Thomas De Beer graduated in pharmaceutical sciences in 2002 at the Ghent University in Belgium. He obtained his PhD at the same university in 2007. For his PhD research, he examined the suitability of Raman spectroscopy as a Process Analytical Technology tool for pharmaceutical production processes. Within his PhD research period, he worked four months at University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry (Prof. Jukka Rantanen). After his PhD, he was an FWO funded post-doctoral fellow at the Ghent University (2007-2010). Within his post-doc mandate, he worked 9 months at the Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany (Prof. Winter and Prof. Frieβ). In February 2010, he became professor in Process Analytics & Technology at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences from the university of Ghent. His research goals include bringing innovation pharmaceutical production processes (freeze-drying, hot-melt extrusion, continuous from-powder-to-tablet processing etc.). More specifically, Prof. De Beer contributes to the development of continuous manufacturing processes for drug products such as solids, semi-solids, liquids and biologicals (continuous freeze-drying of unit doses). Thomas De Beer is also director of Ghent University’s Center of Excellence in Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering (CESPE) which is founded in 2016.
Wouter De Soete is Manager of the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering and Manufacturing (CESPE) at Ghent University. He holds a Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Bioscience Engineering and was postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Sustainable Organic Chemistry and Technology at Ghent University and visiting researcher at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Italy (2015). His PhD and postdoctoral work focused on sustainability assessment (forecasting, streamlining, integration in business management) in the fine chemical, pharmaceutical and raw materials sector taking into account resource efficiency of both manufacturing platforms and their supply chain. He holds a Black Belt in lean manufacturing, building bridges between Operational Excellence strategies and LCA in manufacturing environments. Experienced in private, academic and policy environments, he is scientific advisor to the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition of the Sustainable Development Unit of the UK’s National Health Service.
Dr. Ir. Stijn Dekeukeleire (°1984) obtained his PhD in Bioscience Engineering – Organic Chemistry from Ghent University in 2011. He worked as rTD engineer for INEOS Oxide before joining back UGent in 2015.
As Business Developer of CleanChem, he manages a multidisciplinary consortium of 23 professors and over 140 researchers active in the field of (physico-)chemical process design and optimization. The consortium aims at facilitating the industrial adoption of innovative, high-level technological research towards a sustainable chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
In his role Stijn facilitates collaborations with industrial partners, defines the IP and valorization strategy for technologies developed within the center, is responsible for software and IP licensing, and actively supports the set-up of spin-off companies.
Dr. Dominic De Groote holds a PhD in veterinary medicine and has acquired extensive experience in the field of technology transfer in various roles over the past 20 years (RTTP accredited). In 2008, he assumed the position of Business Development Manager Pharma for Ghent university. He has profound skills and knowledge in drug discovery & development, business development, intellectual property management, licensing and venturing. He has strong insights into various drug markets and is familiar with established (small molecule, biologics) and emerging drug platforms (ATMPs),. He is also well acquainted with pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and market trends. Dr. De Groote is also active in the European and global technology transfer community in professional development programmes and organisations (ASTP, ATTP).
Dr. Dominic De Groote currently heads UGent DISCOVERE, an innovation & business unit with focus on drug discovery, drug delivery and drug manufacturing. UGent DISCOVERE aims to translate biomedical research into high-value assets to foster discovery and development of more and better medicines in close collaboration with biotech/pharma industry.
Jeroen De Maeyer (1979) obtained his PhD (2006) in micro-electronics from Ghent University. After his PhD he worked for 3 years in the automotive industry. In December 2008 he rejoined Ghent University to become the business development manager of the industrial research platform Sustainable Energy Technologies, which he recently converted into EnerGhentIC wherein research and valorization activities were embedded w.r.t. electrical machines and power electronics. As of 2013 he has been a main contact person of Ghent University for Flanders Make. In 2018 he spun out from EnerGhentIC a new Ghent University industrial research cluster Machineries & Factories of which he is currently the business development manager.
As a business development manager his role is two-fold (1) to identify tangible research results and prepare them for commercialization by industry; (2) to identify needs and trends from industry to steer the research activities to maximize the industrial value of the research results. In this process tools such as patent applications, regional and international funding, infrastructure, spin-off creation … are commonly used.
