Please meet Biorizon's team! 

Ing. Joop Groen MBA

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Chemical Technology & MBA.
Function: Director
Organisation: Biorizon
Working on: The growth of Biorizon and especially contracting industrial partners as well as additional RTO’s to strengthen the program, gain critical mass and increase shared intelligence.
Motivation: Working together closely with industry and other organisations, pushing the limits of new innovative sustainable technology and 'making it happen', so to convert new technologies into profitable business for the participating companies!

Ing. Arjan Smit

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Finishing a PhD in Organic Chemistry, Utrecht University.
Function: Horizon Manager Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Bio-Aromatics.
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Biorefinery technology development which mostly covers the entire value chain from sustainable feedstock supply chains, through biorefinery, to biobased and circular applications.
Motivation: Achieving sustainability impact with a team and having motivated and happy people working together towards this exciting goal.

Dr. ir. Paul Könst

Nationality: Dutch
Education: PhD in Organic Chemistry – Biocatalysis, Wageningen University
Function: Horizon Manager Sugars to Bio-Aromatics
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Establishing technology that enables commercial value chains from residual sugars to furan buildings blocks and bio-aromatics by setting up shared research with industrial and research partners, in dialogue with all stakeholders involved.
Motivation: I enjoy contributing to the realization of new techno-economic value chains that allow for a sustainable industry and, thereby, a sustainable society.

Dr. ir. Karolien Vanbroekhoven

Nationality: Belgium
Education: PhD in Applied Biotechnology, KULeuven
Function: Horizon Manager Lignin to Bio-Aromatics
Organisation: VITO
Working on: Use of sustainable resources like biomass, algae, carbon dioxide replacing fossil ones and developing biotech processes using these resources as well as intensify them by integration of separation and conversion, by reusing the biocatalyst and by overall optimization of the process efficiency.
Motivation: Looking to the great opportunities and challenges in the bioeconomy, I get excited about the new, sustainable world ahead of us and the small contribution I can make to that! Connecting different people, with different backgrounds and realizing real innovations, that’s what makes my heart beats faster. Jaap Kiel

Nationality: Dutch
Education: PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Twente
Function:  Programme & business support
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Developing the Biomass R&D programme in close collaboration with industry partners, other R&D institutes and the experts in thermochemical biomass conversion, including the expansion of R&D activities in Horizon 1 of Biorizon.
Motivation: I enjoy to contribute to shaping the biobased economy jointly with industry and other organisations by developing innovative sustainable technologies and support their market implementation.

Roel Vleeschouwers MSc.

Nationality: Belgian
Education: Biochemical/chemical engineering
Function: Business Development Manager
Organisation: VITO
Working on: Lignin valorization
Motivation: contribute to a more sustainable world



Dr. Nathan Bowden

Nationality: American/United States of America
Education: PhD in Chemical Engineering and Process Technology from Wageningen University
Function: Senior Business Developer and EU Coordinator
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Sugars to bio-aromatics
Motivation: Transitioning to a sustainable society is a priority and a circular economy is a goal that we must achieve. In order to do this we need to work together to develop new technologies and processes for industry that make the products we use every day. Biorizon is exactly the place where we can do this and I am proud to be able to contribute to this international effort.

Dr. Kelly Servaes

Nationality: Belgium
Function: Project Manager Lignin - BioAromatics
Organization: VITO




Jord Blokker

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Bsc. Chemistry, MBA-candidate
Function: Business developer
Organization: TNO 
Working on: Developing a sustainable green proposition for the industry.
Motivation: Creating a sustainable world by facilitating the shift from fossil to renewable sources for the industry.

Emke Mol, MSc.

Nationality: Dutch
Function: Marketing & Communication Manager Biorizon.
Education: Tilburg University, Communication- & Information sciences. 
Currently working on: public relations, stakeholder management and event coordination.
Motivation: Contribute to a more sustainable world by creating awareness and interest from stakeholders and the media for renewable aromatics with premium functionalities.  
Motto: Love it, beat it or leave it: love what you do and do what you love!

Marc Crockatt BSc (Hons)

Nationality: Scottish
Education: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Function: Chief Technologist Sugars to Aromatics
Organisation: TNO Working on: The conversion of biomass sugars to aromatics via furanics; predominately on the conversion of furanics to aromatics.
Motivation: I appreciate the beauty and complex elegance of cyclic systems, and the carbon cycle is one of the most important in life. Being at the forefront of the research, and developing ideas, to solve what is, without doubt, one of the biggest modern problems not only stimulates me but gives me an enormous sense of reward.

