Professor Stefano Brandani, of Edinburgh University, is now a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy in recognition of his contribution to scientific and technological research.
He has helped the Italian consulate to develop collaborative work in the field of carbon capture and storage and was given the accolade - equivalent to being recognised in the Queen's honours list - after a decree from Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano.
Prof Brandani said: "I am extremely honoured to receive this award and I hope to build further the research collaborations with Italy, especially in the field of carbon capture and storage, which requires a concerted international effort.
Consul General for Scotland and Northern Ireland Mauro Carfagnini added that Italy was proud to recognise the efforts of her citizens.
"Prof Brandani's work has particular relevance in view of the global climate change issues we face today," he said.