Early Stage Researchers
Our ESRs Team
Francesca Chiara Destaso
I have a Master’s degree in Chemical Science and I carried out a four-months research fellowship on developing bio-based phytosanitary products at University of Ferrara (Italy). My main expertise is on sustainable organic synthesis, bio-based polymers and valorization of natural compounds. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and at University of Bordeaux, and my research is focused on the design of sustainable synthesis of polyamines from fatty acid derivatives and polyols as monomers for non-isocyanate polyurethanes.
Research project: Design and synthesis of novel (poly)amines derived from fatty acid derivatives and polyols
I was born in Palermo in 1997. I obtained my Bachelor of Science (2019) at the University of Palermo, Italy. From March to August 2019, I worked as a researcher volunteer at the Nanocatalytic materials lab at the same university. After that, in September 2019, I started my Master of Science in chemistry which has been concluded in July 2021 in the aforementioned institute. My fields of interest have been Fast Field Cycling Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (FFC-NMR), nanosponge materials and photocatalytic materials for environmental applications. I am currently a MSCA Ph.D. student at Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier and at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where I am working on the synthesis of novel cyclic carbonates and thiocarbonates for the synthesis of non-isocyanate polyurethanes.
Research project: Synthesis of activated carbonate
I have a Master in Materials Science and Engineering from the Federal University of Campina Grande (Paraíba/Brazil). From 2018 to 2021, I carried out my research at the Federal University of Campina Grande in partnership with Fraunhofer IFAM (Bremen/Germany) on the Development of Biodegradable Biobased Thermoplastics. My main expertise is on reaction kinetics (crystallization, curing, and degradation) of polymeric materials, blends, and polymer matrix composites. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of Bordeaux and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. My position concerns the design of NIPUs through transfer reactions and complementary reactions. I published 17 refereed papers (h-index = 7).
Research project: Design of NIPUs through transfer reactions and complementary reactions
Conscious of the importance and the urgency of minimizing the impacts associated with production processes, I truly believe that chemistry should lead the progress by focusing on sustainable development and circular economy principles. I have had the pleasure to study at the University of Bologna, where I obtained my BSc and MSc in Industrial Chemistry. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of Liège and at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Specifically, I am developing innovative and sustainable NIPUs starting from bio-renewable reagents, and the resulting polymers will be exploited for preparing adhesives and coatings from solvent-free and water-based formulations.
Research project: Synthesis of functional NIPU oligomers and applications for water- or solvent-free based coatings/adhesives
I graduated in Chemistry at the University of Liège (ULIEGE, Belgium) in 2020. My master thesis (ULIEGE, Belgium) and abroad research traineeship (UBORDEAUX, France) were dedicated to the investigation of isocyanate-free polyurethane materials, and more particularly their self-foaming potential. I applied to this program after one more year of research activity on NIPU foaming and recycling. I am interested in the development of sustainable alternatives to conventional polymer materials. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of Bordeaux and at the University of Liège. My current research project aims at investigating innocuous foaming-means for NIPUs, starting mainly from bio- and CO2-based precursors.
Research project: New strategy to produce NIPU foams from reactive formulations
I have completed my master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Ulsan. I started my research with molecular dynamic simulation of metal particles, and then continued experimental research on photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants and hydrogen production. I also have experience in job analysis and preparing job and training standards for industrial employees. My interests are green chemistry, sustainability, and smart organizations. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of Liège and at the University of the Basque Country, specifically working on recycling and upcycling of NIPUs through innovative methods.
Research project: NIPUs recycling and upcycling
Katherine A. Gouveia Jovel
I am a Materials Engineer graduated from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela. During my career, I studied a year abroad at Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto in the M.Sc. in Materials Engineering and Metallurgy. Later, I worked at the Hilti AG innovation center in Liechtenstein, where I studied the corrosion performance of duplex and metallic coatings that were exposed to atmospheric corrosion for 7 years in Mexico and China. I’m driven by intelligently creating and designing sustainable materials to transition to a greener world. Currently I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of Mons and at the University of Montpellier, studying the synthesis and foaming of novel NIPUs by continuous reactive extrusion.
