Doctoral Candidates

THERESA Doctoral Candidate: Paola Jiménez Casanova
Nationality: Mexican
Thesis project: Enabling EU Energy Network Integration Through Hydrogen. A Legal Perspective
• Affiliation: Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)
• Starting date: 01/09/2023
• Supervisors: Dr. Endrius Cocciolo and Dr. Jordi Jaria
• Planned secondment: : Gasgrid Finland Oy

I am Paola, a Mexican lawyer, specializing in the energy sector and the energy transition. I graduated cum laude from the prestigious Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, where I obtained my law degree. In 2019, I furthered my knowledge by completing a Master’s degree in Energy and Climate Law at the University of Groningen, known for its top-ranking LLM program in energy law.

My professional journey started as a legal and regulatory analyst in an energy consultancy firm in Mexico, actively contributing to the implementation of the 2013 Energy Reform that liberalized the energy sector. This role allowed me to provide strategic advice and guidance to clients, helping them navigate the evolving energy landscape. Seeking further involvement in shaping the industry, I briefly joined the Energy Regulatory Commission in Mexico in 2018 before pursuing my Master’s studies. During my tenure, I played a key role in ensuring compliance with energy regulations and fostering efficient energy markets.

In August 2021, I joined Trafigura, a globally recognized commodities trader, as the Regulatory Manager in Mexico. In this role, I was responsible for overseeing regulatory compliance for all energy businesses in the country. Staying updated on evolving energy laws, developing compliance strategies, and ensuring adherence to regulations were among my core responsibilities.

With a deep-rooted commitment to the energy transition, I have decided to further deepen my understanding of the legal aspects surrounding the development of hydrogen in the European Union as a PhD researcher in THERESA. My extensive knowledge of energy law, combined with my practical experience, allows me to navigate complex legal frameworks and contribute to the advancement of the energy transition. I am driven by my commitment to a sustainable and resilient energy future.

THERESA Doctoral Candidate: Álvaro Martín Morán
Nationality: Spanish
• Thesis project: Regulating hydrogen within the legal framework of circular economy
• Affiliation: Universitat Rovira i Virgili
• Starting date: 01/06/2023
• Supervisors: Prof Endrius Cocciolo and Prof Aitana de la Varga
• Planned secondment: ICAEN

My name is Álvaro, I am graduate from the double bachelor in French and Spanish law by the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Complutense University of Madrid. I also hold a Master degree in European Governance from the Grenoble Institute of political studies (Sciences Po Grenoble), a Master degree on European Studies by the University of Salamanca and a Master degree in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe in Natolin. I am also a qualified lawyer in Spain. I worked for 3 years as an Academic Assistant at the College of Europe in Natolin, taking care of courses in the fields of law and economics. Currently I am a PhD candidate at the University Rovira i Virgili as part of THERESA project.

THERESA Doctoral Candidate: Alba Forns
Nationality: Spanish

• Thesis project: Citizen empowerment in a hydrogen economy
• Affiliation: University of Groningen
• Starting date: 01/06/2023
• Supervisors: Prof. Dr Lorenzo Squintani and Prof. Dr Lea Diestelmeier
• Planned secondment: Hydrogen Valley of the North


My name is Alba, and I am a LLM graduate in International and European Law from University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2022. I hold an LLM in Public Law and a BBL and BBA from my alma mater, Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Throughout all these educational years, I caught the academia bug in terms of European environmental law policy, with special regard to circular economy and waste prevention practices. In that line, I have worked in the EU bubble for a year in both its external and internal dimensions. I have conducted a 5-month traineeship at the Brussels leading think tank, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in the Economic Policy and the Energy, Resources and Climate Change units. Currently, I am one of the beneficiaries of the Blue Book fellowship of the European Commission thanks to which I am working as a trainee at the Directorate General of Environment (DG ENV) in the Circular Economy Directorate. My work in both these institutions have been related to the rule of law and the financial interests of the European Union, the Batteries Regulation proposal, the amendment of the Waste Framework Directive in the need for regulating textile and food waste, and the circular and sustainable approach of the Critical Raw Materials Act.

THERESA Doctoral Candidate: Kelsey Pailman
Nationality: South African

• Thesis project: Hydrogen for a Sustainable Mobility
• Affiliation: University of Groningen
• Starting date: 01/08/2023
• Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Squintani and Dr. Ruven Fleming
• Planned secondments: Hydrogen Valley of the North, Finnish Energy Authority (NRA, Energiavirasto).


