Dr Tobias Sontheimer
(HZB)

Dr Tobias Sontheimer

Tobias is the head of Strategy Department for Energy and Information at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and co-leader of the CARE-O-SENE project. For the past fifteen years, Tobias has worked in strategy development to reshape the energy sector. At HZB, he is currently driving research and technology development in the field of solar energy and green hydrogen-based technologies.

Position

Head of Strategy Department for Energy and Information at HZB

Co-Lead CARE-O-SENE Project

Company

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Areas of Expertise

His profound technological and systemic understanding of the energy sector is key for successful strategy development and project management. He has extensive experience in collaborating with stakeholders in academia, industry, and politics. Previously, Tobias was the Chief Research Manager for the national energy R&D portfolio of the Helmholtz association.

He is very passionate about forming new international innovative partnerships in the energy field that facilitate the transition to a carbon-free sustainable future.

Tobias studied physics at RWTH Aachen University and Harvard University and graduated with a PhD in renewable energy technologies as a scholar of SCHOTT AG.

Such fundamental analyses of the Fischer-Tropsch process – like in the CARE-O-SENE project – are completely new. Therefore, we are optimistic that we will reach our goal by 2025 and the dream of climate-neutral flying will become tangible.
Dr Tobias Sontheimer
Head of Strategy Department for Energy and Information

Dr Dirk Schär
(Sasol Germany)

Dr Dirk Schär

Dirk is responsible for the marketing and sales of Sasol’s high performance Cobalt Fischer-Tropsch catalysts enabling Sasol’s own proven Fischer-Tropsch technology as well as alternative micro-channel and fixed bed technologies. Further to this, he is Co-leader of the CARE-O-SENE catalyst development consortium. 

Dirk is fascinated by developing new markets and cooperating with groundbreaking companies and passionate start-ups specifically in sustainable markets.

Position

Technical Manager Marketing and Sales Catalysts

Co-Lead CARE-O-SENE Project

Company

Sasol Germany GmbH

Areas of Expertise

Dirk has a long track record within Sasol Chemicals in different technical customer support, market development and marketing roles. He gained experience in a wide range of applications including plasticisers, lubricants, latent heat storage materials and homogeneous catalysts. Within all these roles, he demonstrated his high customer orientation and centricity.

Finding sustainable solutions together with his customer was always one of his major goals. This puts Dirk in the perfect position to further develop Sasol’s highly specialised catalyst business and to drive the fuel and chemical industry’s transition into a carbon free future from a catalyst point of view.

Dirk holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Georg-August University of Goettingen, Germany.

"Sasol has a more than 70 years experience in Fischer-Tropsch catalysts and technology. Its time to take the next step to lead the industry into a sustainable and carbon free future with the help of our passion."
Dr Dirk Schär
Cohead Catalyst Development

Dr Sonya Calnan
(HZB)

Dr Sonya Calnan

Sonya is a Research Group Leader at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin responsible for applied catalysis research. She focuses on bridging fundamental science with applications for reactor design and scaling. 

Sonya leads the Work Package 1 in the CARE-O-SENE project and develops thin film catalysts for the Fischer-Tropsch Technology. Furthermore, she designs dedicated micro-channel reactors for their use in Work Package 3.

Position

Leader, Photovoltaics to Fuels Technology Group

Company

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Expertise

Sonya has several years of experience in developing chemical reactors for less carbon intensive technologies covering aspects such as thin film catalyst material technology, simulation guided reactor design, as well as reactor construction and testing. The main goal is to develop low cost, high performance and reliable chemical reactors that support the global transition towards a low carbon economy.

Sonya has a PhD in electrical and electronics engineering from Loughborough University, UK and an MBA from Leicester University UK.

"The CARE-O-SENE project will give us room to push the boundaries of what we know about catalysis. I am therefore looking forward to exploring new ideas that may contribute to the carbon transition."
Dr Sonya Calnan
Leader, Photovoltaics to Fuels Technology Group

Dr Anna Zimina
(KIT)

Dr Anna Zimina

Anna has been working as senior scientist at KIT for more than ten years. Leading the group “Catalysis at KIT Light Source” at the Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology, she is responsible for operation of the CATACT beamline at KIT Light Source and the support of the in-house research in the field of catalysis. 

