Swiss Power-to-X Collaborative Innovation Network

SPIN DAY Speakers

Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga
Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC

Government Councillor Carmen Walker Späh
Head of the Department for Economic Affairs of the Canton of Zurich

Christian Bach
Head of Department Vehicle Propulsion Systems Empa
After completing his training as an automotive engineer at the University of Applied Sciences in Biel (1984 to 1987), Christian Bach attended further training courses at the Haagen-Smith Laboratory of the California Air Resources Board in El Monte on “Zero- and Near Zero Emission Vehicles”. Christian Bach was then project and group leader for light motor vehicles/motorcycles at Empa – specializing in pollutant reduction and alternative drive systems. Since 2001, he has been head of the Vehicle Propulsion Systems department at Empa and a lecturer in “CAS/MAS Mobility of the Future” at ETH Zurich

Thorsten Herdan
Thorsten Herdan has a broad experience in industry as well as government business. As former Director General Energy in the German Ministry of Economy and Energy and current Chairman of the supervisory board of the first German state-owned fund, he combines financial experience from an industry, government, and asset management perspective. He holds a Dipl.Ing. Degree Mechanical Engineering from the RWTH University of Aachen.

Dr. Philipp Furler
CEO and co-founder of Synhelion
Synhelion is a Swiss cleantech company that produces solar fuels to enable CO2-neutral mobility. Philipp Furler holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from ETH Zurich. In 2018, he completed his Executive MBA at the University of Strathclyde. Dr. Furler has more than ten years of experience in high temperature solar chemistry and reactor engineering. Prior to joining Synhelion, Philipp Furler co-founded the ETH spin-off company Sunredox, which was acquired by Synhelion in 2018.

Dr. Mark Misselhorn
Founder and CEO, CAPHENIA
Mark Misselhorn, who holds a doctorate in economics, has worked as a consultant for UNESCO, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), among others. As a serial entrepreneur, he focuses on the energy transition and acquired Lufthansa, among others, as a long-term development partner. He has been involved with the development of renewable fuels for over 10 years, both with his previous company and since 2018 as founder and CEO of CAPHENIA GmbH.

Martin Bäumle
Member of the National Council, Finance Chairman of the City of Dübendorf and President of SPIN.
After completing his chemistry studies at ETH Zurich and postgraduate studies as an atmospheric scientist, Bäumle worked in the field of air pollutant measurements and analyses, especially of hydrocarbons (VOC) as ozone precursors, and since 2003 ran his own sole proprietorship, Bäumle Messungen und Beratungen. Since 2007 this company is no longer active. On June 3, 2019, he was elected as a representative of the city of Dübendorf to the Board of Trustees of Innovationspark Zürich.

Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltschmitt
graduated in Petroleum Engineering and received his Doctor Engineer in the field of renewable energies. Afterwards he headed a research group in the field of biomass / renewable energy at Stuttgart University where he did his Habilitation. After a research stay at King’s College in London and at the University of California at Berkeley he became the managing director of the Leipziger Institute for Energy. In 2006 he has been promoted to a full professor at Hamburg University of Technology where he is heading the Institute of Environmental Technology and Energy Systems (IUE). He published more than 15 scientific books and more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in scientific magazines in the field of renewable energy.

Prof. Dr. Kaltschmitt has prepared his presentation together with Prof. Dr. Aigner, but will present it alone.

Liv Minder
Investment Promotion Director at Switzerland Global Enterprise
Liv Minder holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Zurich, has many years of in-depth experience in foreign trade, in particular in the development and expansion of international business relations and investments, and spent 5 years in a leading position, among other things, for the development of the Investment Promotion Department at the Swiss Embassy in Beijing. Today, Ms. Minder is responsible for 10 focus markets for inbound investments into Switzerland.

Dieter Vranckx
has been CEO of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) since the beginning of 2021.
The dual Belgian-Swiss citizen has 20 years of experience in various leadership roles in commercial aviation and was CEO of Brussels Airlines prior to his appointment as SWISS CEO. Under his leadership, SWISS has set itself an ambitious sustainability agenda. To achieve its climate targets, SWISS plans, among other things, to significantly expand its use of sustainable fuels over the next few years. Given the limited availability of biogenic raw materials, SWISS is particularly committed to promoting renewable synthetic fuels.

Yves Malherbe
Head of Renewables Manufacturing Business Development Varo Energy
Yves Malherbe is a Chemical Engineer with PHD in Chemistry, EPFL, has been working for 25 years in various positions such as Refinery Director, Business Development and Trading in the international environment. For the last 2 years, he has focused exclusively on transforming Varo Energy into a hydrocarbon and renewable energy company. Yves Malherbe is Renewable Manufacturing Director and focuses on developing production solutions for biofuels, green hydrogen and PtL.

Dr. Thomas Rothacher
Deputy Chief of Armaments and Head of Competence Area Science and Technology Federal Office for Defence Procurement armasuisse
Dr. Rothacher, who holds a doctorate in physics and has completed various additional training courses in Switzerland and abroad, has been working in armasuisse Science and Technology for over 20 years. He has headed this DDPS technology center since 2013, and since 2020 he has also been Deputy Head of Armaments. In his role, he is responsible for the military research program and drives forward technical innovations for the armed forces with his 150-strong team. One important topic is energy efficiency and the sustainable energy supply for military systems.

Dr. René Burkhard
Head of the “Market Switzerland”
Dr. René Burkhard holds a master’s degree in materials engineering and an NDS in business administration from ETH Zurich, earned his doctorate in environmental engineering in 1995, and brings over 30 years of experience in plant engineering, power generation and environmental technology. Since 2020, he has been Head of the “Market Switzerland” business unit at Repower and is responsible for photovoltaics, electromobility (PLUG’N ROLL brand), and digitalization and smart meters (EVUlution), and is also a member of SATW (Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences).

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