Denis Gontcharov, a graduate of the EIT Labelled Master Programme on Sustainable Materials (SUMA), which train students to become the entrepreneurs boosting the circular economy of tomorrow, has been nominated as president of the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Board. (Leuven, KJ, 25/01/2019)

EIT RawMaterials Alumni brings together participants from the full range of the community’s activities, from higher education programmes to business idea competitions, start-ups and lifelong learning courses. Alumni will draw on the diverse talent and experience within the EIT community to give its members networking and professional development opportunities not only within raw materials but also by providing links, through EIT Alumni, to the wider EIT ecosystem.

Denis studied in Belgium and holds a bachelor degree in materials engineering with a minor in chemical engineering from KU Leuven. For his master studies he followed the two-year EIT-labelled Master Programme in Sustainable Materials (SUMA) program. As he said: ‘’What appealed most to me about this program was the opportunity to combine my thesis with a six-month internship in France. After finishing the first year of the program at KU Leuven I travelled to France to study five months at Grenoble INP. I finished the program with a six-month internship at TRIMET Aluminium SE in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.”

Currently, Denis is working at the electrolysis department at TRIMET in Germany as a process control engineer collaborating on the development of a new process control application for electrolysis cells. TRIMET is Germany’s largest aluminum producer where they produce the liquid metal by electrolysis.

Denis got involved with the EIT RawMaterials Alumni board after attending an event in Berlin organized by EIT RawMaterials. The objective of the workshop was to gather and select candidates to form the founding board of the future EIT RawMaterials Alumni. Denis applied for the role of the president as he wanted to “take a leading role in shaping the alumni association from the very beginning.’’

Denis has a clear vision about the EIT Raw Materials Alumni Association: “Ultimately we want the EIT RawMaterials Alumni to complement the workings of the EIT RawMaterials KIC (Knowledge Innovation Community). In that regard, we will focus on enabling our members to build lasting professional connections in a more informal setting. Up to now our board put a lot of care in nailing down the vision, mission and three year strategic objectives that will get us there. To me, it was very important to get this right as it will form the foundation for our successors to build upon. Today I’m delighted that we can go into the new year with a clear agenda of activities and services we offer to our members. Therefore I look forward to seeing our members and friends from the EIT again at our activities in the near future.’’