Program symposium
Fuelling the Future:
How catalysis may contribute to a more sustainable society

14.30 – 15.00 Reception, with coffee and tea
15.00 – 15.15 Introduction by Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Scientific Director MCEC)
15.15 – 15.45 Lecture Marjan van Loon (Vice-President of Shell)
15.45 – 16.15 Lecture Prof. Ib Chorkendorff (Technical University of Denmark)
16.15 – 16.30 Short break
16.30 – 17.00 Lecture Prof. Regina Palkovits (RWTH Aachen University)
17.00 – 17.30 Lecture Prof. Peter Paul Verbeek (University ofTwente)
17.30 – 18.00 Questions from the audience, discussion round
18.00 – 19.00 Drinks


  • Marjan van Loon, Vice-President of Shell – Van Loon is familiar with the chemical industry like no other. In her lecture, she will focus on the sustainability ambition of the industry and the contribution it can make to this issue.
  • Ib Chorkendorff, Professor at Technical University of Denmark – All Ib Chorkendorff’s research has one major common denominator: the development of new materials which, in the (near) future, can be used for the conversion and storage of renewable energy in fuels.
  • Regina Palkovits, Professor for Heterogeneous Catalysis and Chemical Technology at RWTH Aachen University – Palkovits and her group investigate how to create new catalysts that can help you convert biomass into fuels and chemical building blocks of (for instance) plastics. In her lecture she explains what her biomass research entails and where catalysis comes in.
  • Peter Paul Verbeek, Professor of Philosophy of Technology, University of Twente – Verbeek looks at technology and design in a completely different way than most people: He studies the extent to which people and technology are intertwined and what that means for our daily lives. In his lecture, Peter Paul Verbeek explains the connection between technology, society and ethics.

Chemist Bert Weckhuysen, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis at Utrecht University, and MCEC’s Scientific Director, is the moderator of the symposium.