Director Bernal Institute Luuk Van Der Wielen

Luuk Van Der Wielen

Director of the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, Ireland
Background Luuk A.M. van der Wielen (Amsterdam, 16-06-1964) holds a MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Twente University (Netherlands), and a PhD degree (with honours) from Delft University of Technology (TUD). Since February 2017, he is Director of the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, Ireland, ( ) and Bernal Professor for Biosystems Engineering and Design, while continuing as Distinguished Professor for Biobased Economy of TUD. He is Full Professor at TU Delfts Dept. of Biotechnology ( ), where he headed the Bioprocess Engineering Section effectively since 1998. The activities of the section were ranked as excellent by consecutive national research evaluations and have resulted in several spin-off companies. His research interests include thermodynamics for bioprocesses, bioseparation/-conversion technologies, multifunctional bioreactors, miniaturized (‘on-chip’), high-throughput technology for rapid process development, analysis and development of (bio)renewables production systems, and their societal impacts.

He is since 2004 director of BE-BASIC (, the globally operating private-public research organisation for Biobased Sustainable Industrial Chemistry & Energy, which is based in The Netherlands with hubs in South East Asia and Brazil, and a cumulative budget exceeding 250 M€. BE-BASIC executes a R&D, training and innovation program in the field of industrial and environmental biotechnology, via a consortium of 50 academia and industries. He initiated the multi purpose pilot facility (, ~ M€ 80). In 2012, he coordinated the Netherlands’ Bioenergy and Biochemicals Innovation plan under the new Dutch Topsector Policy (budget exceeding 1 billion euro), and was appointed in the 1st Board of Directors of Foundation TKI-BBE.  In 2007, he joined (part-time) Royal Dutch Shell as Principal Scientist Biotechnology. He was Visiting Professor at the Univ. San Carlos, the Philippines until 2008; and 2009-‘13 at Univ. of Technology Malaysia. The last Google Scholar count shows over 293 publications and patents as of february 2018 (H-index 28 (SciVal) – 35 (GS), RG 43.06).

Luuk van der Wielen is/was member of editorial and advisory boards of several leading international scientific journals, and chaired several scientific conferences (a.o. ESBES4, BPP2005, RRB4, ECOBIO2016/-18, Braz Bioenergy S&T Conf  2017). He is/was member/chair of national and European boards: AgroPolo (agro/forestry re-industralisation board Sao Paulo, BR), coordinator Bioenergy and Biochemicals RD&I programming in NL Topsector Policy (2011-12), Supervisory Board of Dutch Separation Technology Institute, of NL Platform Renewable Feedstocks, Sustainable Energy Cie of the Royal NL Academy of Sciences (KNAW), Steering Group of the EU Technology Platform Suschem/ Industrial Biotechnology, Steering Committee BBE (Min Economic Affairs) and BioPort of Rotterdam, Taskforce Bioenergy Systems (EU Fed. for Biotechnology), Advisory Boards of US-EU Taskforce on Biotechnology Research, KP Sinha Bioenergy Center (IIT Kharagpur, India), of CLIB2021 (Germany), of BIO4EU (EU Commission), Oversight Board Global Sustainable Bioenergy Project and advisor to several European and international industries. He is/was in Boards of Commissioners of Dutch Greentech Fund and SHIFT Invest, Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV and chairs BioPort Holland (aviation industry group).

He is one of the initiators of the successful academic program on Life Science & Technology ( ) of Leiden University and TU Delft, and director of the postgraduate program Bioprocess Design ( ). Luuk van der Wielen is married, has 3 children, and has an active and passive interest in jazz music.