Since November 2017, Rosa Menéndez has been the President of the CSIC (Higher Council for Scientific Research). This is the second time that she has held a management position, since, in the period 2007-2008, she was Vice-President for Scientific and Technical Research. Until her current appointment she was Institutional Coordinator of the CSIC in Asturias and Cantabria.
In 1980 she received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Oviedo, and went on to receive her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the same University in 1986. In 1987 and 1988, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). In 1988 she began her professional career at the CSIC as Tenured Scientist and in 2000 she was appointed Scientific Researcher. Since 2003 she has been Professor of Research.
Between 2003 and 2008 she was the Director of the National Coal Institute (Oviedo). She has also performed research duties at the School of Environmental and Mining Engineering, Nottingham (UK), at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College, London (UK), as well as at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Clemson (USA) and at the Geology Department, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (USA) and, finally, at the Northern Carbon Research Laboratories, Newcastle upon Tyne (UK).
She is currently the Vice-President of “Science Europe” and, in the course of her professional career, has been the President of the “European Carbon Association”; member of the Scientific Council of the multinational SASOL; President of the Spanish Carbon Group; coordinator of the Materials and Energy Program, under the auspices of the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation; member of the Scientific Advising Committee of the company Industrial Química del Nalón; member of the International Committee on Carbon and Organic Petrology (ICCP); member of the Technical Standardization Committee (Spanish Standardization and Certification Association - AENOR) and member both of the National Commission of Evaluation of Research Activity (CNEAI) and of the Governing Council of the National Research Agency.
She has taken an active part in the design and assessment of different European Union activities, as a member of the so-called High-Level Group of the Governance of the European Research Area (ERA) and also as a member of the Technical and Operational Advisory Committee of the project DECARBit and the Committee of the Carbon and Steel Program. She has been president and vice-president of the Expert Committee for the review of the Non-Nuclear Energy Program in the 5th and 6th Framework Programs and has taken an active part as reviewer of proposals submitted to different calls for proposals in the context of the 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Programs.
In recent years, in addition to her scientific interest in clean carbon and petroleum technologies, she has begun a new line of research on prospects of graphene in biomedicine and in energy storage.
She has participated in more than 30 research projects with broad industrial participation, in 23 of these as main researcher; 9 of these have been financed by the European Union within the Framework Programs for Research and Innovation and the Carbon and Steel Research Fund. In addition, she has published more than 200 articles in high-impact scientific journals. She is the author of 10 patents and has directed 20 doctoral dissertations and 22 master’s theses in the fields of materials, chemistry and energy.
She has received numerous distinctions and awards, which include the 19th duPont Prize, in recognition of her work in the study and development of new carbon materials with important industrial applications, and the Scientific Career Prize of the Spanish Association of Materials granted in the year 2016.