Let's meet Henk Janssen, a long-time DSM veteran. Recently, Zeopore has engaged Henk to guide its activities to streamline and intensify the upscaling of Zeopore's unique zeolite mesoporization technologies to industrial scale. This is an essential step in bringing our innovative zeolitic catalysts to oil refineries and petrochemical plants, to make current processes more performant, sustainable and cost-effective.
Hello Henk, how did you end up at Zeopore?
"Well, some time ago Kurt and I met again after having worked together at Advanced Solar, one of the start-ups of the DSM Innovation Center, for which I managed the Operations activities at the time. In that role I realized the design, construction and full operation of a production facility for a novel and very innovating anti-reflection coating for solar module glass. Very similar to the path that Zeopore is facing at this moment. Kurt explained Zeopore's growth and scale-up plans and we realized that I could be instrumental in that trajectory together with the strong operational team of Zeopore."
Which background do you have?
"I am a chemical engineer and theoretical chemist who completed a PhD in chemical reactor engineering. After my promotion, I started at DSM Process R&D, and later moved to a series of manufacturing and operations related management positions. All in all, some 10 different positions over a period of 34 years. At some point I was involved in managing the global operations of a synthetic rubber division, with locations on 4 continents. In the Innovation Center we started our Advanced Solar activities with a small group and grew this to a business of more than 100 people, working all over the world"
What is your prime role at Zeopore?
"Zeopore is already known for its unique zeolite mesoporization technologies. The potential of this innovative chemical platform is immense. Together with the team, we want to fast track the upscaling process to industrial scale. So far we produced initial volumes via partners to allow commercial validation, and we are now in a position to do this ourselves, to gradually take full control and ownership of our unique production process of mesoporized zeolites. We want to gain experience, remove some technical hurdles, and optimize the process in terms of efficiency, cost and robustness. In Zeopore's current development phase, we are creating our position as a process technology company."
How is your interaction with your colleagues at Zeopore?
"The people at Zeopore combine varied expertise in multiple domains. Danny Verboekend and Martin d'Halluin play a critical role in the development of the unique mesoporization technology, which offers unpredecented zeolite activity and selectivity improvements. My other colleagues excel in chemistry, engineering, quality, administration and marketing. Zeopore is a solid team headed by capable captain Kurt Du Mong and an experienced board of directors."
Do you have another life apart from your professional activities?
"Luckily, yes! I am happily married with Minke almost 39 years now. Our four children are adults now. We enjoy watching them discover their own paths in life. My hobbies are sailing (as an instructor) and my passion is cooking fine-dining. I love to prepare patisserie. A couple of weeks ago I brought 'Limburgse vlaai' to Zeopore, which by the way, everyone liked. I think we have some interesting and fulfilling times together ahead of us. I certainly look forward to the journey!"