Zubera Iqbal obtained a BSc Chemistry from the University of Birmingham in 2010, and then completed a PhD under the supervision of Professor Neil Rowson and Professor Stuart Blackburn in 2015. Her thesis was on the recovery of lithium mica from mineral waste, lithium is classified as a strategic metal due to its limited availability. The research successfully recovered lithium using novel bioprocessing technique, which was recognised by Innovate UK and awarded a grant for a research fellow post.
Zubera interest in this mineral processing led her to join a start-up company, Graphitene in 2015, based in Lincolnshire. Here she developed processes to recover Graphene from its raw form. Her work was supported by academics at The University of Cambridge. Later she joined the Ministry of Defence in Bristol, as a Weapons Scientist, supporting defence personnel across the globe. In 2018, she joined the University of Birmingham as a Faraday Institute Research fellow, recycling spent lithium-ion batteries to recover strategic metals.