Our people

Our Management

Prof. J.W. (Hans) Niemantsverdriet

Director Syngaschem BV

Hans is also
- Professor Physical Chemistry of Surfaces at the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands,
- Honorary Distinguished Professor at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute of Cardiff University,
Hans supervised more than 25 PhD projects and 10 postdoc projects in government and industry funded research. 

He has been Editor of the Journal of Catalysis, the flagship journal of the catalysis field 

(impact factor = 5.78) since 1996. 

He is the author of more than 270 peer-refereed publications, and two text books, and is frequently invited to speak at international conferences, workshops and Summer schools on catalysis and surface science. His main area of research is the fundamentals of synthesis gas chemistry.
In 2013, he founded Syngaschem BV and started the SynCat@Beijing project together with Synfuels China.

Ir. J.P.K. Felderhof

Director Strategy, Organisation and HR development 

Jan Karel Felderhof strives for enhancing organizations and people to their full potential. He does so by developing a source strategy based on the spirit of the organizations or companies he works for, and the people that develop these organizations or companies. From this perspective he supports the design of strategy and organizational structures. 

He further 'catalyzes' the dynamics of the company

- by coaching and training team leaders and professionals on self-leadership and self-management to make them fully capable of exercising their accountabilities and responsibilities

- by establishing an authentic and ambitious culture in the value chain, not only with the employees, but also with other stakeholders, suppliers and clients.

Besides serving as director of Syngaschem BV, Jan Karel is founder and owner of Impetus BV (1990), which enabled organizations in several branches (knowledge, professional and services) in enhancing their strategy, organization and people.

Dipl.-Chem. A.R. Vaccaro

Office Manager

Antonio Vaccaro runs the office at Syngaschem BV. It is his mission to keep things going around matters like HRM, organization of workshops and education programs, communication with our people and partners, PR, finance, legal issues, and so forth.

Through his background in chemistry and his experience in catalysis research, he values (and enjoys) the scientific progress, that Syngaschem BV is able to induce.

Our Researchers

Dr. K.-J. Weststrate

Senior Research Scientist

Kees-Jan Weststrate studied Chemistry at Leiden University. There, he specialized in surface chemistry and catalysis using surface science techniques and obtained his PhD in 2006. Furnished with a Rubicon grant, he then spent two years at the Synchrotron Radiation Research facility of Lund University, Sweden.

In 2008, Kees-Jan joined a collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology and Sasol Technology, and focused on the fundamental understanding of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis on cobalt catalysts. He provided valuable insights on the deactivation of cobalt catalysts using the flat model catalyst approach, and used surface science to study the surface chemistry of reactants, products, and intermediates being relevant in its catalytic cycle. Kees-Jan has (co-)authored around 30 articles on various topics related to surface chemistry and catalysis, including a comprehensive review on FTS.

Kees-Jan joined Syngaschem BV in February 2015 in order to continue his exciting journey in fundamental FTS research. In collaboration with Prof. Niemantsverdriet, he will lead Syngaschem’s effort on the bottom-up translation of molecular scale information, obtained by surface science, into applied conditions. 

Dr. F. Sapountzi

Research Scientist

Foteini Sapountzi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and a Master’s Degree in 'Physical, Chemical and Biochemical Processes' from the University of Patras, Greece. There she also joined Prof. C.G. Vayenas’ laboratory for chemical and electrochemical processes to obtain a PhD in “Chemical Engineering” in 2009, and to continue as a PostDoc, while serving as a Visiting Lecturer at the department of Materials Science. In 2011, she collaborated with Prof. J. L. Valverde at University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain. Then, she moved to France to work under the supervision of Dr. P. Vernoux at IRCELYON until 2014. 

Her research is focused on catalytic and electrocatalytic processes, mainly in the framework of Electrochemical Promotion of Catalysis and of fuel cell/electrolysis technology. She has co-authored more than 20 scientific articles, including a comprehensive review on the use of ionically conducting ceramics as active catalyst supports. 

In March 2015, Foteini joined Syngaschem BV. Stationed at the group of Prof. Niemantsverdriet in Eindhoven, she now works on hydrogen production by water electrolysis and explores new opportunities to utilize the phenomenon of Electrochemical Promotion of Catalysis.

Dr. H. Fredriksson

Research Scientist

Hans Fredriksson obtained his MSc degree in Physics at Gothenburg University in Sweden. In 2009, he completed a PhD in material science at the department of applied physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg in the field of nanofabrication. In particular, he worked on model systems for catalysis and nano-optics research, which he continued for a while as a PostDoc.

In 2010, Hans joined Prof. Hans Niemantsverdriet’s group at Eindhoven University of Technology to further pursue his interest in combining nanofabrication and catalysis research. His research topics ranged from the properties of catalysts for purification of the products of biomass gasification, and for methanol production from syngas to the chemical transistor concept. He also addressed enhanced oil-recovery in collaboration with Royal Dutch Shell. Hans worked as daily supervisor of PhD students in the field of catalysis research. He has (co-)authored around 20 research papers on various topics.

In Jannuary 2016, Hans joined Syngaschem BV. His main focus is on investigating fundamental properties of catalysts and correlating these with activity and deactivation using model catalysts, micro reactors and a broad range of characterization techniques.

Our Advisors


Dr. J. Rostrup-Nielsen

Jens Rostrup-Nielsen is an internationally acclaimed authority on syngas technology, and advises Syngaschem BV on syngas chemistry and research strategy since October 2013.


Prof. M. Bowker

Michael Bowker has a long-time expertise in surface science and catalysis and advises Syngaschem BV on its surface science program since November 2013.


Prof. H. Jiao

Haijun Jiao is a highly reputed expert on DFT and has a longstanding collaboration with Synfuels China. He joined the advisory board of Syngaschem BV in 2014


Prof. A. Datye

Abhaya Datye is a recognized capacity on using HRTEM to investigate heterogeneous catalysts. He joined the advisory board of Syngaschem BV in 2014.

Our people at SynCat@Beijing

In January 2015, the SynCat@Beijing laboratory building has been finalized, and a pioneering team from Synfuels China Technology Co. Ltd. started to set up the lab's infrastructure. A considerable part of this team consists of  former Syngaschem researchers.