An Van Den Bulcke holds a Ph.D in Chemistry (Polymer Synthesis) and has an industrial career in product development and R&D management. In 2011 she started as Business Developer at ChemTech, the Chemistry Business and Valorisation cluster at Ghent University.
As Senior Business Developer, dr. An Van Den Bulcke is responsible for the coordination and facilitation of commercialisation of new research findings to market-ready technologies and products, specifically for biomedical markets (pharma, biotech, diagnostics), personal care (cosmetics) and biomaterials markets. She is the focal point for industrial collaborations and builds a relevant network of life science companies interested in chemical expertise or novel (patented) technologies to boost their innovations. In this way, she is involved i.a.:
- Managing the portfolio of collaborations with academic and industrial partners
- Building and managing a strategic IP portfolio
- Prospecting licensing opportunities and negotiating licensing deals
- Creation of spin-off companies
Specialties: research & innovation management – technology transfer – project portfolio management – out-licensing – intellectual property – technology & business development
Prof. Dr. Ludwig Cardon became Mechanical Engineer in 1988 and joined the University College of Ghent, Belgium since 1990. He received his Ph.D. degree in Engineering in 2006 from the Birmingham City University, UK. Since 2006, he is the head of the Centre for Polymer & Material Technologies CPMT and professor at the faculty of Applied Engineering Sciences of the University College of Ghent. He is co-founder of the rapid prototyping research group (RPT), now integrated in CPMT. His actual research interests mainly include high-tech polymer technology/processing and RPT for several applications such as technical parts, biobased polymers, micro moulding, bioengineering and biomedical applications.
Delphine De Smedt, PhD, has a master in biomedical sciences (2006) a master in business economics (2007) an a PhD in medical sciences (2014). She started her professional career as attaché at the RIZIV/INAMI (Dienst voor geneeskundige verzorging/Le Service des soins de santé). Since august 2008, she has been working at the Ghent University, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, first as junior researcher and PhD student, later as FWO post-doctoral fellow and since 2017, as assistant professor. In January 2014, she obtained her PhD entitled ‘Health-related quality of life and psychological distress in patients with coronary heart disease’ for which she was nominated as Laureate faculty doctoral price 2013-2014.
Delphine De Smedt is experienced in health economics and epidemiology. Her main research interest are related to health-related quality of life, disease burden, disease modelling and health economic evaluations. Delphine De Smedt is national coordinator of the EUROASPIRE survey, which has the aim to assess whether the guidelines on cardiovascular prevention are being follow in clinical practice. Within this European project, she acts as principal investigator for the EUROASPIRE health economics project. Furthermore, she is the main supervisor of the QAPICHE study, which has the aim to investigate the health-related quality of life in adults with chronic diseases. Furthermore, she is activily involved in the research activities of the European Society of Cardiology.
Delphine De Smedt has extensive experience in measuring patients reported outcomes, and in cost-effectiveness analysis. She has published over 45 publications, and has an H-index=16 (ISI).
Stefaan C. De Smedt (°1967) studied pharmacy at Ghent University (Belgium) and received his MS degree in pharmaceutical sciences in 1990. He graduated from Ghent University in 1995. In 1995 he joined the pharmaceutical development group of Janssen Research Foundation. Since 1997 he has been a post-doctoral fellow of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research at the Departments of Pharmacy of respectively Ghent University and the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). In October 1999 he became Professor in Physical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy at Ghent University where he founded the Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines. In 2007 Stefaan C. De Smedt was Guest Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and from 2012 till 2014 he was appointed Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Currently he is Guest Professor at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2016-2019), Distinguished Visiting Scientist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei; 2017), and Specially Appointed Professor of Nanjing Foresty University (2016-2018). He served as dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghent University from 2010 till 2014. Since 2014 he is a member of the Board of Directors of Ghent University. Since 2004 Dr. De Smedt serves as the European Associate Editor of the Journal of Controlled Release (JCR), being a leading journal in Pharmacology & Pharmacy; In 2015 he became Editor of JCR (for the region Europe- the Middle East & Africa). In 2015 he has been elected as member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine. In 2017 he joined the board of CRIG (cancer research institute Ghent). Dr. Stefaan De Smedt filed 15 patents on carriers (and adjuvants) for drug delivery, and materials (and methods) for diagnostics. He is a scientific founder of Memobead Technologies, a spin-off from Ghent University, whose technology was further developed by Biocartis in Lausanne (Swiss) and Mechelen (Belgium). Currently MyCartis (Ghent) commercializes the technology. Dr. De Smedt is a member of the Drug Delivery Advisory Panel of Santen (Japan) specialized in ophthalmological medicines.
I obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry at UGent in 1988 and began an industrial career in Bekaert Technology Centre as R&D manager, process development engineer and finally global process owner wet drawing lubrication and steel cord – rubber adhesion; my main responsibility was leading Operation Excellence (OPEX) and product development projects. In this position I gained a wide experience in quality improvement tools, statistical data analysis & modelling and Design of Experiments. Achieving key process improvement projects goals I got qualified as ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt by American Society for Quality. After my industrial period, as independent consultant in R&D support and Design of Experiments, I was trainer Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma in pharma industry.
Actually at HOGENT for 10 years now, I am teaching TQM, Chemometrics, applied statistics and Industrial Chemistry. My mission is to put professional experience at the service of a next generation junior engineers and managers. I am also member of the HOGENT Centre of Applied Data Science platform that provides support in data processing to a variety of industrial service and R&D projects. In the JMP User Community I participate in instructive discussions about statistical data analysis and present case studies on discovery summits.
Jo Dewulf is full professor at Ghent University, Department of Sustainable Organic Chemistry and Technology. He holds a Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Bioscience Engineering. He focuses on resource consumption and efficiency analysis, relying mainly on thermodynamic principles and life cycle thinking. He makes thorough analyses at the process, plant and overall industrial system level, based on life cycle thinking and thermodynamic principles in order to find out opportunities for improvement (techniques: Exergy Analysis: EA; (Exergetic )Life Cycle Analysis: (E)LCA). Apart from methodological improvements, implementations and collaborations with industrial partners have been put in practice in three areas: fine chemicals and pharma, agro/bio/food, and secondary and primary raw materials. For his work, he obtained the prize of the Laureate of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium in 2008. During 2013-2015, he worked as senior scientist at the European Commissions’ Joint Research Centre on the sustainable use of natural resources including resource efficiency, criticality, supply resilience, etc. His work is visible on the international scene, with more than 230 papers in international peer reviewed journals included in the Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded only), with about 6000 citations and an h-index of 42. He assisted to several international conference organisations and international journals, e.g. serving at the RCR editorial board.
Richard Hoogenboom (1978) studied chemical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands). In 2005, he obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Ulrich S. Schubert and continued working as a project leader for the Dutch Polymer Institute. After postdoctoral training with Martin Moeller and Roeland Nolte, he was appointed as associate professor at Ghent University in 2010 and in October 2014 he was promoted to full professor. His research interests include stimuli-responsive polymers, supramolecular polymers, and poly(2-oxazoline)s. He has published > 400 scientific articles and is currently editor-in-chief for European Polymer Journal and associate editor for Australian Journal of Chemistry. Prof. Hoogenboom is the recipient of the inaugural Polymer Chemistry Lectureship (2015), the fifth PI IUPAC award (2016) and the ACS Macromolecules/Biomacromolecules young investigator award (2017).
Prof. Dr. ir. Clara Mihaela Ionescu is docent at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Dynamical Systems and Control research laboratory. She has 15 years expertise in process control, both in basic and advanced control strategies applied to chemical processes and manufacturing plants. Her know-how varies from fundamental control algorithms to hands on control tuning for non-control-specialised process operators. Her interests are in the pragmatic development of tools from control engineering area to the deployment thereof at the core of the production units. Specific challenges addressed in the past included: variable time delays, plant mismatch, multiple objective optimization in real time (with priorities) and sub-process interaction (train of process subunits). Specific control methodologies include: PID type, robust compensators design, predictive control and automatic tuning based on changes in operating point or product specification. She has an h-index of 22 in Web of Science with about 100 peer reviewed published articles.
