Speakers Chemistry Track

Dr. Tony Van Osselaer

Member of the Board of Management
Member of the Executive Committee
Head of Industrial Operations
Bayer MaterialScience AG

Tony Van Osselaer Dr. Tony Van Osselaer was born on September 4, 1954 in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. He studied chemistry at Antwerp University, Belgium, and began his career at Bayer Antwerpen N.V. Belgium, in 1980. After two years in Uerdingen, where he was Plant and Project Manager in the bisphenol plant operated by the plastics production section, he returned to Bayer Antwerpen N.V. in 1990 to take over as manager of the bisphenol plant. From the autumn of 1992 onwards he headed the plastics department in Antwerp. In July 1997 Van Osselaer was appointed head of Global Manufacturing and Technology in the Plastics Business Group of Bayer AG. Van Osselaer has served on the Boards of Management of the Bayer polymers business since 2002. At all stages in the company’s development his responsibilities have focused on the Production and Technology segments: from 2002 to 2004 he was a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer Polymers and head of Global Operations; since January 1, 2004 he has been a member of the Board of Management of Bayer MaterialScience AG and head of Production & Technology.

Since March 2007 Van Osselaer has been a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer MaterialScience and head of Industrial Operations. He also held the position of Labor Director from March 2007 to September 2011. In addition to these duties, Van Osselaer, in his capacity as head of the Bayer Polyurethanes (Shanghai) Company Ltd, coordinated the investment program of that company in Shanghai, China from February 2006 to August 2007. He returned to the headquarters of Bayer MaterialScience in Leverkusen on September 1, 2007. Since 2009 he is also chairman of the commission for energy, climate protection and raw materials of the German chemical industry association VCI. He is also a member of the Governance Council of the World Chlorine Council (WCC). Tony Van Osselaer is married and has three children.

Mateus Schreiner Garcez Lopes

Responsible for Biotech Innovation

Mateus Schreiner Garcez Lopes Braskem is the largest petrochemical producer in the Americas and the world's leading biopolymer producer. PhD in Biotechnology, Project Management Specialist and enrolled in a MBA in Agribusiness.

Currently leading the green butadiene and green isoprene projects.

Laurent Lenoir

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Laurent Lenoir Laurent Lenoir is Chief Executive Officer of Taminco Corporation since January 2010. He has 23 years of chemical industry experience. He started his career with Taminco in 1991 as Technical & Sales Manager Agrochemicals before holding various positions in Belgium within the Crop Protection business unit. In 2000, Mr Lenoir became Business Manager Methylamines & Derivatives Asia.
Following the spinoff of Taminco from UCB in 2003, Laurent became Director Asia & Global Director Feed Additives, following which he became Integration Officer relating to the Air Products acquisition in Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States between 2006 and 2007. From 2007 to December 31, 2009, he was Group Vice-President BU Methylamines & Derivatives—Regional President Asia. Since January 1, 2010, he has been our Chief Executive Officer.

Ajit Sapre

Group President of Research and Technology
Reliance Industries

Ajit SapreSapre is Group President of Research and Technology for Reliance Industries. He has more than 30 years of experience in the petroleum refining and petrochemicals business, technology development and R&D management. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware and M.B.A. from Cornell University. His experience includes technical and managerial assignments in research, engineering, business, manufacturing units and corporate planning. Sapre has strong management and technical background in refining, petrochemicals process and catalyst development, chemical reaction engineering, optimization technologies, computer-integrated manufacturing and intellectual asset management. He has experience in upstream, downstream (refining, petrochemicals, polyester, lubes) and renewable energy sectors. He has published more than 100 technical papers, edited one book and has more than 30 U.S. patents and 20 patent applications to his credit.

Bert Groothuis

Corporate Sustainability Leader

Bert Groothuis Bert Groothuis is Corporate Sustainability Leader at SABIC, one of the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Bert is a graduate from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. In 1988 he joined a General Electric as a research scientist at GE Plastics’ research centers in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands and Mt. Vernon, IN, USA. He then joined the Marketing department of GE Plastics as global market and business development manager with experience in the launch of new initiatives and product innovations for the telecoms-, electronics-, building and solar industries. In 2009 he held functions in Riyadh as Global Change Management Leader. In 2010 he joined the Corporate Sustainability Organization at SABIC, responsible for environmental strategy development and execution, reduction of SABICs operational footprint and translating the evolving needs of customers into product development priorities and supporting development of green solutions.