Dr. Richard Vendamme

Nationality: French
Function: Senior researcher – Biopolymers
Organization: VITO
Education: PhD Polymers, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Mainz, Germany); Master in Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Universtité Lille I (Lille, France).
Currently working on: bioaromatics and biopolymers development using lignin oils as building blocks. Started a lab and build a team in 2018, get competitive research funds, and initiate projects related to application development.
Motivation: Creating breakthroughs and Building an original career pathway at the crossroad of technology, academia and business.

Ir. Peter Wolfs

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Chemical Engineer
Function: Market Director Chemical Industry, Circular Economy & Environment
Organisation: TNO



Dr. Lars Brüll

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, Utrecht University
Function: Research manager Biobased and Cicular Technologies
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Energy and Materials transition
Motivation: Facilitating and optimizing research groups to make the best impact and contribute to a more sustainable world.

Ir. Bert Bouwman

Nationality: Dutch
Education: TU Eindhoven, semiconductor technology
Function: Unit Manager Sustainable Chemistry
Organisation: VITO
Working on: Strategy and management of Sustainable Chemistry Program VITO.
Motivation: Strong belief in economic viable solutions for sustainable resources and processes in the chemical industry.
Motto: Find solutions, not excuses

Ing. Ivan Bakker

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Organic Chemistry at Hogeschool Leiden
Function: Research Technician
Organisation: TNO
Working on: The conversion of biomass sugars to aromatics via furanics.
Motivation: Doing research to contribute to a more sustainable future.


Ir. PDEng Stefania Luzzi

Nationality: Italian
Education: M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, PDEng in Process and Product Design at Eindhoven University of Technology
Function: Research Scientist
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Techno-economic and sustainability assessments of different biobased processes.
Motivation: Contributing to a greener planet by developing innovative sustainable processes.

Ing. Margaux Tellez

Nationality: Dutch
Education: BSc in Chemistry, Hogeschool Utrecht
Function: Research Assistant
Organisation: TNO
Working on: The conversion of biomass sugars to aromatics via furanics.
Motivation: My interest in chemistry and sustainability stem from growing up on the island Bonaire in the Caribbean. By noticing the beaches filled with plastic and the coral bleaching on our reefs, I wanted to work towards a sustainable industry and society. Jan Kees van der Waal

Nationality: Dutch
Function: Sr. Scientist/Consultant
Organization: TNO
Education: PhD Delft University of Technology
Currently working on: Bio-Aromatics from Sugars
Motivation: Bringing a sustainable future closer everyday!



Ir. Berend Vreugdenhil

Nationality: Dutch
Education: M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering
Function: Innovation manager gasification
Organization: TNO
Working on: Gasification as a platform to convert biomass into valuable products, such as Green Gas, fuels and chemicals. These routes are exciting and often interlinked.
Motivation: Sustainability is key for the continuing development of the Netherlands, Europe and our planet. Sustainable routes based on gasification are fun, new and the right combination of engineering and chemistry.

Dr. Kathy Elst

Nationality: Dutch
Function: Senior researcher solvolysis and mild extraction
Organization: VITO
Education: PhD physics
Currently working on: The development of processes to separate and purify added value components from different types of biomass streams, including biomass waste/side streams and algae. The main focus lies on the application of green solvents and innovative pressurized processes.

Dr. Pedro Abelha

Nationality: Portuguese
Function: Project manager on circular biomass and plastic materials for chemicals and energy.
Organization: TNO
Education: PhD in Chemical Engineering, New University of Lisbon.
Currently working on: Several project related to biomass and plastic wastes conversion towards circular materials, chemicals and energy.
Motivation: Developing innovative processes and technologies towards a more sustainable industry and society.

Jaap W. van Hal, Ph.D.

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry.
Function: Innovation manager biorefinery.
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Developing economically viable, environmentally benign, sustainable biorefinery processes of lignocellulosic and macro-algal biomass using the cascading, total biomass utilisation, valorisation principle.
Motivation: Pushing the start button of the first biorefinery plant.


Dr. Sandra Corderí Gándara

Nationality: Spanish
Education: Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Vigo (Spain)
Function: Researcher
Organisation: VITO
Working on: Lignin downstream processing (fractionation, solubilization, purification, depolymerization) for further valorization into bio-based chemicals and materials.
Motivation: Shifting from fossil fuels to renewable resources is key for the development of a sustainable industry and society. I am passionate about making a small contribution to this transition.

