ERC-SHAPE Team

Group photo at the workshop “Structure-dependent microkinetic analysis: theory and experiments”
Castello Oldofredi, Montisola, June 13-15, 2018


Principal Investigator

Prof. Matteo Maestri

Matteo Maestri (born in Bergamo, Italy in 1980) is a Full Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano (Dipartimento di Energia), Italy, where he leads the group on multiscale analysis of catalytic processes. He received the Ph.D. summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano in 2008. From June 2006 to July 2007 he has been visiting scholar at the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology-Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Delaware (USA). He has been Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin, Germany (2009-2010) and at the Catalysis Research Center (CRC)-Department of Chemistry of the Technische Universität München, Germany (2011). His main research interests are fundamental analysis of catalytic kinetics and first-principles based multiscale modeling of complex catalytic processes. He is co-author of about 60 scientific publications on international peer-reviewed journals, volumes and conference proceedings. He is Principal Investigator of several public and industrial projects in the field of heterogeneous catalysis and multiscale modeling.






Academic staff


Dr. Mauro Bracconi

Mauro Bracconi (born in Brescia, Italy in 1990) is an Assistant Professor (RTD-A) at the Politecnico di Milano (Energy Department). He received the Ph.D. summa cum laude in Chemical Engineer at the Politecnico di Milano in 2018. From February 2017 to July 2017, he has been visiting scholar at School of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science, University of Manchester (UK). In 2018, he has been awarded for his Ph.D. thesis receiving the third prize of the “Ph.D. award” issued by the Department of Chemistry, Material, and Chemical Engineering (Politecnico di Milano). His main research interests are related to the numerical modeling of heterogeneous catalytic systems and to the analysis of transport phenomena in catalytic supports.

Member of SHAPE since November 2018.

Main role within SHAPE project: first-principles-based multiscale modeling of catalytic processes.




Prof. Alessandro Donazzi

Alessandro Donazzi (born in Milano, Italy in 1982) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Energy at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He received the Ph.D. summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2009. He was a visiting scholar at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, USA (from July 2007 to August 2008). His research interests are in the fields of heterogeneous electrocatalysis and catalysis, model and experimental analysis of chemical kinetics and transport phenomena, model analysis of electrocatalytic cells and catalytic reactors. His current activity is focused on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for direct hydrocarbon oxidation and on reforming reactions for the catalytic production of hydrogen. He is the co-author of about 30 scientific publications on international peer reviewed journals.





Dr. Raffaele Cheula – Postdoctoral fellow

Raffaele Cheula (born in Milano, Italy in 1992) is a Post-doctoral fellow at Politecnico di Milano since 2020. He received his Ph.D. (2020) in Chemical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on the study of morphological changes of heterogeneous catalyst nanoparticles in reacting conditions. He is mainly interested in first-principles multiscale modeling of catalytic systems and materials.

Member of SHAPE since November 2016.

Main role within SHAPE project: first-principles study of the morphology of catalyst nanoparticles in reacting conditions.


Dr. Matteo Ferri – Postdoctoral fellow

Matteo Ferri (born in Bergamo, Italy in 1990) is a Post-doctoral fellow at Politecnico di Milano, Italy since October 2020. He received his Ph.D magna cum laude in Condensed Matter Physics at Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA, Trieste, Italy), with a thesis about the photocatalytic properties of a novel material for photoelectrochemical water splitting. He is mainly interested in electronic structure calculations for a multiscale modelling of catalytic systems.

Member of SHAPE since October 2020.

Main role within SHAPE project: first-principles calculations of reaction pathways


Dr. Chiara Negri – Postdoctoral fellow

Chiara Negri (born in Turin, Italy in 1989) is a Post-doctoral fellow at Politecnico di Milano since February 2021. She received her PhD (2018) in Chemical and Materials Sciences cum laude, with a thesis on the characterizations of the structure and reactivity of Cu-based zeolites active for the Selective Catalytic Reduction of NOx. She is mainly interested in the study and characterization of heterogeneous catalysts, applying complementary in situ/operando spectroscopy techniques.

Member of SHAPE since February 2021

Main role within SHAPE project: operando spectroscopy analysis


Gianluca Moroni – Ph.D. Student

Gianluca Moroni (born in Brescia, Italy in 1991) is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry at Politecnico di Milano since 2017. He received his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on the study of structure influence on DeNOx activity of SCR Cu-based catalysts. He is mainly interested in heterogeneous catalysis and structure-dependent microkinetic analysis of catalytic processes.

Member of SHAPE since November 2017.

Main role within SHAPE project: Study of noble metal-based catalysts in methane steam and dry-reforming reactions with operando-techniques.


Daniele Micale – Ph.D. Student

Daniele Micale (born in Sant’Agata di Militello, Italy in 1995) is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry at Politecnico di Milano since 2019. He receive his Master’s degree summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on the reduction of the chemistry computational cost in multiscale modeling of fluidized bed reactors . He is mainly interested in computational fluid dynamic multiscale modeling of catalytic systems.

Member of SHAPE since November 2019.

Main role within SHAPE project: multiscale modeling of dynamics of nanoparticles in chemical reactors.


Luca Nardi – Ph.D. Student

Luca Nardi (born in Varese, Italy in 1995) is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry at Politecnico di Milano since 2019. He received his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on the multiscale modelling of turbulent fixed bed reactors. He is mainly interested in heterogeneous catalysis and structure-dependent microkinetic analysis of catalytic processes.

Member of SHAPE since November 2019.

Main role within SHAPE project: kinetic study of CO2 transformation into valuable products on metal-based catalysts.


Riccardo Uglietti – Ph.D. Student

Riccardo Uglietti (born in Magenta, Italy in 1993) is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry at Politecnico di Milano since 2017. He received his Master’s degree summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on the multiscale modelling of fluidized bed reactors. He is mainly interested in computational fluid dynamics multiscale modeling of catalytic systems.

Member of SHAPE since November 2017.

Main role within SHAPE project: multiscale modeling of dynamics of nanoparticles in chemical reactors.



Support Team

For the development of specific aspects of the project (e.g. design of new instrumentation and rigs), the SHAPE team exploits selected expertise of Professors
and Researchers of Laboratory of Catalysis and Catalytic Processes (Prof. Pio Forzatti) of the Laboratory of Molecular Dynamics and Vibrational Spectroscopy (Prof. M. Tommasini) of Politecnico di Milano, under the coordination of the PI, Matteo Maestri.



Administrative Support

Administrative support to the project is provided by the Servizio Ricerca of Politecnico di Milano (Dr.ssa Pamela Cammarata – Dr.ssa Alice Meroni – Dr.ssa Claudia Raimondi). IT support is provided by the Department of Energy (Dr.ssa Lia Tagliavini).



Visiting Professors and Scholars

Jörn Henning Matthies (Visiting Student, January – March 2020) – Universität Stuttgart, Germany

Prof. Enrique Iglesia (Visiting Professor, April 2019) – University of California at Berkeley, USA

Varun Surendran (Visiting Student, September – December 2019) – McGill University, Canada

Theo Bernier (Visiting Student, September 2018 – February 2019) – Technische Universität München, Germany

Tai-Ying Chen (Visiting Student, January 2018) – University of Delaware, DE, USA

Prof. Niket Kaisare (Visiting Professor, May – July 2016) – IIT-Madras, India

Peter Tancini (Visiting Student, May – August 2016) – University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA


Past members

Dr. Giulio Cordaro (2019-2020)

Dr. Zhao-Bin Ding (2016-2020)