Keynote Speakers

Dr. Rüdiger Mertsch 

Presentation title:  "New solutions for Coatings: Taking you on a journey from current developments to future trends and beyond"


Dr. Rüdiger Mertsch studied Chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz/Germany and earned his doctorate in the field of Polymer Chemistry in 1993. After holding two positions in the Coating Industry Mertsch moved to Evonik in 1998. There he was initially responsible for Research and Technical Service for inorganic products in the Coatings industry and then group leader for pigment blacks. In 2006 he became Head of Applied Technology Coatings and Printing Inks. 

In 2012 Mertsch became Director of Applied Technology Specialty Silica responsible for  the Industries Coatings, Health and Consumer Care as well as Nutrition and Agrochemicals.From 2015 until end    of 2018 he moved to China/Shanghai and was appointed Vice President of R&D and AT Asia Pacific for Silica and Silanes and later for Coatings Additives. 2019 he became Head of the Evonik Competence Center Smart Surface Solution where Evonik is focusing on holistic innovation research for Anti Microbial, Anti Fouling, Anti icing and Easy to clean solutions. End of 2020 Dr Mertsch was nominated to become Global Head of Applied Research and Technology Industrial and Automotive within the Business Unit Coating Additives.

 Dr. Bart Erich

Presentation title: Solar control coatings for heat harvesting of building façades

Dr. Ir. Erich received his Ph.D. degree in physics at the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2006 in the group Transport in Permeable Media (TPM). His PhD work focused at NMR imaging of curing processes in alkyd coatings. Since 2006 he is working both at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the group Transport in Permeable Media (TPM) and at TNO -the Dutch organization of applied research. At TNO his work focuses at innovations of materials for the built environment, with special focus on coating research, transport processes and on release of active ingredients (such as biocides) in building materials.

In recent year the focus has moved towards energy related topics, such as solar heat harvesting panels, as well as energy storage. He is currently coordinator of the European Horizon 2020 project “ENVISION”, which focusses at developing energy harvesting solutions for the building skin. In this project together with AkzoNobel they have been developing solar heat harvesting coatings. In 2019 the EU Horizon 2020 project “HEAT-INSYDE” started, focussing at storing heat in a thermochemically based heat battery.


Andre van Linden                                      


​​​​​​Presentation title: "Creating Value through Innovation and Collaboration"

Andre van Linden graduated from Technical University Delft in Technology of Macromolecular Substances in 1986 after which he joined Akzo as researcher. After a few roles in decorative paints as lab manager he became marketing manager in the representative office in Moscow in 1995.
After three years in Russia he was active for another 10 years in the Netherlands as (Sr.) Marketing Manager, being responsible for color, innovation and labelling. In 2008 he became R&D Director for Decorative Paints in North and Eastern Europe, with a category lead role for woodcare. In 2010 he became global R&D director for many Decorative categories and in 2017 Director Coatings Technology Akzo-Nobel, responsible for all (company-wide) innovative research and university collaborations.
He is chairman of many groups like ISO TC/35 (Paints and Varnishes); Topsector Chemistry Advanced Materials; Dutch paints technologist association (NVVT) and the Board Member of FATIPEC Federation.


Dr. Thomas Rudolf May

Presentation title: What is the appropriate response of the coatings industry with regard to the ongoing process of reclassification of compounds?


Dr May studied physics at University Bremen and safety engineering at Technical academy Berlin. He worked for University Bremen in the years 1979-1982. In the years 1984-2017 he worked for Herberts GmbH / DuPont Performance Coatings GmbH / Axalta Coating Systems Germany GmbH at Wuppertal/Germany as Commissioner for customer related environmental protection and product stewardship coordinator. Task details: support of industrial and professional customers (users of coatings) with regard to permits, emission control, industrial hygiene, safety, waste and waste water management, life cycle engineering, export control, food and drinking water contact, REACH implementation. Since May 2017 he is independent consultant Environmental protection, health and safety. Dr May was taking part in various technical working groups, committies and networks, of European and German associations. He is the author of many publications and presentations.


Dr. Tomasz Zieliński

Presentation title: Trends and challenges – new business model of chemical Industry in Europe

Dr Zielinski graduated from the Warsaw University of Technology at Faculty of Construction, Mechanics and Petrochemicals under the chemical technology specialization.

He was an Assistant Professor in Industrial Chemistry Research Institute in Warsaw,  worked for PKN ORLEN SA as a Chief of COO’s Office and Managing Director of the Centre of Innovations and Technological Investments Ltd. and Director of Department of Technological Investments in AKJ Capital S.A.  In 2009 he became a Vice-President of the Board of Chemical Company  “Police” S.A.  and from 2010 he was an Executive Member of the Board of Anwil S.A. (PKN ORLEN GROUP) and  a President of the Board of Chemeko Ltd. (Anwil Group). He was a Board Member  of the Fertilizers Europe.

Dr Zielinski is a Board Member of the European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) and Global Advisory Board Member of World Refining Association. He is a member of many chemical associations including American Chemical Society. He is a Council Member of Polish Chamber of Commerce and Presidium Member of Committee of Chemistry in Polish Academy of Sciences.

Since 2013, he is a President of the Board of the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry.



 Dr. Jaap Akkerman

Presentation title: 36 years paint and resin innovation

Dr. Jaap Akkerman started as resin chemist in 1980 at Sikkens in Sassenheim. He obtained his PhD in organic chemistry in 1982 at the University of Amsterdam. After 5 years of innovative research in companies Synthese and Sikkens (later Akzo),  he became manager of the Laboratory for Decorative Waterborne Coatings, Innovative Lab for Decorative Coatings and  finally manager of the Technology Center for Pigments and Pigment Dispersing Agents as well as the Technology Center of Effect Coatings at Akzo Nobel  in Sassenheim. In the next steps of his career he became R & D Manager Surface Coating Resins Europe and later Technical Development Manager, taking care of implementation of new technologies, at Akzo Nobel Resins in Bergen op Zoom.

In January 2005 Akzo Nobel Resins became Nuplex Resins and dr Akkerman until his pension in 2017, became principal chemist. He performed more than 50 presentations and publications, 5 patents and won several prices on coatings conferences. For over 7 years he is board member of the NVVT, the Dutch paint technician association.