Emiel Hensen awarded Take-off proposal grant

The NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences had granted Emiel Hensen (TU/e) with a Take-off proposal grant for Vertoro. This start-up valorises the catalytic process for lignin depolymerisation, as developed bij Emiel Hensen and his team at Eindhoven University of Technology.

Lignin is a waste stream of bioethanol plants and paper mills. Vertoro, a spin-off of the InSciTe consortium Emiel Hensen is board member of, aims to scale up the above mentioned chemical process, to produce a so-called crude lignin oil (CLO). This oil will then serve as platform for resins, chemicals and fuels – just like fossil crude oil, but made out of waste.  At the start of 2019, a pilot plant will be ready at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen.

We congratulate Emiel Hensen and his team on this award!

L.t.r.: Michael Boot (TU/e fellow and Vertoro CEO), Panos Kouris (TU/e PhD and Vertoro CTO) and Emiel Hensen (Dean of the TU/e department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, and MC MT member).


You can read more about Vertoro and/or InSciTe here.


2 July 2018




MCEC PhDs in the limelight

MCEC is more than a research center: amongst other things, it aims to train its PhDs in reaching out to the public, by explaining complex research content to a general audience (from secondary school students to retirees with an interest in the matter, and anyone beyond and inbetween). PhDs who would like to practice their communication skills can do so by joining the team of authors and vloggers behind MCEC-matters.com, or gain experience as a teacher by giving guest lectures.

Over the last two years, several MCEC PhDs have voluntarily contributed to the success of MCEC as a research center that not only crosses the frontiers of three universities and disciplines, but also reaches out from academia to society. We thought it high time to acknowledge their efforts.

First in line were Hai Le-The (UT), Anne-Eva Nieuwelink (UU), Álvaro Moreno Soto (UT) and Robin Geitenbeek (UU).
We sincerely thank you for your great work and we hope to see and read a lot from you in the future!



8 May 2018


Emiel Hensen elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Emiel Hensen has been admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The Fellow status is awarded to individuals who have “made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the chemical sciences; or to the advancement of the chemical sciences as a profession; or have been distinguished in the management of a chemical sciences organization.

Our sincere wishes on this great assignment!



4 May 2018

Petra Keijzer winner of the MCEC Poster Prize 2018

Petra Keijzer (UU) is this year’s winner of the MCEC Poster Prize, awarded at the Annual Meeting. Her poster, titled Fundamental study on the synthesis of supported silver catalysts using melt infiltration, was chosen by the poster prize committee: Sander Huisman (UT), Jan Philipp Hofmann (TU/e), and Jovana Zečević UU).

An interview with Petra can be found here: Petra Keijzer Poster Prize Winner 2018

The MCEC Annual Meeting 2018 was held in The Gallery, Enschede. The programme consisted of lectures by tenure trackers Sander Huisman and Freddy Rabouw (UU), and an invited evening lecture by Barry Fitzgerald (TU Delft) on The Secrets of Superhero Science.

Throughout the two-day meeting, 20-minute presentations on the progress of their scientific work were held by fourteen of our PhDs/PDs and another twenty-three PhDs presented a poster. The Annual Meeting was also a good moment to introduce four new PhDs Alejo Aguirre, Vamsi Spardan Arza, Maarten Bransen and Valerii Muravev.

The organization would like to thank all participants for their attendance and contribution.

4-5 April, 2018


DPI grant for Florian Meirer and Bert Weckhuysen

The Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) in its DPI 2.0 Call for Proposals has granted Bert Weckhuysen, Florian Meirer and Elena Groppo (University of Turin) a joint research program entitled Multi-scale investigation of silica-supported ethylene polymerization catalysts during the early stages of the reaction.

The project aims to research polymerization catalysts in the early stages of the genesis of active sites and polymer formation by a multi-scale characterization approach under reaction conditions. The goal is to link the macroscopic physical and chemical properties with nanoscopic chemical properties.

4 April, 2018

Emiel Hensen and Bert Weckhuysen receive grant for ‘Chemergy’ research

The Alliance Fund between Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology has awarded Bert Weckhuysen and Emiel Hensen 2 M euros for setting up a Virtual Research Institute (VRI) that integrates relevant expertise of both institutes.

The VRI has the ambition to become a leading institute in the field of energy technologies relevant to a fossil-free, low-carbon society. The focus will be on the further development of electrochemical energy conversion processes, with two interlinked research lines, namely inorganic electrochemistry and biomass-based electrochemistry. The VRI plans to strengthen the local MSc education programmes by offering a ‘Chemergy’ specialisation programme.

4 April, 2018

Volker Hessel to University of Adelaide

Volker Hessel (TU/e) has been appointed to the role of Deputy Dean Research and Level E academic in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Read the full press release here.

18 March, 2018

Pieter Bruijnincx appointed Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Catalysis

Pieter Bruijnincx has been appointed to the post of Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Catalysis at the Department of Chemistry (Utrecht University). This new Chair will bridge research into homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis for turning renewable feedstock, such as biomass, CO2 and waste streams into chemical building blocks. MCEC would like to congratulate Bruijnincx on his appointment!

Read more on the website of Utrecht University >

14 March 2018

Cofund grant awarded to MCEC

MCEC has been granted a Cofund grant by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund program; a grant from the European Research Council which is designed to stimulate excellence in researchers’ training, mobility and career development.

Students can obtain a joint PhD degree from two of MCEC’s participating universities.The grant, with a value of 1.7 million euros, will be deployed to attract and involve more international students to and in our research center.

Read the press release by Utrecht University here.

15 March 2018


Several MCEC community members have contributed to the programme of NCCC XIX in Noordwijkerhout (5-7 March). The 19th edition of the Netherlands’ Catalysis and Chemistry Conference (NCCC) combines a number of national symposia in the field of chemistry and catalysis. MCEC provided a dedicated session, chaired by Florian Meirer and Jan Philipp Hofmann. Robin Broos, Ahmed Ismail, Christa van Oversteeg, Roderigh Rohling, Evgeny Uslamin and Anne-Eva Nieuwelink were speakers on this event. You can read more about the programme, and find the abstracts of the lectures, here.

5-7 March, 2018