Ing. Richard van Someren

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Organic Chemistry, HLO Utrecht
Function: Senior Researcher
Organisation: TNO
Working on: The conversion of biomass sugars to aromatics via furanics.
Motivation: What drives me is the chemical research that eventually contributes to a more sustainable future.


Bastian de Bes

Nationality: Dutch
Education: HLO
Function: Research manager Sustainable Process and Energy Systems
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Energy Transition
Motivation: I would like to contribute to a more sustainable world, a place to live in for our children and grandchildren.


Dr. Olga Kattan

Nationality: German
Education: PhD in Membrane Technology (Universiteit Twente, NL), MSc in Biotechnology (Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg, DE), BSc in Chemical Engineering (UCA, El Salvador).
Function: Project Manager - Biorefinery
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Development of biorefinery processes using lignocellulosic and macro-algal biomass to produce fuels, energy and high-value chemicals. Hydrothermal conversion of biogenic residues to bioenergy carriers and parallel recovery of value-added products.
Motivation: Cooperation and building relationships of trust is key for the development and establishment of a biobased economy. I enjoy bringing partners and stakeholders from all corners together to generate ideas that feed the strategy, turn these ideas into an achievable plan and lead it to success.

Dr. Jacopo De Bellis

Nationality: Italian
Education: Ph.D. in Chemistry (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung & Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany)
Function: Scientist Innovator
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Biomass valorization strategies.
Motivation: Re-shaping chemical processes for a more sustainable future!

Carlos Mourao Vilela

Nationality: Portuguese
Education: Chemical Engineering
Function: Project Manager-Scientist
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Biomass gasification and product gas upgrading
Motivation: Contribute to a better harmony between the humankind and the nature.


Dr. Evert Boymans

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Chemical Engineering
Function: Scientist
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Biofuels production, Fischer-Tropsch, bio-BTX production through gasification.
Motivation: Contribute to the energy transition and working on/with new technologies.

Ir. Roger Blokland, MBA

Nationality: Dutch
Function: CEO Biorizon spin-off Relement
Organization: TNO & Biorizon spin-off Relement
Education: MSc Chem Eng, Delft University of Technology & MBA, RSM Erasmus University.
Motivation: Foremost I am very motivated by helping to realize a sustainable chemical industry and the ability to make a positive contribution to a fully renewable and sustainable society through the impact of my work. I really enjoy working in this complicated, cutting edge scientific landscape and at the same time manage the overall business goals and creating a win-win for all our stakeholders.

Monique Wekking MSc.

Nationality: Dutch
Function: CCO Biorizon spin-off Relement
Organisation: TNO & Biorizon spin-off Relement
Education: Organic chemistry, University of Amsterdam
Motivation: I get enthusiastic to bring (competitive) parties together and convince them to collaborate in shared research towards profitable bioaromatics business together. I believe co-creation and a co-operate attitude accelerates such business.


Stefano Iannacone Ir, MBA

Nationality: Italian
Education: MSc in Analytical Chemistry (University of Molise, IT), MSc in Water Technology (chemical engineering and biotechnology) (Wageningen University, NL) & MBA (Rotterdam School of Management, NL).
Function: CTO
Organisation: TNO’s Biorizon spin-off Relement
Working on: My work spans from finding smart process solutions to engineer the elegant chemistry of synthesis of 3MPA and HMA from furanics, (developed within the Biorizon programme), to find motivated and reliable manufacturing partners that will help us scale-up and optimize our process for a faster, cost/efficient market launch of Relement’s bio aromatics.
Motivation: I really like to think I am an optimist who believes in a bright future and ourability to build it together. My WHY is to get inspired using science and technology to transform society, striving to harness the knowledge, insight, skills, and experience to create bold opportunities that have a tangible and positive impact on the world, making life a little brighter for all. Honored by the opportunity given to bring the bio aromatics and its chemistry to market in Relement, I am extremely motivated to achieve this goal.
Motto: “The object of life is not to side with the majority, instead is to escape finding oneself joining the ranks of clinically insane” Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor

Prof. dr. Ludo Diels

Nationality: Belgian
Education: PhD University of Antwerp (Belgium)
Function: Chairman of the Advisory Board
Working on: Coordination of research strategies. Establishment and coordination of collaborative projects.

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This project is made possible by a contribution from the European
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