Looking back at a successful and very sunny 2023 summer school!

Sunny start

During this 3-day event in which temperatures rose to 30 degrees we followed a fun and interesting program while we travelled from Amsterdam to Dordrecht and finally to Moerdijk.

Starting off at Shell we were welcomed by Peter Klusener, our host of that day, who organized a great varied program. Evren Unsal gave a welcoming talk after which we all changed into our lab outfits for an extensive tour at the labs. Shell employees joined us for lunch combined with a poster session.

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The afternoon was filled with lectures by ARC CBBC alumna Sanjana Chandrashekar, Sipke Wadman, Garo Vaporciyan, David Pinilla Garcia.

Also, Simone Kranendonk from the Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam joined to give a talk about ETCA which sparkled an active discussion. Peter Klusener concluded the day and we then all headed off to restaurant the Pllek at the NSDM Island for a great BBQ!

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Community building

After dinner, a bus took us to Dordrecht where the next day in the morning Richard van de Sanden (TU/e) talked about plasma. The electrification of chemical conversion processes by means of plasma-assisted non-thermal processes.

Until lunch we took the time to get to know each other better. Enjoying coffee and snacks we did a session entitled science speed dating. We told each other about our research and expertise and of course also introduced ourselves personally.

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The lab infrastructure which is a unique aspect of the ARC CBBC community was extensively highlighted by Ali Fathiganjehlou (TU/e), Andries Jensma (RUG) and Sofie Ferwerda (UU).

We emphasized that the ARC CBBC equipment is available for all our students!

In the afternoon Nong Artrith (UU) took the stage to talk about machine learning: (Machine) Learning What Makes Catalysts Good.

For something completely different, we were happy that also Derk Loorbach from Erasmus University visited our summer school to talk about the energy transition from a socio economic perspective: A Radical Green Chemistry Transition?

Finally Fausto Gallucci closed the day with a lecture about Membranes and Membrane reactors for process intensification.

We then had the time to enjoy the great weather during a lovely boat trip and a guided tour through the beautiful city of Dordrecht.


Throwing some numbers

Arriving at Shell Moerdijk on the third day, Joep Kiewiet was already waiting for us to welcome us all and to give us, including our bus driver, a safety training.

After coffee and cookies, Richard Zwinkels, General Manager Shell Moerdijk gave a welcome talk followed by Cathleen Schepers and Joep who ‘throwed some numbers about Moerdijk’. 360ha = as big as 720 soccer fields, 900 employees and 500 contracters!

We got an overview of the chemical plants and played a Q&A game

Guillo Schrader, who has been working for Shell for 20 years and currently works as an Energy and CO2 lead, meaning that he is involved in finding the pathway to NetZero emissions, gave a presentation about a career in Shell as PhD.

Next up The Technology Manager of Shell Moerdijk, Sami Sapmaz, elaborated about the Moerdijk strategy giving a clear overview of the plans for the future.

You work here safely, or you don't work here

After lunch we got into our safety outfit. Red work overalls, helmet, gloves, earplugs, safety shoes and safety glasses. All dressed up we were briefed about factory specific information about the process and how to behave when entering a plant.

After a very impressive tour around and on top of the roof of the reactor with an impressive view over the site we hopped back on our bicycles for a tour over the Moerdijk site.

With 26 degrees outside it was a warm but a very cool day at Shell Moerdijk!