Leiden University

Prof. Huub de Groot

Coordinator of SUNRISE CSA. He is professor in Biophysical Organic Chemistry at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) of Leiden University. He is currently coordinating the direct conversion core group and is an expert on direct conversion of solar energy for renewables and more. He is a spectroscopist in solid state NMR and applies it in combination with optical spectroscopy and imaging to study photosynthesis. He determines the antenna and reaction center struc-ture and its dynamics. He works on first principles descriptions of coherent dynamics. The expertise of his group in realistic simulations of quantum coherent conversion with Ehrenfest and tight binding methods is vital to understanding quantum control for direct conversion. The group applies multi-scale methods for automated differential progression of system modes to resolve structure-dynamics coupling for artificial photosynthesis. Prof. de Groot is one of the pioneers in biological Magic Angle Spinning NMR at ultra-high field. He serves as the scientific director of the BioSolar Cells program and is the program leader of the corresponding fundamental research program with FOM/NWO. In this public-private partnership 9 knowledge institutes and around 40 companies, including many SME’s, have initiated an international open innovation platform for photosynthesis and artificial photosynthesis. Under his guidance the consortium develops very clear R&D pathways to prototypes for direct solar to fuel conversion. De Groot has (co-)authored ca. 250 scientific publications and patents, and was the coordinator of the policy paper “Harnessing Solar Energy for the Production of Clean Fuel” of the European Science Foundation (ESF) and its preceding white paper. He regularly participates in the organization of conferences and served in the board of the ESF EuroSolarFuels Eurocores program. De Groot is founding member and coordinates the FET Direct conversion core group and currently serves as advisor to the International Energy Agency on the topic of Direct Conversion.

Dr. Francesco Buda

He performed his PhD in condensed matter physics at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) with M. Parrinello and R. Car. After his doctorate he held research associate positions at Ohio State University, IBM Zurich, INFM Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, and Free University Amsterdam. Since 2001 he is assistant professor at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles (h-index: 33, Web of Science). He has an extensive track record in ab-initio and mixed quantum/classical molecular dynamics simulations of catalytic reactions in collaboration with industrial partners: Ziegler-Natta polymerization with DSM, Fenton oxidation with Unilever, water oxidation catalysts. He has simulated key processes in photosynthesis by modelling, providing a novel theoretical interpretation for the efficient photoinduced charge separation in bacterial reaction centres based on the coherent coupling between the electronic excitation and specific nuclear vibrational modes. He has translated the acquired understanding of the natural photosynthesis machinery into the design of artificial molecular and heterogeneous complexes able to combine the light-absorption, charge separation, and catalytic functionalities for solar to fuel conversion. He has recently received a grant within the NWO Solar to Products program.

Dr. Stefano Cucurachi

He is Assistant Professor in Industrial Ecology at the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University. Previously, he worked as a researcher at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the USA. Stefano has a ten year experience in the field of life cycle assessment (LCA). Stefano has wide experience in the development of impact assessment methods in LCA, and on methodological improvements, in particular in the field of uncertainty analysis and in the area of quantification of the uncertainty sources related to the results of LCA studies. In the last years the focus of his research has shifted to the application of LCA to assess the sustainability potential of emerging technologies, the so-called ex-ante LCA classes of methods. Stefano has applied ex-ante LCA to assess novel chemical synthesis pathways, and to new energy technologies, such as tandem solar cells, among others. The research allows assessing the impacts of emerging technologies at an early stage of their development curve, so to minimize their potential future impacts, and avoid regrettable product substitutions. Stefano has published peer reviewed papers on LCA and ex-ante LCA, is active in international working groups on the topic, and is currently member of two international EU-funded projects oriented at assessing the sustainability and circularity potential of emerging technologies.

Dr. René Kleijn

He is an associate professor at the Department of Industrial Ecology and member of the Management Team of the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University. The focal point of his research is the systematic analysis of sustainability issues using tools like LCA and MFA. Currently the focus of his methodological research is on the ex-ante LCA of prospective technologies and scenario development for material requirements and associated environmental impacts. He applied these different tools in many domains including recycling technolo-gies, energy systems and chemical industry. In recent years, he studied topics like critical materials, resilient supply chains and the material demand of new renewable energy technologies. He has been involved as initiator, WP leader and key researcher in over a dozen EU FP projects.

Dr. Paola Campus

Paola was the first project manager appointed to the CSA grant working from Leiden on behalf of all participants. She holds a degree in Physics and a PhD in Geophysics. Since 1990 she worked in close collaboration with several international research groups (Czech Academy of Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), University of Oxford) in the scientific area of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, seismic source reconstruction, data analysis, software development and modelling. In 1999 she moved to Vienna, serving the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) for about 11 years, where she was responsible for the develop-ment of projects, work plans and budgets, for the liaison with Government Officials and Policy Makers in the area of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, for the supervision, coaching and management of Teams, and for the coordination of international actions related to Science and Technology. Currently, she is again part of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (Vienna), dealing with monitoring, natural and man-made phenomena