Francesca Valenti

Assistant Professor of Rural buildings and agro-forest land planning [AGR/10]
Office: Stanza 21, via S. Sofia 100
Email: francesca.valenti@unict.it
Phone: 095 7147580
Web Site: www.researchgate.net/profile/Francesca_Valenti3
Office Hours: Monday from 15:00 to 16:00 | Thursday from 12:00 to 13:00



Updated on July 20, 2020.

Brief description                                                                                                                                       

Francesca Valenti, architectural and building engineer (MS, 2012), postgraduate master in Sustainable use of the environmental and cultural heritage (2014), PhD in Agricultural, food and environmental science (2018), after a post-doc research fellow, currently is professor assistant at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) of the University of Catania (Italy), and she has got the Italian scientific qualification for the role of associate professor. Within her 3-year PhD course, she spent six months in Lansing (Michigan, USA) at the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) of Michigan State University (MSU). She worked at the Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Centre (ADREC) under the supervision of Professor Wei Liao, ADREC director. Her research activity mainly focuses on analysing the feasibility of implementing anaerobic digestion systems in Eastern Sicily (Italy) to treat and utilize specific agricultural wastes widely produced in that area (i.e., citrus pulp and olive pomace) for renewable energy production. Her PhD thesis was awarded by the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering on July 2017. Her publications regard mainly the topics of her PhD and are published in relevant international peer-reviewed journals (26 research articles, h-index 10 and 200 total citations starting from the beginning of her research career in November 2014 - data from Scopus, accessed on May 2020). Other research themes regard GIS-based analyses, modelling and planning; food security in agro-industrial buildings; building systems and infrastructures for animal breeding; evaluation of the environmental sustainability of innovative production processes through LCA. During her research activity she was experienced on GIS models, CFD models, LCA tools, laboratory activities, chemical analyses, BMP tests and simulation of the continuous anaerobic digestion process.

Education                                                                                                                                       

15/10/2018           National Scientific Qualification to function as Associate Professor in Italian Universities for the Macro sector 07C1 - Agricultural, Forestry and Biosystems Engineering.

27/02/2018           PhD in Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science achieved at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania. Title of the thesis: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL BIOGAS PRODUCTION- GIS-Based Techno Economic Assessment in Southern Italy.

23/01/2015           Master course. Department of Humanities, University of Catania, Italy. Thesis: Sustainable use of cultural and environmental heritage.

18/10/2012           MSc in Architectural and Building Engineering. Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Italy. Thesis: Existing building acoustic requalification according to UNI 11367 standard.

Professional experience                                                                                                                

04/2020 - now                     Assistant Professor. Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania.

01/02/2019 – 31/01/2020   Post-doc Fellow Researcher. Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania. Research activity: Development of LCA methodology to sustainable localise new biogas plants fed by feedstock-mixture suitable for enhancing biogas production.

21/12/2018 -  21/02/2019   Researcher by contract. Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania. Research activity: Territorial data elaboration for developing a model to quantify electrical and thermal energy from citrus pulp and olive pomace anaerobic digestion.

01/11/2018 -  now               Professor by contract: Laboratory of Informatics (M-Z course) at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science and Technology- Academic Year 2018/2019 - 1° Year.

12/03/2018 - 12/09/2018    Post-doc fellow. Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania. Research activity: GIS-based model developing for evaluating the agro-industrial by-products availability through suitable index.

01/11/2017 - 11/12/2017    Researcher by contract. Research center for Sustainable Development of Mediterranean Area - C.Ri.S.A.M. - Centro di Ricerca per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Area Mediterranea. Research activity: Spatial analysis to quantify and localise innovative biomasses suitable for enhancing biogas production.

06/06/2016 – 06/12/2016   Visiting Scholar. Michigan State University (U.S.) Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. Research activity: Life cycle analysis (LCA) of biogas plant operation.

01/11/2014 – 31/10/2017   PhD student. Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania. Research activity: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL BIOGAS PRODUCTION - GIS-Based Techno Economic Assessment in Southern Italy.

