SIM² Team

The SIM² People

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SIM² Governance v3

Steering Committee

The Steercom is the highest decision-making body of SIM² KU Leuven. The roles of the Steering Committee* are:

  • Strategic planning of SIM² (project strategy, publication/IP strategy, business plan etc.);
  • Synergy creation with other MRC Research Lines (e.g. Materials for Energy) and future KU Leuven Institutes;
  • Alignment of research strategies RLs and flagship initiatives (SOLVOMET, CR³, HiTemp Centre, EIT RawMaterials, SIM Mares, Moonshot Programme on climate neutrality of Flemish industry);
  • Organisation of General Assembly meetings, Industrial Sounding Board meetings and thematic researcher meetings;
  • Organisation of dissemination events, conferences and symposia;
  • Strategic management of the SIM² KU Leuven hub website and the associated social media channels;
  • Decision on admission of new members to the General Assembly and on the modification of the Steercom composition and Research Lines;
  • Organisation of new, future-oriented education activities/opportunities (cf. EIT Master Programmes, ETNs, Summer Schools, Bootcamps).

The SIM² KU Leuven Steering Committee currently consists of:

Prof. Koen Binnemans

Laboratory of Metallurgical Chemistry

Dr. Peter Tom Jones

Sustainable Metallurgy (IOF)

Prof. Xing Yang

Process Engin' for Sustainable Systems

Prof. Jef Peeters

Research Group Life Cycle Engineering - Manufacturing Processes and Systems

Prof. Anouk Borst

Ore Geology

Prof. Ruben Snellings

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Lieven Machiels

Laboratory of Metallurgical Chemistry

Prof. Karel Van Acker

Sustainability assessments of materials and circular economy (SAM)

Prof. Yiannis Pontikes

SREMat Innovation Society

Prof. Tom Van Gerven

Process Engin' for Sustainable Systems

Prof. Valérie Cappuyns

Environmental science and technology

Prof. Bart Blanpain

High Temperature Processes (HiTemp)

Prof. Philippe Muchez

Ore Geology and Geofluids

The Steercom composition is open for changes depending on key evolutions and opportunities.

General Assembly

The GA consists of the following members, involved in SIM² KU Leuven: ZAP, IOF Managers, Research Experts/Managers and Senior postdocs. Its core tasks are:

  • Interactive information exchange stimulating new collaborations, transcending the borders of the SIM² KU Leuven Research Lines;
  • Discussion on new project and equipment ideas;
  • Providing input for long term vision/strategy;
  • Providing input for communication and dissemination agenda;
  • Making suggestions as regards admission of new members to the General Assembly and with respect to the modification of the Steercom composition and Research Lines.
SIM2 KU Leuven GA Group Photo 20230531
SIM² KU Leuven, General Assembly Meeting, May 2023, Leuven

Industrial Sounding Board

The ISB (Industrial Sounding Board) consists of external parties (companies and also governmental and civil society actors). Once per year these parties are invited to the open SIM² annual meeting where research results are shown and research roadmaps are discussed. Currently, the ISB is also used as a virtual entity, which is targeted with tailored communication and dissemination products. Apart from “open” ISB meetings, SIM² KU Leuven also foresees more specific activities, such as “SIM² KU Leuven dinners” (on specific topics) and “SIM² KU Leuven vision meetings” (on-invitation only, VP level).

Research Line Teams

Every RL Team brings together all KU Leuven professors, researchers, research managers active in the field. Academic partners (ZAP, IOF, senior postdocs) in SIM² KU Leuven can be part of different research lines.