SABIC ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies. SABIC recorded a net profit of US$ 6.59 billion in 2012. Sales revenues for 2012 totaled US$ 50.40 billion. Total assets stood at US$ 90.13 billion at the end of 2012.

SABIC’s businesses are grouped into Chemicals, Polymers, Performance Chemicals, Fertilizers, Metals and Innovative Plastics. SABIC has significant research resources with 16 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India and South Korea. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with around 40,000 employees worldwide.

SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Headquartered in Riyadh, SABIC was founded in 1976 when the Saudi Arabian Government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases associated with its oil production as the principal feedstock for production of chemicals, polymers and fertilizers. The Saudi Arabian Government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth

Head for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology
IGB Fraunhofer
Head of Institute for Interfacial Process Engineering and Plasma Technology, IGVP
University of Stuttgart

Thomas HirthProf. Dr. Thomas Hirth was born on 19th February, 1962 in Germany. He studied chemistry at the University Karlsruhe (Germany) with graduation. Afterwards he obtained a doctoral degree at the University of Karlsruhe in 1992. In 1988, he started working as a scientific employee at the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at the University of Karlsruhe. After four years, he continued his job as a scientific employee at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Pfinztal-Berghausen. From 1995 to 2007, Thomas Hirth headed the department Environmental Engineering at Fraunhofer ICT. In December 2007, he was appointed head of Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB (Stuttgart) and since April 2008 he also holds the position as Head of the Institute for Interfacial Process Engineering and Plasma Technology, IGVP, at the University of Stuttgart. Thomas Hirth is also Vice Dean of the Faculty “Energy-, Process – and Bio-Engineering”, University Stuttgart, Chairman of the Fraunhofer Group for Life Sciences and member of the Presidential Council of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. His main topics of research are Interfacial Engineering and Renewable Raw Materials.

Reinier Grimbergen

Director Science to Innovate
Royal DSM

Reinier GrimbergenReinier Grimbergen (08/12/1969) is Director Science to Innovate at Royal DSM, based in Urmond, the Netherlands, and is responsible for turning DSM’s global Life Science and Material Science competences into innovation opportunities.

Mr. Grimbergen obtained a MSc degree in Chemistry at the Nijmegen Radboud University and holds a PhD in Solid State Chemistry from the same university. He joined DSM in 2008, where he has held several positions in R&D, Sustainability, Regulatory Affairs and Business Development. Since February 2014 he is at his current position.

Anton G. van Beek

President Dow Benelux and Business Director Dow Coating Materials Europe
The Dow Chemical Company

Anton G. van BeekAnton G. van Beek is president for Dow in the Benelux and Business Director for Europe for Dow Coating Materials, a division of the Dow Chemical Company. In his dual role, van Beek is responsible for leading Dow's operations across the Benelux region with a particular focus on employee and stakeholder engagement as well as business development, whilst driving the strategies to grow the Dow Coating Materials business in Europe. He also represents commercial activities for the Advanced Materials division in Europe.

Prior to the current position, van Beek was business director for Dow Coating Materials in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) until 2014 and General Manager of the Packaging and Converting business in EMEA until 2011. He joined Dow in 2009 as Business Manager for Performance Monomers in Europe, India, Middle East and Africa following the acquisition of Rohm and Haas, where he was the European General Manager for Primary Materials. His broad commercial background includes Marketing Director for Adhesives & Sealants Europe as well as Commercial Manager for the Pressure Sensitive & Construction Chemicals market. Before joining Rohm and Haas, van Beek worked for nine years at BASF in various marketing and sales management roles with increasing responsibilities.

Van Beek earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Technical Faculty Polytechnic Arnhem, as well as a Master’s degree in management and marketing from the University of Amsterdam. He also completed an executive program at the Erasmus University in sales and strategic management.

Bert Stevens

Vice President Europe Operations

Bert StevensBert Stevens is Vice President Operations for Nike in Europe. He is a member of Nike’s most senior team in Europe, which runs a 6B$ business. He is a former Belgian Champion Gymnastics with two universities degrees (Civil Engineering and Economics) and an MBA at Leuven University.

