Plenary Speakers

Clariant International, Switzerland

Dr. Martin Vollmer
Clariant International, Switzerland


Martin Vollmer joined Clariant International Ltd in January 2010 as Chief Technology Officer and Head of Group Technology & Innovation. He is responsible for Clariant’s Research & Development as well as for Engineering, IP Management, and New Business Development.


From 2005–2009 he held several management positions within Bayer MaterialScience AG (now Covestro). As Vice President Marketing and Business Development in the Business Unit Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties, he was responsible for the Waterborne Coatings and Adhesives business. Prior to this, he was Research Director for Resins & Aromatics.


Martin Vollmer began his industrial career in 1999 as Laboratory Head, Materials Research within Bayer AG’s Corporate Research. From 2002–2004 he was Senior Manager within Corporate Development/Strategic Planning and worked as Assistant to the CTO of Bayer AG.


He graduated with a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart, Germany in 1996. 1997–1998 he held a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, USA.


Since 2011, Martin Vollmer is a Member of the Board of the Swiss Chemical Society. In 2016, he was also appointed Member of the Board of the German Chemical Society and Member of the Programme Council Research & Innovation of CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council.


He is married, has two children and lives with his family close to Cologne in Germany.

Prof. Klaus Kümmerer
Leuphana University, Germany


Prof. Dr. Klaus Kümmerer is full Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Material Resources and director of the Institute of Sustainable and Environmental Chemistry ( at the public Leuphana University and the director of Research and Education  at  the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3, in Bonn.  Before worked at the Institute of Applied Ecology in Freiburg, was then Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Freiburg Medical Centre and was a Visiting Professor at the Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH, USA).


His interdisciplinary research and teaching is focused on Sustainable Chemistry, Sustainable Pharmacy, Material Resources, Aquatic Environmental Chemistry, and Time in Environmental and Sustainability Research.

He was one of the first studying pharmaceuticals in the environment in the 1990s. For his work on pharmaceuticals in the environment he received the Recipharm International Environment Award (Sweden, 2007). In 2015 he was awarded the “Water Resource Award” of the Rüdiger Kurt Bode-Foundation within the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and 2017 within the competition “Germany – Country of Ideas” (Deutschland – Land der Ideen) for his outstanding work on the Benign by Design concept and protection of water resources.


He has published extensively on these topics in leading peer reviewed scientific journals of different scientific disciplines including many book contributions and (co)edited 10 books. He is founding editor of the scientific journals Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Current Opinion in Sustainable Chemistry as well as associate editor of Chemosphere and Environmental Pollution and member of the editorial board of Materials Today Sustainability.


Klaus Kümmerer served and still serves in many international committees including the prestigious seminal Global Chemical Outlook by UNEP, EU Technology Platform SusChem Europe, the Commission for Water Research of the German research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), and Executive Board of the subdivision of Sustainable Chemistry in the German Chemical Society. He is also organizer of the annual Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference as well as of the annual International Summerschool on Sustainable Chemistry for Sustainable Development.

Prof. Chao-Jun Li
McGill University, Canada


Chao-Jun Li received his Ph.D. at McGill University (1992) and was a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University (92-94). From 1994-2003, he was on the faculty at Tulane University (US) and, in 2003, returned to McGill University, where he holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Green Chemistry and E. B. Eddy Chair of Chemistry.  Currently, he serves as the Co-Director of the FRQNT Center for Green Chemistry and Catalysis (CCVC), and the Associated Editor for Green Chemistry (RSC).  He is a Fellow of the RSC (UK), the Royal Society of Canada, the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC), the AAAS, the ACS, and TWAS.


He has published >400 research articles, 7 books, and has given 400 plenary/keynote/invited lectures.  His research focuses on exploring new chemistry that complements conventional reactivity and possesses high “atom-efficiency” —with a goal towards Green Chemistry. He was listed as one of the World’s Most Highly Cited Scientists by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).

Prof. Nicholas Turner
University of Manchester, UK


Nicholas Turner obtained his DPhil in 1985 with Professor Sir Jack Baldwin and from 1985-1987 was a Royal Society Junior Research Fellow, spending time at Harvard University with Professor George Whitesides. He was appointed lecturer in 1987 at Exeter University and moved to Edinburgh in 1995, initially as a Reader and subsequently Professor in 1998. In October 2004 he joined Manchester University as Professor of Chemical Biology where his research group is located in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology Biocentre (MIB: He is Director of the Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis (CoEBio3) ( and also a co-founder and Scientific Director of Ingenza (, a spin-out biocatalysis company based in Edinburgh and more recently Discovery Biocatalysts. He is a member of the Editorial Board of ChemCatChem and Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis.


His research interests are in the area of Biocatalysis with particular emphasis on the discovery and development of novel enzyme catalysed reactions for applications in organic synthesis. His group are also interested in the application of directed evolution technologies for the development of biocatalysts with tailored functions.


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