Manfred Scheer

Manfred Scheer studied and obtained his PhD at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. After his PhD, he held a postdoctoral position at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Science in Novosibirsk, Russia, was Visiting Fellow (DAAD) at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Muehlheim/Ruhr, Guest professor at the Department of Chemistry, Indiana University Bloomington (USA), Heisenberg-Fellow of the German Research Foundation (DFG), and became in 1996 Associate professor at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. Since 2004, he is a full Professor of Chemistry at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Regensburg, Germany. He is Associate Editor of the RSC journal "Chemical Communications", president of the Wöhlervereinigung (Inorganic Division of the GDCh) and Elected member of the DFG (German Research Foundation) Review Board on molecular chemistry. In 2012, he received the Horst-Dietrich-Hardt-Award of the University des Saarlandes (Germany) and in 2013 the Wilhelm-Klemm-Award of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh). He is very active in the field of molecular chemistry, focusing on the utilization of synthetic compounds in materials chemistry. His research is directed towards the chemistry of substituent-free main group element ligand complexes, mainly of the elements of group 15, and he is interested in supramolecular and capsule chemistry using nano-sized fullerene-like clusters that are prepared from pentaphosphaferrocene and Cu(I) halides.

Daniel Steppich

Daniel Steppich studied physics and obtained his PhD at the University of Augsburg, Germany in 2009. During his PhD within the international doctorate program “Material Science of Complex Interfaces” (CompInt) of the “Elite Network of Bavaria” in the area of biophysics he spent several months as visiting scientist at University of Linz (Austria) and at Yale University (New Haven, USA). After his PhD Daniel Steppich took over a postdoc position at the Anwenderzentrum Material und Umweltforschung (AMU). Herein he was focusing on the area of non-oxidic high performance ceramics in close contact with the Carbon Composites e.V. industry association. Among various other tasks within this industry association he was heading the working group “Roadmap” consisting of various experts from industry and research facilities and in this respect he was responsible for the elaboration of a long term product roadmap for ceramic matrix composites. In 2011 he joined SGL GROUP – The Carbon Company in its central R&D division as project manager in the field of graphite and carbon electrodes. In 2012 Daniel Steppich became responsible for the development of the InduCarb based recycling activities within SGL including the RecoPhos process


Willem Schipper

Willem Schipper obtained his PhD from Utrecht University in 1994. He has worked in phosphorus chemistry for Hoechst Holland, later Thermphos International, for 18 years. As a Technical Innovation manager at ThermPhos, he has been the driving force in many innovative, technical developments within Thermphos for more than a decade. For example, he developed a large-scale recycling project involving disruptive innovation and Willem was also responsible for the mapping of all industrially relevant phosphorus derivatives, more specifically technology and market intelligence for phosphorus derivatives, including lubricant oil additives, flame retardants, extractants for mining and metals, (organo)phosphine chemistry, phosphonates, food and technical phosphates and phosphoric acid. After a long career at Thermphos International, he is now working as consultant for the chemical industry focusing on, e.g. phosphorus chemicals (technical and commercial), product and process innovation; white phosphorus production technology, suitability of raw materials, energy optimization, advice for new phosphorus production operations; phosphorus/ phosphate recycling; phosphoric acid and phosphates production, product quality, production optimization; including rare earth extraction; new business development; phosphorus sludge (mud) abatement; sustainability, Cradle-to-Cradle.

Jose Goichoecea

Jose carried out his undergraduate degree at the University of Zaragoza in his home country of Spain. After a brief stint as an Erasmus student at the University of Cambridge with Professor Paul Raithby, he began his Ph.D work at the University of Bath under the supervision of Mike Whittlesey. He completed his thesis in 2003 on the synthesis and reactivity of novel water-soluble ruthenium (II) phosphine complexes. A postdoctoral position with Professor Slavi Sevov at the University of Notre Dame followed (2003-2006) exploring the reactivity of anionic deltahedral Zintl ions in solution.
Jose was appointed to a University Lectureship in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford on October 1st 2006.


Laurent Lefort

Laurent Lefort received his Ph.D. degree under the guidance of Prof. Henry Amariglio at the University of Nancy in 1996. His thesis focused on the conversion of methane and ethane to higher alkanes via the use of heterogeneous catalysts. He pursued his interest in the activation of alkanes with two postdoctoral stays, the  first one at the University of Rochester under the guidance of Prof. W. D. Jones (NY) using Rh/Ir organometallic complexes and the second one at CPE-Lyon (France) under the guidance of Prof. J.-M. Basset using Ta/Zr complexes grafted on inorganic surfaces. In 1999, he joined Symyx (Santa Clara, CA), where he worked in the field of high-throughput synthesis of catalysts. In 2003, he moved to DSM (Geleen, NL), where he started as a research chemist in the homogeneous catalysis group. Currently he is working as a Senior Scientist at DSM Ahead BV - Innovative Synthesis, where he focuses on the development of new catalytic technologies via high throughput experimentation for the production of pharmaceutical products and more recently of novel monomers for polyamides-polyesters materials. His main area of expertise is (asymmetric) hydrogenation. with the DSM Homogenous Catalysis group, he contributed to the implementation of a process based on Rh/phosphoramidite ligands for the ton scale production of a key intermediate towards Aliskiren, a drug from Novartis. He has co-authored more than 40 publications and 10 patents.

