Meet our passionate team working towards a more sustainable future.
Dr Florence Gschwend
CTO & Co-Founder
Florence is co-founder and CTO of Lixea. She has received mentoring and financial support as a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow as well as through ClimateKIC. She has won several prizes for both her research and entrepreneurial efforts and was awarded the EIT Change Award. She is passionate about using her skills to make a lasting difference to the environment and society and has been named as one of Europe’s most promising game-changers under 30 by Forbes.
Dr Dunstan Cooke
Director of Corporate Operations
Dunstan has over 15 years of experience working for tech start-ups. He was previously the Business Director at Plaxica, a process engineering company in the bio-economy and renewable chemistry space where he led the commercial and corporate legal processes around its IP licensing. He has experience in leading financing negotiations, conducting IP due diligence services and FTO searches, as well as in business development and operations.
Krisztina is a Biochemical Engineer by training and has over 10 years of experience working in the technology sphere. Previously, she worked as Project and Business Development Manager at Biome Bioplastics Ltd, managing a portfolio of collaborative, biomass to novel bioplastics R&D projects. Krisztina also has considerable experience in taking an idea from the drawing board to installation and running a start-up company with responsibility for all aspects of the business.
Dr Michael Wise
Michael is the Techincal Director behind the scale-up and design of the BioFlex process and pilot plant. He specialises in the innovative application of unit operation concepts in multi-disciplinary operations to develop and optimise new processes with 8+ years of experience in various aspects of the chemical industry including O&G, Agriculture and Polymers. Previously, he worked as the process engineer leading the scale-up of Worn Again Technologies textile and polymer packaging chemical recycling process.
Heather is a chemist working on cellulose properties and applications, material selection and process optimisation. She completed her master’s degree at the University of York’s Green Chemistry Center of Excellence where
she worked on lignocellulose fractionation using sustainable solvents. She brings together excellent lab skills, an interest in sustainability and
a strong drive and self-motivation.
Janis is a Chemical Engineer supporting the scale-up and design of the BioFlex process and
working on cellulose and lignin properties and applications. He has 5 years of
consultancy experience within the field of Environment and Water, with a particular
focus on process optimisation and support, technology evaluation, as well as
scientific/quality strategy development. Janis completed his master’s degree at
Heriot Watt University where he worked on valorisation of lignocellulose derived
Conor is supporting Lixea’s business development and process scale-up. He holds an MBA from the Imperial College Business School with a focus on sustainability and clean-tech. His background is as a chemical engineer and he previously worked as a New Product Engineer at a growth-stage water desalination company. He brings experience in establishing pilot-scale operations and technical business development.
Jennica is the Plant Manager for Lixea’s pilot plant in Bäckhammar, Sweden. She has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, over a decade of experience in the pulp and paper industry and 5 years in a leadership role. She has an extensive background in different positions and in various industries, which has helped her to develop skills in process management, business development and sales.
Dr Adnan Kadić
Adnan is the Operations Engineer planning and coordinating the construction and start-up of the BioFlex pilot plant in Bäckhammar, Sweden. Previously, he worked as a researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Lund University, focusing on the development and scale-up of biomass to biofuels processes. He has experience from work in industry-academia collaborations at biorefinery pilot plants around the world.
Shirley Min Yang
Product Development Chemist
Shirley is working part-time developing products from BioFlex lignin. Besides working for Lixea, she is carrying out a PhD at Imperial College's Chemistry Department where she works on developing a novel, sustainable and low-cost carbon fibre production process from BioFlex lignin. She has previously worked on lignin chemical modification and lignin carbon materials as part of her Master's project and has a total of 4 years of experience working on lignin applications.
Priyanka is working part-time, assisting Lixea in the process and product development. Alongside working for Lixea, she is currently completing her PhD at Imperial’s Chemical Engineering department. She is designing a biorefinery for brewer’s spent grain, which involves adapting the ionic liquid-based process for protein-rich biomass. Priyanka previously completed her master’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University, with a Diploma in Industrial Studies.
Dr Brendon Miller
Senior Process Engineering Consultant
Brendon has 20 years of experience as a consulting chemical engineer with a strong background in process modelling and scale-up of new technologies. He is particularly focused on identifying the most efficient methods of delivering and monetising technical innovations.
Professor Jason Hallett
Director & Co-Founder
Jason is Professor in Sustainable Chemical Technology at Imperial College’s Chemical Engineering Department. He leads a team of 30 researchers working in the field of biorefining, with a focus on industrial application. He has obtained more than £10 million in research support, including several projects under commercial development. His overall research vision is to develop sustainable, solvent-based chemical processes based on biorenewables that have real-world impact improving everyday life.
Dr Agi Brandt
Director & Co-founder
Agi obtained her PhD from Imperial College in 2011. She originally developed the BioFlex process and has since continued working on it at Imperial College in Jason’s team and is now heading her own research group at Imperial College’s Chemistry Department where she investigates novel lignin materials. In 2015 she was awarded the President's award of excellence for outstanding early career researcher and in 2016 the Sir William Wakeham Award for having made a significant contribution to her research field.
Dr Artun Sukan
Artun has worked in sourcing and evaluating early-stage technology and engineering investments since 2016. He focuses on novel chemicals and materials, clean tech and engineering sectors. He represents IP Group on the board of Lixea. Previously, Artun has worked in Technology Transfer and IP management at Imperial Innovations, where he identified, protected and managed intellectual property from Imperial College London and has assisted various commercial deals. Artun holds a PhD in Applied Biotechnology from the University of Westminster, UK.