With the local team and as part of CARE-O-SENE she contributes with her know-how for the advance characterization of the industrially relevant catalytic materials. 

She also leads Work Package 2 of the research project and is a member of the Steering Committee.

Position

Senior Scientist

Company

Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie

Areas of Expertise

Anna has developed expertise in advanced X-ray based characterization methods at Forschungszentrum Jülich, BESSY II and KIT. With her in-depth knowledge, Anna is ideally positioned to achieve the goals of the CARE-O-SENE research project: the development and implementation of hard and soft X-ray spectroscopy and imaging characterization methods on real catalysts under industrially relevant conditions.

Anna studied physics and received her PhD from the Technical University of Berlin.

"Steady growing expertise of KIT in the field of catalysis research will significantly contribute to the success of CARE-O-SENE project. The KIT team will gain a deeper understanding of Fischer-Tropsch catalysts from atomic level up to large scale production and bridge the gap between academia and industry approaching the green future."
Dr Anna Zimina
Senior Scientist

Dr Denzil Moodley
(Sasol Limited)

Dr Denzil Moodley

Denzil is a senior scientist in the Fischer-Tropsch group at Sasol’s Research & Technology Science Research department in Sasolburg. 

He is also the Work Package 3 leader for large-scale catalyst production and testing. 

He is passionate about commercializing catalytic processes for sustainable chemical and fuels using green feedstocks, focusing on topics such as CO2 hydrogenation and Power-to-X.

Position

Senior Scientist

Company

Sasol Limited

Areas of Expertise

Denzil has over 20 years of experience in fundamental and applied catalysis, process chemistry and R&D. His earlier work involved unraveling the complex interplay of catalyst deactivation under realistic industrial conditions using industry-academia collaboration. He has delivered several technology packages, notably on catalyst regeneration as well as provided operations support for commercial GTL & CTL facilities. Denzil has published widely on the topic of Fischer-Tropsch catalysis.

He has been the scientific lead for several critical R&D projects that involved understanding, developing and scaling-up of more efficient Cobalt and Iron Fischer-Tropsch catalysts. In CARE-O-SENE, he will utilize his expertise to enable the translation of fundamental knowledge into practical insight and application. Denzil holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands.

"The holistic approach taken in the consortium using real life catalysts, model systems, theory and modelling will accelerate the understanding and deployment of PtL catalysts for SAF production."
Dr Denzil Moodley
Senior Scientist

Dr Toine Cents
(Sasol Limited)

Dr Toine Cents

Toine is responsible for the Engineering & Research part of Sasol Holding in the Netherlands. Further to this he is the project leader of Work Package 4 of the CARE-O-SENE catalyst development consortium, which deals with:

  • The Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Power to Liquids and the impact of an improved catalyst in particular
  • The Techno-economics of Power to Liquids and the impact of an improved catalyst
  • The Regeneration of the newly developed catalyst and its impact on LCA
  • The work-up of the Fischer-Tropsch products in order to maximise the yield of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Position

Senior Manager Engineering Research Netherlands

Company

Sasol Limited

Areas of Expertise

Toine has a long track record within Sasol Research and Technology in different engineering and management roles. He is focused on fundamental understanding, leading to development and improvement of process technology. He holds, amongst others, expertise in (Fischer-Tropsch) Reactor Technology, CO2 capture and Techno-Economic optimization. 

Toine holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

"It is great contributing to Sasol’s road towards a more sustainable future by being part of the development of new processes and technology."
Dr Toine Cents
Senior Manager Engineering Research Netherlands

Dr.-Ing. Tim Boeltken
(INERATEC)

Dr.-Ing. Tim Boeltken

Tim Boeltken (PhD) is CEO and co-founder of INERATEC and combines science and industry expertise with business skills. Being a Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) educated chemical engineer, he has worked in the field of hydrogen production, catalysis, and petrochemistry. He has been awarded with the Peter-und-Luise-Hager prize for the best PhD at KIT, as well as Business Punk ”Top 100 Innovators in Germany”.

