Organisation

The partners in the SFI IB offers wide competence within the biotechnology field. Below you will find short bios on some of the experts from research institutions and universities involved in the projects and activities in the SFI.

Håvard Sletta is the Centre director of SFI Industrial Biotechnology.

In SINTEF he is the Research manager of the Industrial and marine Biotechnology – group.

He has 30 years of experience in Industrial biotechnology, and has a long track record in managemet of international and national projects, and in process and product development for national and international Biotech industry.

Dr. Alexander Wentzel is a Senior research scientist at SINTEF Industry, Dept. Biotechnology and Nanomedicine. He holds a PhD in microbial molecular biology (2003) from the University on Göttingen, Germany.

He moved to Norway in 2005 and has since worked on a broad spectrum of aspects related to industrial biotechnology, including enzyme and bioactive compound discovery using bioinformatics and functional metagenomics approaches, and systems biology and synthetic biology approaches for microbial expression hosts development.

Within the SFI-IB, Wentzel is the co-leader of Project no.3 on enzyme use and discovery and he is contributing in Project no.5 on gas-fermenation processes.

Dr. Francesca Di Bartolomeo is Research Manager of the Sustainale Biotechnology and Bioprospecting group part of the Biotechnology and Nanomedicine department at SINTEF.

She holds a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology followed by a Postdoc in Synthetic Biology. Her main research area is industrial biotechnology with a focus on microbial molecular biology and microbial multi-omics processing, analysis and integration in bioeconomy-related processes.

Within the SFI-IB she is focusing on the development of Project no.1 on microbial cell factories.

Finn L. Aachmann is a professor at NTNU in Biopolymer Structure and Interactions. Aachmann is the leader for the Natural Science faculty NMR laboratory and lead of Norwegian Seaweed biorefinery platform. He is also an active partner in several projects involving marine biopolymers, protein engineering and protein structural determination.

He heads up the Biopolymer NMR group that focus on structure and functional characterization on polysaccharides, carbohydrate modifying enzymes, multidomain proteins and biomaterials.

Apart from representing NTNU in the management group of the SFI-IB, he is leading Project no.2 on seaweed utilization and contributes on enzyme use in Project no.3.

Per Bruheim is a professor in Microbiology at Department of Biotechnology and Food Science (IBT) at NTNU. His research focuses on deep phenotyping of prokaryotic and eukaryotic model systems using advanced cultivation technology and mass spectrometry based metabolite, flux and lipid profiling.

He is currently Deputy head of Department with responsibility for education and also leading the NTNU Biotechnology study programs.

Within the SFI-IB he is focusing on the development of Project no.1 on microbial cell factories and he is leading the cross cutting activity 2 Education and competence building.

Hugo A. Jakobsen is a Professor in experimental- and computational fluid dynamics (EFD/CFD) applied to bio- and chemical reactor engineering at the Department of Chemical Engineering at NTNU, Trondheim.

His research interest includes multiphase and reactive flows, transport phenomena, reactor technology, reactor design and scaleup, interfacial mass transfer, bubble size distributions, bubble hydrodynamics, mathematical modeling, population balance, tensor computations and experimental validation.

In the SFI-IB, he is leading the research domain (RD) 1 Digitalization, as well as project no. 7 called Digitalization and automation in industrial biotechnology processes.

Vincent Eijsink is a Professor of Biochemistry at NMBU and specializes in fundamental and applied enzymology. His group is best known for the discovery of redox enzymes (LPMOs) that facilitate enzymatic conversion of polysaccharides such as chitin and cellulose.

He has co-authored several patents and more than 350 scientific publications, and currently holds an ERC Synergy Grant for studying novel redox catalysts.

Svein Jarle Horn is a professor of bioprocess technology at NMBU where he leads a research group.

His research is focused on applied enzymology, fermentation, biorefining and biogas processes. A central topic has been application of biocatalysis for valorization of seaweed and lignocellulosic biomass. Development of fermentation processes for production of microbial biomass and its applications in food and feed, is of particular interest.

Horn has leadership roles in several large research projects and has published more than 110 scientific papers.

Bjørge Westereng, Ass.Prof. at KBM, NMBU. He has about 20 years of experience with detailed structural and functional analyses of carbohydrates from a wide range of biological sources. His main interest currently is applied and fundamental enzymology to understand biomass conversion to useful products.

He has a particular focus on; 1) how complex carbohydrates are utilized by various microbes in gut environments to understand how various carbohydrate sources in our diets may affect our health, 2) design new tools to monitor the faith of these carbohydrates and 3) synthesize novel biomolecules by chemo-enzymatic approaches to explore new possibilities in food and feed.

As a leader of the lab pilot biorefinery he is responsible for the developments/ operation of NMBUs biorefinery.

Dr. Gro Bjerga, research group leader in marine biotechnology at NORCE, holds a PhD in molecular biology from 2009.

Her group builds on two main scientific pillars; discovery and development of industrial enzymes and host development, and bioprospecting and cultivation of microalge up to pilot scale. With members in her team, the competences extends to applied bioinformatics, microbiology, biochemistry and bioprocess engineering.

Bjerga coordinates national and international research and industry projects within biotechnology, and holds several board positions within circular (bio)economy. 

Dr. Catherine Boccadoro is Chief Scientist in Industrial Biotechnology at NORCE and holds a PhD in microbiology from 2005.

She is the leader of Norwegian Bioprocessing and Fermentation Centre (NBioC) and possesses exceptional experience in both environmental microbiology, microbial fermentation, and industrial biotechnology.

