Shirley Xue Ning
Post Doctoral Researcher
UCC Energy Transition Advanced Fuels in the Circular Economy


As a researcher working in the area of environmental and energy engineering, she has a strong desire to make a positive impact on climate change, decarbonisation and waste management. She developed key research expertise on electro-methanogenesis with the application of electrodes and biochar addition in integrated microbial electrolysis cell and anaerobic digestion in her PhD’s research. Her expertise lies in microbial electrolysis cell (MEC), temperature-phased anaerobic digestion (T-PAD) system and valuable resources conversion from waste feedstock materials.


Xue is a postdoctoral researcher of MaREI, working in research “Advanced Biomethane Systems Including for Emerging Bio-electrochemical Technologies and Ex-situ Biomethanation Technologies”. She is also the co-lead of SFI Challenge Project titled “Engineered organic carbon-based functional material for energy and water (EMERGE)” since August 2023, focusing on pyrochar production from distillery digestates.


Xue graduated with a BEng in Water Supply and Wastewater Engineering from Tongji University in 2017 and graduated with a Master of Science in Engineering (specified in Environmental Science and Engineering, Supervisor Prof. Qu, Jiuhui) from Tsinghua University in 2020. Xue obtained her PhD degree (PhD of Engineering) from UCC in 2023. The title of her PhD thesis is “Integration of anaerobic digestion with bio-electrochemical technologies in cascading circular bioeconomy systems producing biofuel and chemicals”. Her supervisors were Prof. Jerry Murphy, Prof. Richen Lin and Dr. Richard O’Shea. Her PhD’s research was funded by the National Energy Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme 2019 – Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.