Our People » Luuk van der Wielen

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University of Limerick.

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MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Twente University (Netherlands),
PhD degree (with honours) from Delft University of Technology (TUD)

Luuk van der Wielen

Prof.dr.ir. Luuk A.M. van der Wielen (Amsterdam, 16-06-1964) holds an MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Twente University (Netherlands), and a PhD degree (with honours) from Delft University of Technology (TUD). Since February 2017, he is Director of the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and Bernal Professor for Biosystems Engineering and Design. The Bernal Institute is a 450 p, €150+m research institute on structured materials characterisation, design, and manufacturing, especially focusing on solving grand challenges in Health, Energy and the Environment. As a Distinguished Professor in Biobased Economy (nowadays parttime) at TU Delft’s Dept. of Biotechnology (www.bt.tudelft.nl ), he headed the Bioprocess Engineering Section effectively from 1998 until 2017. The activities of the section were ranked as excellent by consecutive national research evaluations and have resulted in several spin-off companies[1]. His research interests include thermodynamics for bioprocesses, bioseparation/-conversion technologies, multifunctional bioreactors, miniaturized (‘on-chip’), high-throughput technology for rapid process development, analysis, and development of (bio)renewables production systems, and their societal impacts. The last Google Scholar counts over 350 publications/patents as of dec. 2022 (7123 citations; H-index 43), but more importantly, almost 50 PhD, 75 PDEng and over 100 MSc students have graduated under his supervision.

He is since 2017 Chair of BE-Basic Foundation Board, and was 2004-‘17 director of BE-BASIC (www.be-basic.org), the globally operating private-public research organisation for Biobased Sustainable Industrial Chemistry & Energy, which is based in The Netherlands with hubs in South East Asia and Brazil, and a cumulative budget exceeding 250 M€. BE-BASIC executed a R&D, training and innovation program in the field of industrial and environmental biotechnology, via a consortium of 50 academia and industries. He initiated the multi-purpose pilot facility (www.bpf.eu, ~ M€ 80). In 2012, he coordinated the Netherlands’ Bioenergy and Biochemicals Innovation plan under the new Dutch Topsector Policy (budget exceeding 1 billion euro), and was appointed in the 1st Board of Directors of Foundation TKI-BBE. During 2014-17, he chaired BioPort Holland (aviation industry and government group) to help shape the Dutch policy and market towards more sustainable aviation. In 2007, he joined (part-time) Royal Dutch Shell as Principal Scientist in Biotechnology. He was Visiting Professor at the Univ. San Carlos, Philippines until 2008; and 2009-‘13 at Univ. of Technology Malaysia.

Luuk van der Wielen is/was a member of the editorial and advisory boards of several leading international scientific journals, and chaired several scientific conferences (a.o. ESBES4, BPP2005, RRB4, ECOBIO2016/-18, Braz Bioenergy S&T Conf  2017). He is/was member/chair of (inter)national and European boards: Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce (IRL) in the Office of An Tanaiste (Irish Deputy Prime Minister), Platform Bio-Economie (NL), Governing Board of IBioIC (UK/Scottish Industrial Biotech Innovation Center), AgroPolo (agro/forestry re-industralisation board Sao Paulo, BR), coordinator Bioenergy and Biochemicals RD&I programming in NL Topsector Policy (2011-12), Supervisory Board of Dutch Separation Technology Institute, of NL Platform Renewable Feedstocks, Sustainable Energy Cie of the Royal NL Academy of Sciences (KNAW), Steering Group of the EU Technology Platform Suschem/ Industrial Biotechnology, Steering Committee BBE (Min Economic Affairs) and BioPort of Rotterdam, Taskforce Bioenergy Systems (EU Fed. for Biotechnology), Advisory Boards of SENAI-CETIQT (Brazil), US-EU Taskforce on Biotechnology Research, KP Sinha Bioenergy Center (IIT Kharagpur, India), of CLIB2021 (Germany), of BIO4EU (EU Commission), Oversight Board Global Sustainable Bioenergy Project and advisor to several European and international industries. He is/was on the Boards of Commissioners of Dutch Greentech Fund, SHIFT Invest, and Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV.

He is one of the initiators of the successful academic program on Life Science & Technology of Leiden University and TU Delft, director (1997-2017) and since 2017 Chair of the Board of the postgraduate program Engineering Doctorate (PDEng) Bioprocess Design. Luuk van der Wielen is married, has 3 children, and has an active and passive interest in jazz music.

[1] such as Delft Advanced Biorenewables  https://dab.bio/  and others.

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