Ainara studied for an MSc in Chemical Engineering at the University of Basque Country (Spain) until 2003. She then gained two years of industrial experience as a research assistant at Inasmet. During this period, her research focussed on the synthesis and purification of carbon nanotubes. Beyond her technical background, the more client oriented research projects led her to study an MSc in Innovation and Technology Management at the University of Deusto. After this, she completed her PhD in Chemistry, which was a direct collaboration between the University and Tecnalia; here she applied the fundamentals of the chemistry of carbon nanomaterials as technological solution. She then moved to the University of Trieste in Italy as part of the group of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials (CENMAT), where her research was focussed on the labelling of nanomaterials for uptake, cytotoxicity and cell activation assessment, and the conjugation of fullerenes and carbon nanotubes with dendrimers for the immobilization of antibiotics. This resulted in a short post-doc at the Department of Biomaterials and Nanotechnology in the Health Unit of Tecnalia, here her research was applied to European and National research projects. She has authored and co-authored a number of scientific publications, and presented at international conferences.
Currently, she is working at the Chemistry Department, Imperial College London researching carbon nanotube frameworks with controlled structures for catalysts supports.