UTAlumni NetworkNewsUT alumni explore industry's path to net-zero
Magali Coello

UT alumni explore industry's path to net-zero Chapter Zuidwest-Nederland

The southwest Netherlands chapter of the University of Twente’s alumni network, led by Gerard van Harten (CT’77) and Michiel Tijsseling (TN’85), together with the Alumni Office of the UT and Dow Benelux, orchestrated a successful gathering on November 23rd at Dow Chemicals. This event followed a previous meeting on March 30th, where Commissioner of the King and alumnus Han Polman (BSK’88) hosted the alumni at the Provincial House of Zeeland. 

This time, the focus of the gathering was the transition to a net-zero CO2 path for the industry. The event drew together UT alumni with diverse backgrounds and some experts in this field to discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in this crucial aspect of the energy transition landscape. Topics like the integration of hydrogen with chemical industries, as well as the role of energy hubs in industrial decarbonization were tackled.   

The evening commenced with a networking moment, allowing attendees to connect and enjoy refreshments. The formal programme started with the warm welcome of the host, Aram de Ruiter (TBK’97), Senior Supply Chain Director of Performance Materials and Coatings at Dow Benelux and a UT alumnus. Following, Gerard van Harten (CHE'77) and Michiel Tijsseling (AP'85) shed light on how this chapter is being shaped and this event's goals and origins; Dow Benelux has been the professional home of many UT alumni. 

Two distinguished speakers, one from Dow Benelux and one from UT, enriched the event. Kees Biesheuvel, Technology Innovation Manager at Dow Benelux, provided an overview of the challenges and opportunities associated with the broader energy transition and circularity. UT Assistant Professor, Dr. Yashar Hajimolana, an expert in hydrogen and renewable energy systems integration, discussed the pivotal role of hydrogen and energy hubs in the decarbonization of industries. He provided insights into various projects he is currently engaged in, exploring the potential future landscape of industrial energy infrastructure. 

The audience comprised almost entirely of UT alumni, engaged in discussions about the human and technical possibilities and barriers within the energy transition landscape. Participants found value in visiting the Diamond Center of Dow Benelux, reconnecting with fellow UT alumni, and gaining deeper insights into the future of the industrial energy transition landscape. 

Adding to the richness of the event, current UT student Kay Kojima (BA), who is currently doing an internship project at Dow Benelux was also present. Kay is currently interning at Dow Benelux, his presence provided a unique perspective as a student actively participating in the industry's ongoing transformation. 

In the aftermath of the presentations and discussions, the alumni gathering continued with a convivial borrel that facilitated meaningful conversations, allowing participants to share insights, experiences, and perspectives on not only the presented topics but also other subjects. 

This informal setting provided an excellent platform for networking, enabling the creation of new liaisons among the people present at the event. The exchange of ideas flowed seamlessly, fostering a sense of community and collaboration that goes beyond the event itself. The success of the gathering extended beyond the confines of the formal program, leaving people motivated to participate in the next alumni gathering in April 2024.  

Would you like to organize an alumni meet-up at your organization or in your region? Please contact Magali Coello m.coellocasian@utwente.nl to explore opportunities. 

M. Coello Casian (Magali)
Alumni Officer