Piet van Leeuwen

Piet van Leeuwen received his Ph.D. at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1967, and joined the Koninklijke Shell Laboratorium Amsterdam where he worked for twenty six years in the field of homogeneous catalysis. During this period, he developed catalysts for hydroformylation reactions that remain the industry standard and for many other carbonylation processes. Van Leeuwen initiated the homogeneous catalysis group at the University of Amsterdam in 1990, which he led till 2007, and held the chair of Industrial Homogeneous Catalysis at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where he was also the director of the National Research School Combination Catalysis (2000-2005). From 2004 till 2015, he held the position of Group Leader at ICIQ in Tarragona (Spain). Currently he holds a chair in the Chaires d’Attrectivité programme of the University of Toulouse, France and as a visiting professor at the UFRGS, Brazil. He was the first chemist to publish research on the use of dendrimers in catalysis and is a pioneer in “sustainable chemistry” thanks to his studies on the selectivity, recovery and stability of catalysts. He has co-authored over 350 publications, 35 patents, has written and edited several books and has co-supervised almost 50 Ph.D. theses.


Sergei Levchik

Sergei Levchik is R&D Director for ICL-IP, America (Israel Chemical Ltd.) one of the major producer of flame retardants. From 1992 to 1996 Sergei held postdoctoral positions at University of Torino and at Polytechnic of New York. Sergei was a Senior Scientist and Group Leader at Belarussian University prior he moved to the USA in 1997. Since 1987, he has been involved in the projects on flame retardancy of polymers. He published 3 books, more than 100 technical papers and 30 reviews and book chapters.

Martin Sicken

Martin Sicken obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Cologne, Germany. After his PhD, Martin has worked at Hoechst AG as Technical Marketing Manager in the Department R&D Flame Retardants for six years till 1997. Since 1997, Martin Sicken works at Clariant. First as the leader of development and investment projects on new flame retardants. From 2004 he became the plant Manager of Phosphinate producing manufacturing Plants and from 2007 the Product Manager Flame retards. Since 2010, Martin is head of Technical Marketing and Development Flame Retardants. Martin Sicken has more than 80 patent applications in the field of Phosphorus based flame retardants. 

Douglas Stephan

Doug Stephan attended McMaster University, earned a PhD at the University of Western Ontario and did a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. Afterwards he joined the University of Windsor, where he was appointed as Professor and department head. Subsequently, he moved in 2008 to the University of Toronto as the Canada Research Chair in Catalysis and New Materials. Doug’s research interests span a wide range of inorganic main group and organometallic chemistry. In the more fundamental projects, new reactivity and chemical transformations are targeted with a view to developing new catalysts to either new materials or new processes. In addition, collaborations with industry address the design and development of new catalyst and process technologies for use in commercial applications. He is best known for his work on frustrated Lewis pairs, which has enabled the development of metal-free methods of hydrogenation catalysis. He has also devised new approaches for the activation of small molecules such as alkynes and olefins. Other highlights of Doug’s work include research on compounds that contain both early and late transition elements, and studies of the chemistry of both zirconium–phosphorus complexes and catalytic phosphorus–phosphorus bonds. He has been the recipient of the Canadian Alcan, NSERC Synergy, Killam, LeSueur Memorial Awards, a Humboldt Research Award, and the ACS Ciapetta Lectureship, the Applied Catalysis Award (Royal Society of Chemistry, UK), and the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (London, UK) and currently an Einstein Visiting Fellow at the TU Berlin.

Hansjörg Grützmacher

ince 1995, Hansjörg Grützmacher has been Associate Professor and since 2001 full Professor at the Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry at ETH Zurich. The research of Hansjörg Grützmacher and his group focuses on the synthesis of molecules, which have exceptional functionalities. Currently the Grützmacher group explores: (i) The synthesis and application of low valent transition metal complexes and coordinated radicals for dehydrogenation reactions; (ii) the synthesis and implementation in composite electrode materials of molecular compounds for Organometallic Fuel Cells; (iii) The synthesis and application of building blocks for organophosphorus compounds, and (iv) The synthesis and application of new highly efficient photoinitiators.
Prof. Grützmacher was born on March 24, 1959 in Hamburg, Germany. He studied chemistry at the University of Göttingen, (PhD in 1986 with Professor Dr. H.W. Roesky). Subsequently, he spent one post-doc year with Dr. G. Bertrand at the C.N.R.S. in Toulouse. After his habilitation in 1992 at the University of Heidelberg he joined the University of Freiburg as Professor for inorganic chemistry. In 1995 he was appointed as Associate Professor of inorganic chemistry at the ETH where he was promoted to a full professorship in 2001.