Prof. dr. ir. Ashish Kumar has been working in the field of Pharmaceuticals and biologics development since 2007 in both academic and industrial set-up. Before joining Ghent University, he worked as a Senior Process Engineer at the drug product development division of Janssen Pharmaceutica, Belgium. He obtained his Ph.D. from Ghent University in 2015, for research on the experimental and model-based analysis of twin-screw wet granulation for continuous solid-dosage manufacturing in pharmaceutical production. Before, he obtained a Professional Doctorate in Engineering as a Designer in Bioprocess Engineering from the Technical University of Delft in 2011, and worked for Janssen Pharmaceutica, in Leiden, The Netherlands and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in India. His research interests lie in the area of developing insights regarding constitutive mechanisms of various pharmaceutical processes by combining experimental and mechanistic modeling frameworks to provide innovative solutions. The Pharma Eng research group he leads focuses on the model-based design of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing equipment and processes for innovative drug products.
Prof. Ingmar Nopens holds a MSc in Bio-science Engineering and a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences from Ghent University. He is full professor leading the BIOMATH research group at Ghent University. His main interest lies in Mathematical modeling using different frameworks like biokinetics, computational fluid dynamics and population balance models and combinations thereof. The aim is to develop highly predictive models that can serve as digital twins. Application areas are resource recovery (drinking, process and wastewater) and pharmaceutical engineering. He is co-founder of 2 startups in the water digitalization area: AM-Team.com and cobaltwater-global.com. He is an IWA fellow since 2011, the outgoing chair of the Specialist Group: Modelling and Integrated Assessment (MIA) and member of the steering committee of the IWA Digital Water Programme.
Prof. Dr. Ir. Christian V. Stevens (°1965) is professor at the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (Ghent University). He graduated at the same department as bio-engineer in chemistry in 1988 and obtainded a PhD in 1992 as fellow of the National Fund for Scientific Research. During his PhD he also worked as a research assistant of the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, USA with Prof. C.E. McKenna.
After his PhD at Ghent University under the direction of Prof. N. De Kimpe, he did post-doctoral work at the Center for Heterocyclic Compounds at the University of Florida, USA under the direction of Prof. A. R. Katritzky as a NATO Research Fellow. He became group leader in the group of Prof. Katritzky in 1993. He returned as a postdoctoral fellow of the National Fund for Scientific Research. In 1994, he also made a short postdoctoral stay at the University of Alicante (Spain) under the direction of Prof. M. Yus.
In 1995, he became group leader of the National Fund for Scientific Research and became guest professor in 1997 at Ghent University. In 2000, he became professor at the current Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and developed the research group SynBioC of which he is the director. Since 2014, he is senior full professor.
His major research topics are:
- Heterocyclic Synthesis
- Microreactor Technology
- Chemical modification of Renewable Resources
Joris W. Thybaut (°1975, Ghent Belgium) is full professor in catalytic reaction engineering at the Laboratory for Chemical Technology at Ghent University since October 2014. He obtained his master’s degree in chemical engineering in 1998 at the same university, where he continued his PhD studies on single-event microkinetic (SEMK) modeling of hydrocracking and hydrogenation. In 2003 he went to the ‘Institut des Recherches sur la Catalyse’ in Lyon, France, for a postdoc on high throughput experimentation, before being appointed in 2005 at Ghent University.
Today, prof. Thybaut is heading the Catalytic Reaction Engineering (CaRE) research group, comprising about 15 junior researchers and post-docs, within the Laboratory for Chemical Technology at Ghent University. Prof. Thybaut and his group actively investigate a variety of large-scale industrial reactions and more particularly, the rational design of the corresponding catalysts as well as of the reactors in which the corresponding reactions are exploited. Ideal gas phase reactions as well as strongly non-ideal liquid phase reactions are addressed. Research projects range from bilateral contracts with industry up to government funded large scale integrated projects. Prof. Thybaut holds an ERC consolidator grant to innovate the SEMK methodology and use it in the framework of renewable, oxygen containing feeds. More recently, as part of bilateral collaborations the scope of the investigated chemistry is further being extended towards inorganic reactions. Major efforts also go into VOC elimination using various oxidizing agents and conditions.
Paul Van der Meeren is senior full professor at Ghent University, where he has set up the Particle & Interfacial Technology research group (www.paint.ugent.be). He is also Head of the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology within the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. Besides, he is Director of the Ghent University Doctoral School of (Bioscience) Engineering. In addition, he is 5% affiliated to the Free University of Brussels. He is (co-)author of more than 250 peer-reviewed international publications and (co-)promotor of 25 successfully defended PhD dissertations.
