Carlos came in 2009 from Panamá to Wageningen for an MSc in Biotechnology, with a specialisation in Process Technology. Before coming to the university, he studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Costa Rica.
Could you tell us more about your work experience after your master’s?
"During my master’s, I focused on recovering valuable compounds from waste streams. However, I was always interested to learn about the market of those products and the main requirements for their introduction. To learn about this, I went to work at a chemical company (Hexion) in Pernis, Rotterdam for a couple of years.
After that, I came back to Wageningen to work for a start-up company before starting my PhD at the Bioprocess Engineering Group at Delft University of Technology. During my PhD, we worked on a separation technology to recover carboxylic acids from diluted aqueous waste streams. We developed a new technology that upgrades the carboxylic acids to valuable products in a two-step system."
What is your current job? Is this what you always wanted to do?
"After my PhD, I decided to find a way to bring our newly developed technology to the market. Instead of finding a job at a company, I decided to start my own company. I came back to Wageningen and started a part-time postdoc at the Biobased Chemistry and Technology Group at WUR. And I started my start-up Greencovery B.V. with the support of StartLife.
Greencovery enables leading food companies to produce sustainable ingredients from their production side-streams. We help our customers to reach their sustainability goals and reduce their CO2-emissions while upcycling value from their side-streams. These are really exciting times for our young company, and it is something that I always wanted to do, bring a scientific breakthrough to market implementation."
How did studying at Wageningen University & Research prepare you for your career?
"The influence that Wageningen University has on my career and our start-up is notorious. At Greencovery, we want to contribute to a sustainable world by facilitating the production of high-quality ingredients from side-streams. And this is something learned during my studies.
Back then we focus to apply technology to solve important sustainability problems. During my master’s, I learned to collaborate and work towards improving the quality of life for people everywhere. That combination of applied and technical focus is what makes Wageningen University so special."