Boccadoro has been leading and participating in many national and EU research projects as well as several partnerships with industry. She has a long record of project management experience.

In the SFI, Boccadoro is leading the P5 project on gas fermentation.

Hans Kleivdal is Executive Vice President in NORCE, responsible for the research areas environment, sustainable aquaculture, circular economy and biotechnology. He has a PhD in molecular biology on microbial antibiotic resistance, and did a post doc in bioprospecting leukemia chemotherapeutics.

After 10 years in the industry sector, he established a research group in Uni Research (now NORCE) on applied biotechnology with focus on industrial enzymes, bioprospecting and industrial microalgae development.

Kleivdal is responsible in NORCE for developing industrial biotechnology at the Risavika scale-up facilty, with a particular focus on CCU, gas fermentation and market development.

Øystein Arlov is a senior researcher at SINTEF Industry, Dept. of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine. He holds a PhD in Biotechnology focused on chemically functionalized alginates for biomaterials in tissue engineering.

His main research interest lie in marine biopolymers, including their isolation from marine biomasses (primarily macroalgae), chemoenzymatic modification, functional characterization and application development.

Oxana Eide is a department coordinator at SINTEF Industry, Department for Biotechnology and Nanomedicine.

She holds an Executive Master of Management and has broad work experience with administration and management support.

In the SFI, Oxana will work with management support and administrative support.

Dr. Tonje Heggeset, is a researcher at SINTEF Industry, dept. Biotechnology and Nanomedicine, where she is responsible for the sequencing and bioinformatics infrastructure at the Sustainable Biotechnology and Bioprospecting group.

In the SFI, Heggeset is co-leading research domain 1Digitalization.

Dr. Anne Tøndervik is a senior researcher at SINTEF Industry, Dept. of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine.

She holds experience in enzyme enginering, protein expression, enzymatic tailoring and use of marine polysaccharides and research on fish pathogens.

Manuel Sparta is a senior researcher at NORCE Technology (Modeling and Simulations). He holds a phd in computational chemistry.

His research interests include the application of finite element methods (FEM) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to bring insight and understanding to problems of the process industry.

He will use his expertise in the P7 project on automation and modelling for process control.

Annette Fresvik is a researcher at NORCE Society (Regional Development). She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a specialization in logistics and a master’s degree in innovation and management.

Her main research interest lies in circular economy, sustainability and business surveys.

In the SFI Annette is the project leader of project 6: Techno-economic, LCA and sustainability toolbox.

Susanne Gitlesen is a senior researcher in industrial biotechnology at NORCE.

She has a Techn. Licentiate in Biotechnology and master’s degree in chemical engineering. In addition, she has over 20 years experience with bioproduction, R&D and process development as manager and scientific lead. Her main focus is on fermentation based processes including gas fermentation, bioprocess design and development, up- and down scaling and bioeconomy and circular economy.

Susanne is participating in P5 and P7 on (gas)fermentation and automation of processes.

Antonio García-Moyano is senior researcher at NORCE Marine Biotechnology group, and holds a doctoral phd in molecular biology. He has a background in microbiology and has competence in metagenomic approaches for enzyme discovery as well as synthetic biology methods for strain development.

Within the SFI-IB he is participating in Project no.3 on enzyme discovery and production, and Project no. 4 on the upgrading of food streams by enzymatic processing.

Daniel Machado is Associate Professor of Computational Biology at NTNU. He has a degree in Computer Science and a PhD in Biotechnology. He is experienced in genome-scale metabolic modeling of microbial cell factories.

His current research interests are focused in modeling and multi-omics data integration of microbial communities for the design of synthetic consortia with biotechnological application potential.

In the context of SFI-IB he contributes to Project no. 1, design of microbial cell factories.

Trygve Brautaset is a Professor in Synthetic biology at NTNU. His research focus is on genetic engineering of microorganisms for production of chemicals and compounds from sustainable raw materials, in particular methanol.

He is the leader for NTNU Biotechnology and leader for Centre for Digital Life Norway.

Magne Hillestad is a Professor at the department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU. His main research focus is systematic methods for process design.

He has lead several industrial projects for development and deployment of model predictive control solutions, based on physical models, of both for continuous and batch chemical reactors. He has extensive experience of process modeling, simulation and optimization. Hillestad is responsible for teaching conceptual process design and techno-economical evaluation of process systems.

Within the SFI-IB he will be involved in project no.6.

Prof. Jannike Solsvik is employed at the Department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU. Her research activities include computational- and experimental fluid dynamics applied to bio- and chemical engineering.

She leads projects focusing on complex fluid flow, gas-liquid mass transfer, and bio-reactor design and scale-up. The laboratory mainly base on in-house designed flow facilities and imaging tecniques. The simulations are performed using both comercial software and in-house made program codes. She is a lecturer in thermodynamics.

Within the SFI-IB she is involved in projects no. 5 and 7.

Dr. Volha Shapaval is Associate Professor in Bioprocess technology at the Faculty of Science and Technology, NMBU. She holds PhD in Biophysics and MSc degrees in Applied Microbiology, Bio- and food technology.

Her main expertise is in the field of fungal biotechnology and biospectroscopy. Shapaval’s current research is focused on the production of fungal metapolites (lipids, chitin/chitosan, polyphosphates, pigments), fungal interactions, development of fungal biorefinery processes and developing vibrational spectroscopy techniques for screenings and monitorings of microbial processes.

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