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! Jaap Kiel

Nationality: Dutch
Education: PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Twente
Function: Horizon Manager Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Bio-Aromatics
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.

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.

Monique Wekking MSc.

Nationality: Dutch
Function: Sr. Business Development Manager Sugars to Bio-Aromatics & CCO Biorizon spin-off Relement
Organisation: TNO & Biorizon spin-off Relement
Education: Organic chemistry, University of Amsterdam
Currently working on: Setting up shared research with industrial parties and other relevant associations and stakeholders to convert organic heterogenic municipal waste into building blocks for furanics and bioaromatics. 
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.

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



Luisa F. Flechas MSc.

Nationality: Colombian-American
Function: Business Developer Biomass & Energy Transition
Organisation: TNO
Education: Chemical Engineer, MSc. in Sustainable Energy Systems Management - EUREC - The Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers
Currently working on: New business development in biorefinery technologies.
Motivation: "I undoubtedly believe in an energy transition towards a biobased economy limiting fossil-fuel dependency. A transition that requires the implementation of new green and cleaner technologies, in combination with existing ones, that eventually will require retrofitting. The clock is ticking, and innovation is needed to lead the pathway working hand-to-hand with the industry, local and governmental sectors in order to achieve a sustainable future".

Dr. Kelly Servaes

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




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!

Ir. Roger Blokland, MBA

Nationality: Dutch
Function: Senior Business developer & CEO Biorizon spin-off Relement
Organization: TNO & Biorizon spin-off Relement
Education: MSc Chem Eng, Delft University of Technology & MBA, RSM Erasmus University.
Currently working on: Finding enthusiastic partners to achieve our goal of realizing a commercial production unit for biobased aromatics by 2025. For this goal Shared Research Center Biorizon is interested to talk to suppliers of waste biobased feedstock, new users of biobased aromatic compounds and other potential stakeholders such as financiers, support & funding organizations, engineering & licensing companies, etc.   
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 Biorizon business goals and creating a win-win for all our stakeholders.

Ir. Connie Paasse MBA

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Chemical Technology, TU Delft; Executive MBA, Rotterdam School of Management
Function: Director
Organisation: Green Chemistry Campus
Working on: Leading the Campus in Bergen op Zoom, hosting the Biorizon scale-up research program.
Motivation: Be the home of a network of entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions, industry and governments enabling scale up of new conversion processes.
Motto: From fossil supply chains to biobased supply circles.

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




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

Arjan Oostvogels

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Civil Environmental Technology, HTS; Asset management Post bachelor
Function: Manager Operations
Organisation: Green Chemistry Campus
Working on: running the day-to-day business
Motivation: Facilitating the GCC's customers as much as possible to ensure that they can work optimally towards a sustainable future.
Motto:: Getting together is a start; staying together is progress; working together is success. (Henry Ford)

Dr MSc. Ir. Sergio Rios

Nationality: Argentinian
Education: PhD in Chemical, Process and Environmental Engineering, URV Spain
Function: Scale-up consultant Biomass and Energy Transition
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Lignocellulosic biomass to fuels, energy and high-value chemicals through thermochemical conversion into a biorefinery framework/ process design and scale-up.
Motivation: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”– Albert Einstein, Physicist

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. Paul de Wild

Nationality: Dutch
Education: PhD in Chemistry University of Groningen
Function: Sr. Consultant biomass and plastics valorisation via thermochemical conversion
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Biomass pyrolysis for (aromatic) chemicals pyrolysis of lignin for bio-based chemicals and pyrolysis of spent mattresses (plastics) and furniture (wastewood) materials in the framework of the circular economy
Motivation: To contribute on the transition to a sustainable and green chemical industry

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.

Dr. Ilona van Zandvoort

Nationality: Dutch
Education: PhD in Chemistry
Function: Scientist biorefinery
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Thermochemical conversion of lignin-rich streams for the production of chemicals
Motivation: Contributing to a sustainable society!


Dr. Jaime Gracia Vitoria

Nationality: Spanish
Education: Ph.D. in chemistry
Function: Researcher lignin depolymerization and applications
Organisation: VITO
Working on: lignin modification and depolymerization for its implementation in polymer materials as replacement of fossil based building blocks.
Motivation: It is very pleasant to work on topics that tends to turn the chemical and polymer industry more sustainable contributing also to a circular economy.

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.


Ing. Arjan Langen

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Laboratory Education
Function: Senior Process engineer
Organisation: TNO
Working on: Develop engineering- and process technology in the Pyrena/Pypo pilot plant. Transform lignin rich biomass into valuable biocrude derivates by pyrolysis followed by staged condensation.
Motivation: Transform dreams and ideas in tangible objects to benefit society.

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.


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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