Position

Founder & Managing Director

Company

INERATEC

Areas of Expertise

Tim has worked as project leader in the chemical industry at hte GmbH, before he founded INERATEC in 2015. He brings years of market and technology intelligence, sales and executive management to help successfully lead INERATEC.

His life goal is to be the driver towards climate neutrality. Projects like CARE-O-SENE that leverage the impact of a technological solution and promote the availability of sustainable aviation fuel.

Tim holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

"INERATEC is a pioneer in the field of power-to-liquid applications. With the project partners in CARE-O-SENE, we want to further advance the production of synthetic fuels for aviation."
Dr.-Ing. Tim Boeltken
Founder & Managing Director INERATEC

Dr. Lucero Cobos- Becerra
(HZB)

Dr. Lucero Cobos- Becerra

Lucero is a Scientific Officer in the Energy and Information Department at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and is also the project coordinator for CARE-O-SENE. With over ten years of experience, Lucero specialises in strategy development and the conceptualisation and implementation of international research projects. Her current focus at HZB is on international projects related to renewable fuels, catalysis for H2 production, and CO2 conversion - Power-to-X.

Position

Work package leader

Company

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Expertise

Lucero has extensive expertise in managing international cooperation projects and collaborating with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, including academia, industry, and politics. She has previously served as an international project leader for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), where she focused on circular economy and sustainable production and consumption projects. Lucero holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has a background in Chemical Engineering.

Prof Michael Claeys
(UCT)

Prof Michael Claeys

Michael is a professor at the Catalysis Institute at University of Cape Town (UCT) since 2010. Here he was instrumental in establishing a large research activity with focus on Fischer-Tropsch catalysis, a technology, which lies at the heart of South Africa’s synthetic fuels and chemicals industry and which is playing an increasingly important role in the production of green future fuels via Power-to-X processes.

Position

Professor

Director of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Catalysis (c*change)

Company

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Areas of Expertise

Michael obtained his PhD (with distinction) in Fischer-Tropsch catalysis at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1997. Further research interests include the preparation and characterisation of nano materials and their use in catalytic applications, as well as the development of catalysts and novel instrumentation for characterisation of catalysts at working conditions. He has published extensively on these topics, holds a number of patents and has been awarded an A-rating by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

A large portion of his research is conducted in conjunction with industrial partners, in particular a longstanding industrial collaboration with Sasol R&D. Michael is the Director of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Catalysis, c*change, a large virtual and multidisciplinary Centre, where he also acts as the Manager of the Scientific Synthesis Gas Programme, which includes processes of catalytic valorization of CO2.

With partners and leaders who are some of the best in industry and academia, CARE-O-SENE is on track to change the world.
Prof Michael Claeys
Professor University of Cape Town

Dr Angela Siegel
(Sasol Germany)

Dr Angela Siegel

Angela has been working as Manager R&D Shaped Carrier at the Sasol site in Brunsbuettel for more than seven years. In this position, she is mainly responsible for customer-oriented research and development of catalyst carriers. As part of CARE-O-SENE, she contributes her know-how for the development of innovative carriers together with the local team. In addition, she acts as the on-site contact person for the research project.

Angela compares catalyst carriers to the fundament of a house. While often overlooked, they are a crucial component needed for most chemical reactions and processes.

Position

Manager R&D Shaped Carriers

Company

Sasol Germany GmbH

Areas of Expertise

Angela has developed expertise in the areas of alumina-based catalyst carriers at Sasol. Previously, she worked at Engelhard/BASF, where she led the development of spherical silica gels used as adsorbents and catalyst carriers. With her in-depth knowledge, Angela is ideally placed to meet the objectives of the CARE-O-SENE research project: The optimisation and development of different types of catalyst carriers in order to achieve the overarching purpose of decarbonising global aviation.

Angela studied chemistry and did her PhD at the Institute of Technical Chemistry at the University of Hanover.

"Successful research only works in diverse teams and with the possibilities to test ideas. I am pleased that through large-scale projects as CARE-O-SENE or the new research center, our Brunsbuettel site will make an important contribution."
Dr Angela Siegel
Manager R&D Shaped Carrier