Julia Valla


Ioulia (Julia) Valla is an Assistant  Professor in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut. She received her PhD in the field of the development of new zeolites for the decomposition of sulfur compounds in naphtha and the production of environmental gasoline from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. She has served in a leadership role with Rive Technology, Inc. on the commercialization of a novel zeolite with ordered mesoporous structure for refinery applications. Dr. Valla’s research focuses on the modification of zeolites structure and their application in catalysis, adsorption and energy. She is the author/co-author of several papers in peer-reviewed journals, 1 book chapter and 2 patents. Dr. Valla is the recipient of the European Award “RUCADI, Recovery and Utilization of Carbon Dioxide” for her study on the role of CO2 on the reforming of natural gas for the production of methanol. Her research is sponsored by NSF, ACS/PRF and DOE and industry.


Awards and Funded Research

  1. Collaborative Research: Manufacturing of Hollow Nanostructures with Encapsulated Active Sites for Use as Nanoreactors, Sponsored by NSF CMMI program
  2. HDS catalyst testing, Sponsored by Doosan, Inc. 
  3. AMES:  MS and MENG in Advanced Manufacturing for Energy Systems at the University of Connecticut, Sponsored by the Department of Energy
  4. Production of renewable aviation fuels from gas-phase catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of biomass pyrolysis vapors, Sponsored by the Office of Vice President of Research, UConn
  5. Student Engagement in a Living Laboratory for Sustainable Agriculture, Sponsored by the Academic Plan Initiative, UConn
  6. Experimental Analysis and Model Development of Pyrolysis/Combustion of Coal/Biomass in a Bench Scale Spouted Bed Reactor, Sponsored by DOE SBIR
  7. Targeted Size Mesoporous Zeolites for Deep Desulfurization of Petroleum Streams via Adsorption, Sponsored by ACS/PRF (Young Investigator Award)
  8. Total Sulfur Analysis, Sulfur Speciation Analysis and Qualitative Aromatics for AdEM’s Nanowire Powders and Catalyst Products, Sponsored by AdEM
  9. Value-Added Uses for Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Derived From Post-Consumer PET Carpets (PCC), Sponsored by the Industrial organization CARE
  10. Turning Tars into Energy: Zeolites with Hierarchical Pore Structure for the Catalytic Cracking of Tars, Sponsored by NSF, Energy for Sustainability Program
  11. 13X Zeolite as Potential Molecular Sieve for Gas Phase Impurities Removal: Emphasis on the Characterization of the Zeolite, Sponsored by Precision Combustion, Inc (PCI)


Grants on Education

Reconstructing Thermodynamics Instruction, Sponsored by the Office of Provost, UCONN



Service Learning Fellowship, Office of Public Engagement, UCONN

KEEN, Applying Systems Thinking to Solve Complex Problems