Hi Ed, tell us a little about your background
As a child, I grew up in “the green heart” of the Netherlands in an agricultural environment. That has always made me interested in living organisms and their products. This was one of the reasons that I wanted to obtain my M.Sc. degree in Bioprocess Engineering, which I did, followed by a Ph.D. in membrane separation at the food processing department of Wageningen University.
My profession started at the dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina as a process engineer, linking things back to my roots. During my years in the dairy industry, I gained a significant amount of knowledge on dairy products and dairy processing, resulting in the last 10 years of my career in managing R&D process development. To expand my horizons even further, I joined Insempra as Head of Process Design and Manufacturing last summer.
What is your role at Insempra?
As Head of Process Design and Manufacturing I make sure, together with my team, that the products that are designed can be produced economically and on a large scale.
This entails developing robust processes on a lab scale, scaling these processes up into pilot scale, in the end, to be able to produce the products for the market that we as Insempra would like to deliver. Critical in this flow is finding the right partners that can help us in scaling up and production. So, that is also a major part of my role—finding these partners.
What’s your favorite part of your work?
I really enjoy the combination of working with people and science. I enjoy it so much when we work together and find advancements that will help the company move forward and solve the challenges that we run into as a team.
What inspired you to work on sustainable products?
As mentioned in my introduction, as I grew up in a green world, I realized that this world is very sensitive, but also so much needed for our food and energy production. To be able to make sure that this is all done in a balanced way I believe that we should reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and chemicals. To be able to do so we need to come up with alternatives, which is Insempra’s mission as well.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, we are working on producing the first prototypes of our products. Our customers should get a feel for how our products feel, behave, and perform. At the same time, we are preparing for market entrance for our current product pipeline, which is scheduled for 2024.
What trends are you seeing in the industry?
The trend that I see in the industry is that nowadays companies don’t get away with “green washing” their polluting processes anymore. Our current society demands, for obvious reasons, that companies make a real difference in their environmental impact and not only say that they are doing it.
Thank you Ed!