01/07/2014 – 30/09/2014   Researcher by contract. Research center - CORERAS- Consorzio Regionale per la Ricerca Applicata e la Sperimentazione. Research activity: Definition of the civil works of the Regional price list - Sicily Region.

15/05/2014 – 15/07/2014   Researcher by contract. Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania. Research activity: Monitoring and processing of microclimatic data recorded during thermal treatment for insect pests control (Research project S.I.S.A.C.E.R.).

Research projects experience                                                                                                      

15/05/2014 -  15/07/2014     Collaboration in research programs: Soluzioni innovative per la sicurezza alimentare nella filiera cerealicola (S.I.S.A.CER.). Founded by Bando POR FESR Sicilia 2007-2013, Sicily region. Research activity: Monitoring and processing of microclimatic data recorded during thermal treatment for insect pests control.

01/01/2015 -  30/04/2018     Collaboration in research programs: Soluzioni tecnologiche innovative per la valorizzazione degli scarti degli agrumi (SOCRATE). Founded by Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico. Research activity: application of the LCA methodology to evaluate the innovative processes adopted during the project.

06/03/2015 – 30/10/2017     Collaboration in research programs: FIR-2014- Analisi per lo sviluppo della filiera biometano in ambiente mediterraneo. Founded by Public announcement (D.R. n. 2334, 03/06/2014) - codice 335C3E. Research activity: territorial analysis of the Mediterranean biomasses availability of by using Geographic Information Systems.

06/03/2015 – 30/10/2017     Collaboration in research programs: FIR-2014- Messa a punto di un sistema automatico per lo studio del comportamento individuale di bovine da latte in stabulazione libera. Founded by Public announcement (D.R. n. 2334, 03/06/2014).

01/11/2015 – 01/01/2016     Collaboration in research programs: Progetto di ricerca industriale sul Pastazzo di Agrumi. Founded by The Coca-Cola Foundation. Research activity: Territorial analysis through GIS application for localising industrial citrus processing companies, which produce citrus pulp that can be used in anaerobic digestion processes for biogas production.

19/04/2016 – 07/12/2017     Collaboration to research programs: Innovazioni per lo sviluppo del biometano da matrici mediterranee- INNO-BIOMED. Founded by MIPAAF con Decreto Dirigenziale n. 28676, 8/4/2016. Research activity: Territorial analysis to assess the availability and location of agricultural by-products and residues for enhancing bioenergy production.

06/06/2016 – 06/12/2016     Collaboration in research programs: Biological and mechanical catalysis of lignocellulosic materials for mono-sugar release.  Founded by Michigan State University.

29/08/2019 – 29/08/2022     Collaboration in research programs: Smart dairy farming: innovative solutions to improve herd productivity.  Founded by MIUR –Ministero dell'Istruzione dell'Università e della Ricerca- PRIN –Progetti di Ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale- Announcement 2017. Code: 20178AN8NC.

Prizes and awards                                                                                                                         

  • National Scientific Qualification to function as Associate Professor in Italian Universities for the Macro sector 07C1 -  Agricultural, Forestry and Biosystems Engineering from October 2018 until October 2024.
  • Award “Adriano Guarneri" for the best Ph.D. thesis in Agricultural Engineering by the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering, on July 2017.

Research expedition                                                                                                   

           2016                                  Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University, (U.S.) Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. Research activity: "Life cycle analysis (LCA) of biogas plant operation". 6 months.

Other relevant information                                                                                              

Reviewer for journals:     Journal of Agricultural Engineering (PagePress) - Journal of Environmental Management (Elsevier) - Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review (Elsevier) - Journal of Applied Energy (Elsevier) - Journal of Cleaner Production (Elsevier) - Energies (MDPI)

Software skills:                Microsoft Office- QGIS software - R studio - AutoCAD - 3DS Max Design – Photoshop - Corel Draw – ArchiCAD - SAP 2000 - CDS Software - Software Echo 6.0 Acustica - Software termotecnica ACCA - Minitab- Statistical Software- Simulation CFD 2015.

Languages:                      Italian (mother language) - English (fluent) - French (intermediate)


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