In 1994 he joined Nike as one of the key players to build Nike’s European Logistics Campus in Belgium. Starting from scratch, it grew into one of the biggest Distribution Centres in Europe. In 2001 Bert was awarded a Fellowship at the University of Leuven because of his innovative approach in developing organizations. As the General Manager of the Logistics Campus he showed that it is possible to run a high performing business while being sustainable at the same time. He and his team significantly increased business performance, became part of the top 10 Best Belgian Organizations to work for and received the “Climate Savers Award” from the WWF. Six giant windmills were created, providing energy to the whole site, thousands of trucks were taken off the road and moved on to more environmental transport modes and many more environmental actions were taken.

In 2005 he moved to Nike’s European Headquarters in Hilversum, Netherlands, where he became Vice President and now leads Nike’s operational activities for all of Europe, including logistics, transportation, supply chain planning, customer service, IT, innovation,… Bert and his team of approximately 3000 employees are continuously elevating business performance while driving sustainability at the same time.

Walter Vermeiren

Head of Technology Intelligence
Refining & Chemicals

Walter Vermeiren Walter Vermeiren assumed his current position as ‘Head of Technology Intelligence” in 2014 in the R&D division of “Refining & Chemicals” branch of Total. He holds a Masters degree in Bio-engineering from University of Leuven in Belgium, where he received also a PhD in catalysis science. He previously worked in the catalysis group of Total Petrochemicals Research in Feluy, Belgium for 11 years, followed by a position as business developer in the “base chemicals” department and until recently was heading the New Technologies department in the “Refining & Chemicals” branch. His background is in refining and petrochemicals and he is recently focussing on technology and scientific intelligence.

Guosheng Zhang

Deputy Chief Engineer and Professor of Engineering of Economics &
Development Research Institute (EDRI)



ZhangMr. Guosheng Zhang is former Principal Expert, Deputy Chief Engineer and Professor of Engineering of Economics & Development Research Institute (EDRI), SINOPEC. In his previous 34 years’ working experiences, Mr. Zhang is mainly responsible for petrochemical project evaluation, consulting, new technology to track work, etc. He is also the expert of National Energy Saving Center and Outstanding Contribution Expert of Sinopec. Now, he is the Distinguished Expert of ICIS China. He graduated at the chemistry engineering department of Qinghua University in 1980 and his major was in chemistry engineering.

Dr. Guy-Noel Sauvion

Fellow Scientist

Guy-Noel SauvionGuy-Noel Sauvion is Fellow Scientist at Solvay, in charge of economic and environmental evaluation of innovation projects.

Guy-Noel is a graduate from Chemical Engineering Institutes of Lyon and Paris. In 1983 he joined Rhone-Poulenc as a research scientist in the field of catalysis. He has occupied several positions in research and process development in R&D centers and industrial sites of the Rhodia Group. Since 2011, he has been in charge of a global team dedicated to the assessments of innovation projects of the Solvay Group. In this respect, he has implemented a specific methodology to promote the sustainability of the future processes and products of the Group and develop an eco-design approach throughout the researchers’ community.

Dr. Philip Buskens

Vice President "Verbund site Development & Optimization"

Philip BuskensPhilip Buskens started his career at BASF in 1995 where he occupied several positions ranging from applied research, project management, production and procurement.

In his current position as Vice President “Verbund site Development & Optimization” he is responsible for Strategic Planning, relations with the strategic partners on the site, Business Process Management, Technical Coordination and Continuous Improvement which includes Innovation.

He earned his Master’s Degree in Bio-Engineering and his PhD in Heterogeneous Catalysis both at the University of Leuven.

Philip is currently Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp.

Dr. Laurel Harmon

VP Government Relations,
PhD University of Michigan

Laurel HarmonDr. Harmon provides policy direction and leadership on international legislative and regulatory matters and develops collaborative research and demonstration projects for LanzaTech. LanzaTech is the global leader in gas fermentation technology and provides novel and economic routes to fuels and high-value chemicals from waste carbon streams. By leveraging waste resources, LanzaTech’s solutions mitigate carbon emissions from industry without adversely impacting food or land security. LanzaTech’s unique process certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials and currently protected by nearly 100 granted patents, produces sustainable fuels and platform chemicals that serve as building blocks for everyday products such as rubber and plastics. Dr. Harmon has over 25 years experience in policy matters and project development. She joined LanzaTech from Striatus Inc., where she consulted on policies, projects and combinatorial discovery for advanced technologies, including energy and renewable fuels. After receiving her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Dr. Harmon joined ERIM, a non-profit research organization, to conduct applied R&D for a variety of defense and other government customers. Later she was a technical co-founder of Nonlinear Dynamics, a company specializing in applied pattern recognition and data mining.