Dr. Koen Van Aken
Chief Executive Officer
After obtaining a PhD at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in 1993, Koen Van Aken (°1965) occupied a postdoctoral position at Georgia State University, Atlanta. Afterwards, he returned to Belgium to join the Center of Molecular Design at Janssen Pharmaceutica (a division of Johnson & Johnson). As senior scientist, his work involved HIV drug design in close collaboration with Dr. Paul Janssen which eventually resulted in FDA approved drugs. After founding the company EcoSynth in 2001, he obtained a master in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Gent Management School (2007). His 23 years of experience in academic and industrial organic chemistry are illustrated by (co)authorship of over 40 publications (including 17 patents). Main interests include sustainable chemistry, flow chemistry, novel activation technologies, optimalization of reaction parameters, automation of organic chemistry and process development. As current guest professor, he teaches “sustainable chemistry” as a course at the Catholic University of Leuven, the same university at which he was appointed fellow of the faculty of science. He was also chairman of the feasibility study for the Flemish Initiative for Sustainable Chemistry and member of the former board of directors of FISCH, now transformed in CATALISTI.
Dr. Kevin Huvaere
Kevin Huvaere is a chemist with a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences (Ghent University). He worked as assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) where he closely collaborated with Professor Leif Skibsted in an interdisciplinary field covering physical organic chemistry, photochemistry, and food chemistry. Before joining EcoSynth, he was active in analytical chemistry at the Scientific Institute of Public Health.
Dr. Jean-Baptiste Joos
Chief Operating Officer
Jean-Baptiste Joos obtained his PhD in organic chemistry at Ghent University working on natural product synthesis. Next he moved to the UK where he obtained a postdoctoral position in supramolecular chemistry at the University of Bristol, in the group of Prof. A.P. Davis. In 2003, he came back to Belgium where he worked in R&D at Dupont de Nemours and as a senior scientist in the medicinal chemistry department of Devgen before joining EcoSynth in 2009 as a senior scientist. Today, he is responsible for the CRO activities and the daily operations within EcoSynth.
Ir. Aster De Schrijver
Aster De Schrijver has an engineering diploma in plastics and obtained an MBA degree at the University of Antwerp. He has many years of experience in polyurethane foams and worked for Shell and ICI Europe in the development and technical service departments. He is the co-inventor of one component PU foams in aerosol cans in the year 1970. He started his own polyurethane foam company in 1979. He has been a lecturer on polyurethane foams in various countries. He represented Belgium on a plastic technology exchange mission to China in 1982 where he was lecturing on RIM and RRIM.
Ir. Tom De Gres
Executive Board Member
Tom De Gres obtained a degree of chemical engineer at UGent and an MBA at the Vlerick School. He started his career at DSM The Netherlands, as a project and business development manager, this formed the base for an international career in various fields and industries with a focus on managing startups and business development. Today, he is board member and managing partner in several SME’s. As an executive board member of EcoSynth, Tom supports the efforts towards establishing partnership and new ventures based on the proprietary IP of the company.
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