The Six Research Lines are:


Research Line 1

Geological exploration and advanced resource characterization


Research Line 2

Remanufacturing and demanufacturing

molten steel

Research Line 3

Sustainable metallurgical processes

recycling metal

Research Line 4

Upcycling processes for primary and secondary resources

circular economy susteinability

Research Line 5

Sustainability assessment and policy research

circular economy

Research Line 6

Process intensification and digitalisation

Research Groups

During the period 2011-2018 the SIM² KU Leuven consortium has gradually expanded from a core group of Research Teams/Departments (as present in the IOF-KP SMaRT-Pro²) towards a much larger organisation, covering a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from chemical engineering to chemistry, civil engineering, metallurgical and materials engineering, lifecycle engineering, environmental technology, economy, geology and mineralogy, industrial ecology, law and organisation psychology. Currently the SIM² consortium consists of the following Research Groups (associated ZAP-Members, IOF-Managers and Research Managers/Experts are also indicated):

  1. Chemical Engineering: Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems (ProcESS) (Tom Van Gerven, Jinu Joseph John, Simon Kuhn, Xing Yang, Efecan Pakkaner, Patric Marc Ruya)
  2. Chemistry: SOLVOMET group (Koen Binnemans, Peter Tom Jones, Ben Gilliams, Lieven Machiels, Clio Deferm, Viet Tu Nguyen, Thomas Abo Atia, Rayco Van Lommelen, Brecht de Wulf, Nand Peeters, Stijn Raiguel, Pieter Geysens, Sharron Li, Dzenita Avdibegovic, Ionut Popa, Giorgian Dinu, Elisabeth de Decker, Rabab Nasser)
  3. Chemistry: Laboratory of Organic Synthesis (Wim Dehaen)
  4. Civil Engineering: Building Materials and Building Technology Section (Özlem Cizer)
  5. Civil Engineering: Construction TC, Bruges Campus (Jiabin Li)
  6. Earth & Environmental Sciences: Geology (Jan Elsen, Philippe Muchez, Fernando Araujo Prado, Anouk Borst, Thomas Van Gerve, Patrick Degryse, Olivier Namur, Ruben Snellings, Hannes Claes)
  7. Earth & Environmental Sciences: Soil and Water Management (Erik Smolders, Maarten Everaert)
  8. Economy and Management: Center for Economics & Corporate Sustainability (Johan Eyckmans, Valérie Cappuyns, Marc Craps, Karel Van Acker, Simon De Jaeger)
  9. Institute of Private International Law: (Geert Van Calster)
  10. Mechanical Engineering: Design Methodology and Lifecycle Engineering (Joost Duflou, Ann Witvrouw, Balasubramanian Nagarajan, Wim Dewulf, Jef Peeters, Maarten Vanierschot)
  11. Materials Engineering: High Temperature Processes and Industrial Ecology (Bart Blanpain, Peter Tom Jones, Muxing Guo, Annelies Malfliet, Shuigen Huang, Zhongfu Cheng)
  12. Materials Engineering: Secondary Resources for Engineered Materials (Yiannis Pontikes, Veerle Vandeginste, Giuseppe Granata, Lubica Kriskova, Tobias Hertel, Glenn Beersaerts, Michiel Giels)
  13. Materials Engineering: Sustainability Assessments of Materials and Circular Economy (Karel Van Acker, Luc Alaerts, Giovanna Sauve, Fatameh Taheri)
  14. Materials Engineering: Materials with Novel Functionality (Jan Fransaer)
  15. Microbial and Molecular Systems (M²S): Centre for Membranes, Adsorption, Catalysis and Spectroscopy for Sustainable Solutions (cMACS) (Dimitrios Sakellariou, Ivo Vankelecom, Bart Van Duffel)
  16. Technology Cluster Materials Technology, Group T Leuven Campus: (Giuseppe Granata)
  17. Technology Cluster Mechanical Engineering, Group T Leuven Campus: (Wim Dewulf, Jef Peeters, Mohammad Abdelbaky,  Maarten Vanierschot, Theodoros Dimas)

The SIM² Steercom has expressed its desire to further expand the SIM² KU Leuven composition, either by integrating new members or by reaching out to affiliates in specific project settings.

SIM² Education