Research project: Synthesis and foaming of novel NIPUs by continuous reactive extrusion
I obtained my master’s degree (bi-national) in sustainable materials, polymer sciences from the University of Freiburg, Germany and the University of Strasbourg, France. For my master’s research, I worked on developing ultra-strong bio-inspired nanocomposite materials through layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly which was conducted at the France National Research Institute (CNRS), Strasbourg. Upon completion, I decided to engage in doctoral-level research to further my knowledge and experience in biocomposite research. I am interested in bio-based materials, green chemistry, and sustainability-related research as I believe that these topics make a huge impact on the sustainable development of society. Additionally, I am an experienced executive in the textile industry and have worked for more than three years with two of the largest apparel manufacturing companies in South Asia. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and at University of Mons, working on a project focused on developing biocomposites on the basis of Non-isocyanate polyurethanes (NIPU) and nanocellulose.
Research project: Development of biocomposites on basis of NIPU
I obtained my master’s and bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Resource Conservation – Biological Materials Division from National Taiwan University. For my master’s research, I worked on nanocellulose reinforced waterborne polyurethane nanocomposites, and I’ve participated in nanocellulose-related projects, including cellulose nanofiber-based aerogel production and nanocellulose polymeric composites for artwork conservation. I was a former researcher at University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) in 2020-2021 where I researched the resin-free bonding of microfibrillated wood fibers and fiberboards. My research interests cover nanocellulose, nanocellulose reinforced composites, and biopolymers. I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the University of Bordeaux. My current research focuses on functionalized nanocellulose for waterborne NIPUs, with a particular emphasis on Pickering emulsion formation, including interface aspects and dispersion considerations.
Research project: Functionalized nanocellulose for waterborne NIPU
I completed my Bachelor studies at the University of Bologna in 2019 with a thesis on the development of biobased, super amphiphilic vitrimers carried out in an Erasmus framework at the University of Groningen (NH). Interested in knowing more about sustainability, polymers, and their relation, I enrolled at KU Leuven. After completing an Internship at the Adolphe Merkle Institute in Fribourg (CH) in the field of supramolecular polymers, I graduated in 2021 with a thesis exploring the synthesis of novel hyperbranched polymers with applications in catalysis. I am currently a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of the Basque Country and at the University of Liège, developing inks for additive manufacturing employing CO2-based, non-isocyanate polyurethane chemistry. Other than being involved in research, I am interested in sustainable development, ranging from societal issues, food innovation to novel technologies, and has been passionate about the environment and its protection since childhood.
Research project: Room temperature UV curable NIPUs for 3-D manufacturing using photobase generators
Awarded by a mechanical engineering degree from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Toulouse (France), I sharpened my interest in bio-based and natural materials through my master thesis at the FEMTO-ST institute (Besançon) in mechanical characterisation of flax/epoxy laminates for smart applications (Structural Health Monitoring). Greener routes to achieved sustainable structural composites are a key point for the future and the NIPU offers the opportunity to get low footprint high quality materials. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of Mons and at the University of the Basque Country. My research activity in this project aims to develop structural NIPU-based composite materials from poly(hydroxy)urethane and natural/biobased fillers and fibres. Mechanical characterisation, processability and improvement of the cross-linking are investigated.
Research project: Design of structural NIPU-based materials
I obtained a bachelor and a master degree in chemistry, science of matter at the University of Montpellier, in France. During these years, I studied abroad at the « Universidad Complutense » in Madrid as part of Erasmus program during 6 months. I developed a real interest for environmental sciences and more particularly in environmental chemistry and polymers. This is why I did my master internship in the area of biosourced polymer, and applied on the NIPU’s project. Currently, I am a MSCA Ph.D. student at the University of the Basque Country and at the University of Montpellier, working on the design of isocyanate free polyhydroxyurethane vitrimers for recycling applications. After the thesis, my professional goal is to perform academic research on polymers that are more sustainable.
Research project: Design of isocyanate-free polyhydoxyurethane vitrimers for recycling applications