The 1st International Biogas Conference Organizing Committee welcomes a faculty of acclaimed speakers.
Dr Janez Potočnik (1958) graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993). He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science by London Imperial College and by Ghent University in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration by Finland Aalto University in 2016.
After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994). He was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as “shadow” Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment, his term ended on November the 1st 2014.
In November 2014 he was appointed as a member and Co-Chair of International Resource Panel hosted by United Nations Environment Programme. In the same month he was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and the RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre’s Advisory Council.
Sylvain Donnaz is part of the Strategic Development of Suez International as Global Market Leader for Waste Water and Biosolids. He has been 15 years in the field of wastewater treatment, commissioned more than 9 million PE (Population Equivalent) of WW facilities as process commissioning manager in different countries for Suez, mainly for large infrastructure. His 11+ years’ experience with Suez International led him to manage a various range of water treatment processes (including drinking water and desal) in different types of contractual projects such as EPC, DB, DBO and BOT. He’s been 4 years O&M process expert for the technical direction of Suez Water France and R&D Center, inventor of 2 Patents both filed in 2017.
Active fellow member of IDA, IWA, he published 28 Papers over the last 3 years with oral presentation. He’s been session co-chair at the Water Convention of the Singapore International Water Week 2018, Chairman of the Session “WWTP Rehabilitation” at the last 2018 World Congress of IWA in Tokyo.
He received the Award of “Environment And Sustainability” at IDA World Congress 2017 in recognition of best paper and presentation on Water Reuse in Agriculture for As Samra Water Reclamation Plant in Jordan.
Michael Niederbacher, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of BTS Biogas, is graduated at the BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Life Science) in Vienna. As agriculturalist he devoted the last 17 years of his life to the world of biogas. Thanks to his work and experiences in all matters concerning biogas he is today one of the leading biogas experts in Europe. Since one of his biggest concern is pushing the biogas world to a higher level, he was cofounder first of the Klimaenergy fair in Bozen, then of the Consorzio Italiano Biogas (CIB) in march 2009 and finally of the European Biogas Association (EBA). One of his goals is to substitute at least one nuclear power plant by biogas plants.
He is member of the CIB Board and Technical Committee and Member of the EBA’s CAC.
Alex Marshall has the lead international role for Clarke Energy for marketing and compliance. Clarke Energy is a multinational specialist in the provision of gas based power systems. The company has over 1,200MW of biogas based power systems installed globally across Europe, Africa, South Asia and Australasia. Alex has 16 years of operating in the biogas sector and has extensive experience of waste management and agricultural biogas systems. Alex has an MBA from Manchester Business School and is a Chartered Environmentalist.
Alberto Confalonieri (M.Sc. Biological Sciences) is an expert in biowaste recycling. Since 1999 he has worked for the main Italian waste technology providers and then, from 2006 to 2018, as a researcher in the integrated waste management sector.
His job mainly focuses on regulatory and technical implications of composting and anaerobic digestion, biogas production and upgrading to biomethane. Since 2014, he is a senior staff member of the Italian Composting and Biogas Association and chair of its Technical Committee; he takes part to several working groups of the European Compost Network.
Konstantinos Nikakis is a Dipl. Environmental Engineer, graduate of the Democritus University of Thrace and a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece. This period he is a graduate of the MSc “Energy and Environmental Investment” – MBA Energy, specializing in biogas and biofuel investments. He participated in European and National programs as a researcher on anaerobic digestion and agro-animal waste management for energy generation. He is representing the company Tetoros Machinery SA and is a member of the group that constructed and operated 18 units and their extensions throughout Greece. The constructions of the company refer to a wide range of capacity (from 250 kWel to 2.9 MWel). Our company is active in Greece in cooperation with the German company Weltec – Biopower GmbH in the design, implementation and operation of biogas plant projects as well as in researching new technologies that can help optimize its production process.
Marit Soleim works as project manager for City of Oslo, Waste-to-Energy agency (EGE). The Waste to Energy agency runs two optical waste sorting plants, a waste incineration plant and a biogas production facility where biogas is produced from household food waste. Marit’s role includes interdisciplinary work to develop the market for LBG as a fuel for heavy duty vehicles in addition to leading investment projects related to EGE’s operations.