My name is Kelsey Pailman and I am an admitted energy lawyer from South Africa. I have experience in providing global energy companies with legal advice in the renewables, oil and gas and mining sectors. I completed my LLB and LLM (with distinction) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). My Master’s dissertation focussed on the policy harmonisation of renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) in the Sub-Saharan African Energy Sector, as a means by which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) can be achieved. In my research I conducted a comparative study of the regulatory framework in the Southern Africa Power Pool, national frameworks in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well the liberalisation of the European Energy Market in the EU Energy Packages. In the final semester of my Master’s studies, I was selected to attend an international exchange program at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, where I completed a course in the German Energiewende and EU Energy Law. My motivation for pursuing a PHD study on the topic ‘Hydrogen for a Sustainable Mobility’ lies in my passion for the global energy transition and dedication to advancing meaningful legal research on the utilisation of green hydrogen as an alternative fuel source in the transport sector.


THERESA Doctoral Candidate: Francisca Gallegos Aguirre
Nationality: Chilean
• Thesis project: Hydrogen certification schemes
• Affiliation: University of Eastern Finland
• Starting date: 31/05/2023
• Supervisors: Kim Talus and Sirja-Leena Penttinen
• Planned secondment: Gasgrid Finland Oy


My name is Francisca Gallegos Aguirre and I am graduated with summa cum laude from the Universidad de Chile, Chile as a Bachelor of Laws in 2012. My main interests are sustainability and energy law. I have worked on research projects in both public and private sectors, gaining valuable experience. Focusing on the latter, I pursued a Master’s degree in Business Law -European and International Energy Law at the Technische Universität Berlin, where I graduated with distinction and deepened my knowledge of EU law, particularly in the field of energy law. During the Master’s programme, I wrote my Master’s thesis on a comparative analysis of the regulation of green certificates as support schemes for green electricity production in the EU and Chile. This research provided me with a solid understanding of certification schemes, which I plan to build on in my PhD research on hydrogen certification schemes from a comparative perspective.


THERESA Doctoral Candidate: Jaqueline Chantelle Santos Ruas Baessa Pinto
Nationality: Portuguese/South African

• Thesis project: In search for cross-sectoral coherence: an emerging regulatory framework for hydrogen
• Affiliation: University of Eastern Finland
• Starting date: 15 May 2023
• Supervisors: Prof Kim. Talus; Dr. Sirja-Leena Penttinen
• Planned secondment: Finnish Energy Authority (Energiavirasto).
Biography: My name is Jaqueline Pinto, and I hold the following academic qualifications:

• Advanced Company Law I and II Certificates, University of the Witwatersrand, 2022 (with distinction).
• LLM (with distinction), The Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law & Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland, 2021 (Awarded the Laszlo Gombos Prize for the best LLM Student 2019/2020 and the Sir Alan Langlands Water Law Water Leaders Prize for best Water LLM Student 2019/2020) – Recipient of the Anglo American Scholarship.
• Global Energy Transition course, The Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law & Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland, 2020.
• LLM, University of the Witwatersrand, 2019.
• Certificate in Mining and Prospecting Law (with distinction), University of the Witwatersrand, 2016.
• LLB, Rhodes University, 2014.
• BA, Rhodes University, 2012

I was a practising attorney in the area of energy and natural resources law for 8 years and am passionate about the regulation of energy and natural resources law. I have lived the predominance of my life in South Africa. One could say that my ‘love affair’ with the energy world began as a result of geography as energy has always been central to my world – given South Africa’s energy crisis for over a decade, with rolling blackouts being experienced since 2008. This was one of the factors which caused me to become a practicing energy and natural resources lawyer. Since then, I have continued my interest in the energy sphere, both through my studies, and by my career. During my career, I have represented industry bodies in areas related to regulation. This taught me that the regulatory framework within which activities operate is integral to both the success of that activity as well as of the people whose livelihoods or quality of life depend on such industry. Having first-hand experience of dealing with the regulatory frameworks in which various energy sources are governed has also given me a keen understanding of many of the pitfalls that can occur when regulating the energy and natural resources sector. I am interested in making a practical change in the way that energy is regulated. My proposed topic for my doctoral thesis is “in search for cross-sectoral coherence: an emerging regulatory framework for hydrogen.”.