Rosario Michel-Villarreal


Before joining the Royal Agricultural University, I worked at the University of Lincoln and Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico). Prior to joining academia in 2014, I worked in the food manufacturing industry as Quality Assurance Technician and Quality Engineer. I have a keen interest in interdisciplinary research including food supply chain management, operations management, digitalisation, resilience and sustainability. My pedagogical research centres around the use of Challenge-based Leaning (CBL), an innovative teaching approach that incorporates reflection, critical analysis and real-life problem solving.

Professional memberships/Board positions

  • Member of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of the European Operations Management Association
  • Member of the Production and Operations Management Society
  • Member of the Women’s Engineering Society
  • Member of the Academic Group of the Network of Highly Skilled Mexicans in the UK
  • STEM Ambassador for STEM Learning UK


My research interests lie at the intersection of sustainable operations, food supply chains and rural development, with a primary focus on driving change towards more sustainable and resilient enterprises and food supply networks. I am particularly interested in the role that Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) can play in food systems sustainability and resilience, which can contribute towards the improvement of small-farmers' socio-economic conditions and livelihoods.

My recent projects include research on how to improve the potential for adoption of digital technology and implementation of industry 4.0 solutions among rural SMEs, using challenge-based learning to connect relevant stakeholders. Her work on challenge-based learning was awarded the Nigel Slack Teaching Innovation Award 2020 by the European Operations Management Association. 


I am a fellow of the HEA and my teaching approach integrates experiential and student-centred learning as well as research-led teaching. I’m a strong advocate of ‘students learning by doing’ through meaningful experiences that actively engage them in the construction of their own knowledge.

Module leader

4407 Managing your food and agri-business supply chains

 4411 Delivering trust an integrity within the food supply chain


Academic Journal Papers 

  • Michel-Villarreal, R., Vilalta-Perdomo, E. and Hingley, M. Exploring producers’ motivations and challenges within a farmers’ market. British Food Journal, 122 (7), 2089-2103. ISSN 0007-070X.
  • Michel-Villarreal, R., Vilalta-Perdomo, E., Hingley, M. and Canavari, M. (2019) Evaluating economic resilience for sustainable agri-food systems: The case of Mexico. Strategic Change Journal, 28 (4). ISSN 1099-1697.
  • Michel-Villarreal, R., Hingley, M., Canavari, M. and Bregoli, I. (2019) Sustainability in Alternative Food Networks: A Systematic Literature Review. Sustainability Journal, 11 (3) 859. ISSN 2071-1050.

Book chapters

Selected conference contributions