Harmen Dekker academically earned his bachelor of science (chemistry) and complementary his bachelor in business administration from IM&B (University of Keele; UK). After living for 6 years in the UK whilst looking after the European markets for the chemical industry he moved back to the Netherlands where he developed business for an American renowned specialty gases company in Europe.
Hereafter he switched to the sustainability sector. Within this sector he was responsible for growing the water treatment business in Europe and setting up subsidiaries for several companies. More recently he combined his experience in the gas and water and started working for DMT Environmental Technology. As Manager Business Development he is responsible for the worldwide market with prime focus on the biomethane market. He recently started an office for DMT-ET in Asia and is looking after geographical developments as well as introduction of new products and business models within the biogas sector in particular.
Thomas Minter is a director of Malaby Biogas, owner & operator of Bore Hill Farm Biodigester in Wiltshire. Having travelled extensively and built a broad career in fields as diverse as hospitality, horticulture, marketing and property development he has brought a unique perspective to the AD industry. He drove the Bore Hill Farm project through the concept, design, planning, construction, commissioning, operation and optimisation stages and has developed the wider site to be a model of integrated development and innovation. Incorporating a future R&D and training facility alongside commercial and residential uses Bore Hill Farm is set to be a model of sustainability and innovation. With a developer’s eye on maximising asset value and cost control he has ensured the Bore Hill Farm Biodigester was built with flexibility and education at its heart.
Operational optimisation and R&D projects have improved the plant efficiency beyond its original design capacity. Recent academic and industrial R&D work on yield enhancements, novel feedstocks and energy use open up future avenues for plant innovation and efficiency. Thomas and his team are proud to have developed creative and practical solutions to normal, but often overlooked, operational issues. He is looking to develop on site facilities that bridge the gap between academic research and commercialisation. An area with a hitherto poor track in the UK, real world commercial scale application of scientific principles provides great opportunities in a global world.
Combining a world view with a principled and common-sense approach Thomas sees opportunities where others see problems.
Prof. Maria Loizidou was educated at the University of London where she obtained her PhD in chemical engineering focusing on the field of environmental protection. She followed an academic career being Professor at the National Technical University of Athens in the School of Chemical Engineering and Head of the Unit of Environmental Science & Technology (www.uest.gr).
Her efforts are continuous in the field of the environmental protection and human health, enhancing education, research technology and innovation in waste management including biogas. She has been scientific responsible for more than 170 environmental projects supporting competent authorities, municipalities and others (http://www.uest.gr/index.php/projects). She has more than 500 publications in international scientific journals (http://www.uest.gr/index.php/publications) and conferences and 7,000 citations.
Prof. Loizidou has established the successful series of international conferences on Sustainable Waste Management being the Head of the Scientific Committee and bringing together academics, private and public sector, local authorities, business from all over the world. Prof. Loizidou received the first Green AWARD, since the SOL-BRINE project was voted as the best LIFE ENVIRONMENT project for the period 1992-2017 among more than 4,000 LIFE projects.
Christopher D. Maloney, Global Head, Organics Diversion Eisenmann Corporation. Mr. Maloney is a senior executive with over 30 years of global corporate management experience in the energy, renewables, water and waste management sectors and currently serves as Global Head of the Organics Diversion Group for Eisenmann Corporation. He served previously as Chief Executive Officer of The Capernaum Group, Chief Operating Officer of Digested Organics, and Chairman and CEO of Amandla International in Johannesburg South Africa. He represents Eisenmann as a member of the World Biogas Association and the American Biogas Council – holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Illinois and serves on the boards of Prime Quoin and Asia West.
Francesco Valentino is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry of “La Sapienza” University of Rome. He received the PhD in Chemical Processes in 2012, at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Material and Environment, at the same University. His current research activities are focused on the development of chemical and/or biological processes, with particular emphasis on the treatment and bio-resource recovery of waste and wastewater. Currently, he is involved in four RIA-IA European H2020 projects, mainly aiming to the bioprocess scalability in the frame of circular economy and urban organic waste conversion into biopolymer (polyhydroxyalkanoates, PHA) and biogas. Currently developed at pilot scale, his research activities are addressed to the demonstrating the potential advantages related to the PHA production coupled to the treatment of municipal and/or agro-industrial waste and wastewater: carbon and nutrient recovery, limited excess sludge production, bio-waste recycling and valorisation, creation of innovative bio-based material for multi-purposes applications.