His research interests involve the relationship between microscopic characteristics (such as size distribution and charge properties) and macroscopic characteristics (such as sedimentation/creaming, structure formation, rheology) of colloidal dispersions in different fields of application, such as food technology (including functional foods), as well as chemical and pharmaceutical product formulation.
Kevin Van Geem (full professor) is member of the Laboratory for Chemical Technology of Ghent University and director of the Center for Sustainable Chemistry. Thermochemical reaction engineering in general and in particular the transition from fossil to renewable resources are his main research interests. He is a former Fulbright Research Scholar of MIT, visiting professor of Stanford and coordinates the experiments on more than a dozen pilot plant an d bench scale units. He is the author of more than two hundred scientific publications and has recently started his own spin-off company. He is involved in on-line and off-line analysis of complex petrochemical and biochemical samples using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography. Artificial intelligence, first principle model development, scale-up, and process intensification belong to his main expertise. He is currently the coordinator of 3 different large-scale projects: IMPROOF (SPIRE H2020, Scientific coordinator 2016-2020), OPTIMA (ERC consolidator, Scientific coordinator, 2019-2024), WATCH (Catalisti, Scientific coordinator 2019-2023).
Valérie Vanhoorne graduated in 2011 with great distinction as a pharmacist (Master of Science in Drug Development) from Ghent University (UGent) and started her PhD under supervision of Prof. Jean-Paul Remon and Prof. Chris Vervaet in the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology (UGent). In 2016, she obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences studying continuous agglomeration technologies. She continued working in the lab as a postdoctoral researcher focusing on innovative manufacturing processes for oral solid dosage forms. Initially, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in close collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium) on the development of predictive empirical models for continuous direct compression and platform formulations for continuous twin screw granulation. Later on, as doctor-assistant, she also worked on patient-tailored dosage forms and performed a research stay at the University of Düsseldorf working on roller compaction. Her current research line will focus on formulation and process development of continuous manufacturing processes and on personalization of dosage forms (via 3D-printing and multi-particulate dosage forms) to meet the needs of specific patient populations.
Chris Vervaet is a pharmacist and obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghent University in 1997. After a post-doc in the Aerosol Research Group at the Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia, US) he was appointed in 2000 as professor at the Department of Pharmaceutics (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University). Since 2013 he is chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics, and since 2015 he is director of the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical technology. His research focuses on drug delivery, more specifically on the development of innovative solid dosage forms for oral applications. His fields of expertise are drug compounding, pharmaceutical technology, sustained drug release, continuous manufacturing, granulation/tableting, hot-melt extrusion and extrusion/spheronisation. His research intensively collaborates with equipment manufacturers as well as pharmaceutical companies for the introduction of continuous manufacturing within the pharmaceutical industry, e.g. continuous wet granulation, continuous feeding/blending, continuous freeze drying. The department is affiliated with several international research clusters, e.g. the Pharmaceutical Solid State Research Cluster (with partners from Helsinki, Lille, Leuven, Dusseldorf, Cambridge, Graz, Otago, Lisbon, Ljubljana and Copenhagen) and the Interreg IMODE cluster (with members of Lille, East Anglia, London, Greenwich and Cambridge). He has supervised 38 PhD students (since 2000), published about 260 internationally peer reviewed articles and 8 books chapters, and has filed 19 patent applications. He is member of the board of the Belgian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences (since 2013), and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology and the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.
In 2018, Jan Verwaeren became associate professor at Ghent University and member of the research unit on Knowledge-based systems (KERMIT, https://kermit.ugent.be/). As a computer scientist, his research interests lies on the crossroads between machine learning, mathematical optimization and image processing. His expertise include methodological and algorithmic development as well as applied research in these areas.
From a methodological point of view, he likes to combine novel insights from the fields of convex and discrete optimization to develop new data analysis strategies for solving predictive modelling, data-reduction and image processing problems. From an application point of view, through collaborations with research units and companies in pharmaceutical engineering, he is currently active in model driven experimental design (active learning) for pharmaceutical product formulation and model-driven predictive maintenance in pharmaceutical production facilities. In the (broader) field of applied biological sciences, he works on projects related to the use of image processing techniques for plant phenotyping, food processing and precision livestock farming.