Dr. Villa obtained her PhD in Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Then, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) on the conversion of methane to methanol and at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) within an ERC-Proof-of-concept (MICROCLEANERS). In 2018, she joined the Advanced Functional Nanorobots center at the University of Chemistry and Technology (Czech Republic), where she worked as Senior Scientist for three years. Since 2021, she is leading a research group on advanced photocatalytic materials for energy and environmental applications at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
Katherine has a strong multidisciplinary profile gained by working at 8 research centers, Colombia, Spain, Czech Republic, and Belgium. Her research areas span from water decontamination, hydrogen generation, selective oxidation processes to light-driven micro/nanoswimmers. She has received important recognitions (MSCA-UNIPD-COFUND, Beatriu de Pinós, Ramón y Cajal, la Caixa Junior Leader, etc) as well as national and international competitive funding, including an ERC Starting Grant 2022 for her project (PhotoSwim).
Her research interests include photocatalysis, nanomaterials, renewable energy, micro/nanomotors, and environmental remediation.