cited worldwide. Mercedes holds leading positions in professional societies and editorial boards and has received numerous international prizes and awards.

Dr Clare Howard

Dr Clare Howard

Centre Manager

As IDRIC’s Centre Manager, Clare supports the Centre Director in leading and managing the development of IDRIC into a world-leading research and innovation centre. Tasked with ensuring the successful delivery and future sustainability of the Centre she oversees the workplan and management of the Central Team as well as liaising with members of the management and governance bodies, partners and stakeholders.
As an experienced programme and project manager on large-scale collaborative, multi-stakeholder publicly funded projects, Clare has worked extensively on interdisciplinary research projects involving stakeholder and policy engagement with diverse sets of stakeholders from around the world. She has an MSci Geoscience degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and a PhD in long-term carbon cycle modelling from University of Edinburgh.

Dr Carolina Buffoli

Dr Carolina Buffoli

Communication and Knowledge Exchange Officer

Carolina’s role focuses on the communication and promotion of IDRIC’s research findings, developing IDRIC’s Knowledge Hub into the ‘go-to’ online resource for cutting-edge knowledge on accelerating industrial decarbonisation. Through engaging content creation, she tells the compelling stories of IDRIC’s impact on the decarbonisation of industry. With a wealth of experience in the UK Higher Education sector and having previously served in a Knowledge Exchange capacity at the University of Edinburgh, she brings a wealth of expertise to her position. Carolina holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Edinburgh.

Jennifer Graham

Jennifer Graham

Centre Administrator

Jennifer is the Centre Administrator, working closely with the entire IDRIC community. After a long career in the film and television industry in Canada, she relocated her family to the UK over eight years ago. Since then, she has been leveraging her administrative skills from her previous career to support IDRIC by organising events and providing comprehensive administrative support to the team.

Helen Kibby

Helen Kibby

Marketing and Communications Manager

Helen works on IDRIC‘s marketing and communications strategy and on themes such as identity and messaging, IDRIC’s online presence, social media and PR. A significant part of Helen’s role is liaising with IDRIC’s 142 partners (including all partner research organisations) to promote the great research that is taking place within IDRIC-funded projects. As an experienced marketing and communications professional, Helen has a worked in a wide range of sectors - including higher education, business, technology, the third sector and finance. She has a Degree in International Studies from Birmingham University and a CIM Diploma in Marketing.

Dame Heather McGregor

Dame Heather McGregor

EDI Champion

Professor Heather J. McGregor is the Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai. Previously the Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University, as well as a Professor of Management Practice, Professor McGregor is a qualified accountant and had an earlier career in investment banking, and then spent 17 years as an entrepreneur prior to her move into higher education. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2010 Professor McGregor was a co-founder of the 30% Club, which seeks to increase female representation on public company boards, and she also founded the Taylor Bennett Foundation which offers opportunities for minority ethnic graduates. She was awarded a CBE in 2015 for her services to business, especially diversity in the workplace.

Dr Charlotte McLean

Dr Charlotte McLean

Skills Research Officer

Charlotte works to provide development opportunities for IDRIC‘s researchers through the delivery of secondments and the ECRA. Charlotte’s role also has an externally-facing aspect, working with IDRIC’s stakeholders to better understand and communicate the interventions and policy frameworks needed to ensure the UK has the skills and workforce capacity to decarbonise the industrial clusters. Charlotte’s background is in geoscience. She completed her PhD in Applied Geology in 2017 (University of Glasgow) and subsequently worked on technical geological research with an industry focus. It was during this time that Charlotte became passionate about ensuring the retention of skilled scientists through the energy transition.

Dr Isobel Marr

Dr Isobel Marr

Knowledge Exchange Manager

Isobel’s role is to ensure the research findings from the IDRIC programme are effectively shared across the industrial clusters and wider stakeholders, allowing our research to have maximum impact in the decarbonation of industry.
Isobel worked in a similar role at the University of Edinburgh, accelerating the impact of research for international development through knowledge exchange. Previous to that, she worked for the Royal Society of Chemistry fostering partnerships between industry and academia and supporting technology commercialisation. Isobel holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Anna Pultar

Dr Anna Pultar

Senior Policy Research Lead

Leading the centre’s policy work stream, Anna works to inform the development of effective policy and regulatory frameworks for decarbonisation and net zero through policy analysis and facilitating dialogue between academia, industry and government. Anna has a strong research background across multiple policy areas and holds a degree in comparative politics from the University of Vienna and a PhD in social policy from the University of Edinburgh.

Jil Sheth

Jil Sheth

Partnerships and Engagement Manager

As Partnerships and Engagement Manager, Jil plays a key role in developing strategic partnerships with industry, academics, and other stakeholders to advance IDRIC‘s mission. She is responsible for identifying and securing new collaborative research, funding, and knowledge exchange opportunities that support IDRIC’s goals.
Jil has a background in construction and town planning. She is currently pursuing a PhD related to policymaking and transfer and is a winner of multiple international and national awards for her designs.

Gill Watson

Gill Watson

Executive Assistant to IDRIC Director

As Executive Assistant to the Director of IDRIC, Gill attends to the day-to-day functions that are part of the Director’s role, so that the Director can focus on leadership and strategy not only for IDRIC, but also for the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) and as Deputy Principal for Global Sustainability at Heriot-Wat University. Working previously in the NHS as a Service Manager, Project Co-ordinator and a number of other roles, in the Scottish Funding Council and in the retail sector as a Buyer and Marketing Manager, Gill has experienced various workplace environments, traditions and cultures.

Barbara Viskić

Barbara Viskić

Centre Administrator

Barbara works as IDRIC’s Administrative Assistant, providing the team with assistance in day-to-day operations of the office.
Having worked in tourism in Croatia, business development and sales in the Czech Republic and hospitality in New Zealand, Barbara has a wide range of experience that means she is able to support the IDRIC team in a number of key areas.
She holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Debatri Gupta

Debatri Gupta

Policy Research Officer

Debatri is responsible for contributing to the policy aspects of IDRIC’s portfolio of work through research and analysis. Debatri has a background in Policy and Governance, having worked in the social policy space in India. She has completed her postgraduate degree in Climate Change Policy from the University of Sussex, focusing on CCUS policies in Europe.

Kirsten O’Sullivan

Kirsten O’Sullivan

Skills Research Officer

Kirsten works across academia and industry on IDRIC’s skills research, to ensure the UK has the skills and workforce capacity for industrial decarbonisation over coming years. Kirsten has a background is global change ecology. She holds a PhD in forest ecology (University of Stirling) and has subsequently worked in roles involving technical scientific research, research portfolio management and science communication.