External Scientific Advisory Council

Our External Scientific Advisory Council consists of the following members:

Gerard Beenker ir. Gerard Beenker
Independent consultant.
Gerard Beenker has been officially retired since 1 April 2018, but he is still active in a variety of areas. He is for instance one of the members of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Permanent Committee for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure. From 1 September 2014 until his retirement, Gerard Beenker worked at the Innovation Lab of Eindhoven University of Technology, where he was involved in Innovation Strategy and Partnerships. He focused primarily on the application of High Tech in the Agrofood sector [a crossover between the HTSM (High Tech Systems and Materials), AgriFood, Horticulture and Propagation Materials Top Sectors].Previously, he had pursued a career in the high-tech industry. In 1980 he began working as a mathematical engineer at the Philips Physics Laboratory, where, starting in October 1986, he fulfilled a number of management roles.  In January 1999, Beenker was appointed Senior Vice President of Philips Research with responsibility for the Philips Semiconductors research programme. When Philips Semiconductors changed to NXP in 2006, he transformed part of Philips Research into NXP Research, an organisation he headed until November 2008. He was then appointed Scientific Director at NXP, and was responsible for external relations with universities, government agencies and other businesses. In that role he was, among other things, a member of the Confederation of Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) Technology group, member of the Roadmap Team for the HTSM Top Sector, and member of the Technology Science Foundation (STW) Advisory Council. He fulfilled this role until July 2014.
Cees-Buisman-Pic Prof. dr. ir. C.J.N. Buisman
Scientific Director, Wetsus Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology. Cees J.N. Buisman Prof. J.N. Buisman was formerly director at Paques bv, technology & business development. Currently he combines his function as scientific director of Wetsus/TTIW with a professorship in biological recovery and reuse technology in the Environmental Technology department of Wageningen University. Prof. Buisman’s research focuses on new technologies for sustainable water and energy solutions, based on biological and chemical disciplines. He specializes in the biological transfer of anorganic compounds with sulphur, nitrogen and metals through natural bacteria.
Marion Koopmans, PhD
Marion Koopmans (DVM) has completed her training in Veterinary Medicine at the Utrecht University, Veterinary Faculty. She worked as associate professor at the same Faculty to become a specialist in Large Animal Internal Medicine and Nutrition. In parallel, she did a PhD in Veterinary Sciences (Virology; 1990), studying novel enteric viruses and their importance as pathogens for cattle. Koopmans continued to study enteric viruses during a fellowship and as visiting scientist at the Centers for Disease Control from 1991 until 1994, and returned to The Netherlands to become section chief of the enteric virus group at the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). She is coordinator of a European research and surveillance network on enteric viruses, and since 2000 holds the chair of the Virology division of the Diagnostic Laboratory for Infectious Diseases at RIVM. Her responsibilities include reference diagnostics, syndromic surveillance and emergency preparedness for viral diseases, including research aimed at improving the response capacity of a public health lab.In 2006 she was appointed as professor of Public Health Virology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. In 2014 Koopmans accepted the position of Head of department of Viroscience at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. Her research interests include enteric viruses, food-borne infections, emerging disease preparedness, and infections at the human-animal interface, with a particular focus on unraveling mechanisms underlying possible emergence of new health threats and optimizing the early detection and response. She has authored over 300 papers in peer reviewed journals.
Prof. dr. ir. Juliette Legler, ERT
Juliette Legler is Professor of Toxicology and Head of the Division of Toxicology at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. She is also affiliated with the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Faculty of Science, Utrecht University.
Prior to joining IRAS in January 2018, she was employed at Brunel University London, where she was leader of the Environment and Health Theme within Brunel’s Institute for Environment, Health and Societies. She remains affiliated with Brunel as Honorary Professor of Toxicology and Environmental Health. From 2001 to 2015, she worked at the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), where she was appointed Professor of Toxicology and Environmental Health in 2013. She served as Director of the SENSE Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment, a joint venture of the environmental research institutes of ten Dutch universities. Prof. Legler is a European Registered Toxicologist and is President of the Netherlands Society of Toxicology.
Her research focusses on the molecular mechanisms of toxicity of chemicals and the effects of chemical exposure on humans and wildlife. She is particularly interested in understanding the long term health impacts of exposure to environmental chemicals during early development. Her research on the role of developmental exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in health and disease using zebrafish and in vitro models was awarded VENI and VIDI grants from the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research. She coordinated different European Commission-funded research projects, including the current GOLIATH H2020 project on endocrine disrupting chemicals and metabolic disorders.  Prof. Legler was also recently successful in attracting funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW) and leads pioneering research on the exposure and effects of microplastics (and associated EDCs) in the human fetal environment.
In recent years she has become increasingly intrigued by the environmental origins of disease, and how the health of the environment and the health of humans and animals are interconnected (One Health; Planetary Health), concepts she intends to further develop in her research and toxicology teaching at UU. She is currently Programme Leader of the Toxicology and Environmental Health programme of Utrecht’s Graduate School of Life Sciences.
Prof.dr.ir. Zoran Kapelan
Prof Zoran Kapelan is a Chair and Professor of Urban Water Infrastructure in the Water Management Department of Delft University of Technology. Prior to joining TU Delft he was an Academic Lead of the Water and Environment Group at University of Exeter in the UK. He has 30 years of research and consulting experience in water engineering. Prof Kapelan’s research interests and expertise are centred on the development of novel engineering and informatics based technologies addressing a wide range of issues across the urban water cycle with focus on water and wastewater infrastructure systems. Example research areas include smart water and wastewater systems, integrated water management based on nexus and circular economy principles, adaptation of water systems to climate change, asset management, sustainable drainage systems and flood risk management. Prof Kapelan’s work has already resulted in significant impact in engineering practice. He pioneered the award winning technology for automated detection of bursts, equipment failures and other events in distribution systems by using artificial intelligence and big data analytics in real-time. This technology is now used companywide in United Utilities in the UK benefiting its over 7 million customers and leading to major savings via reduced operational costs. Prof. Kapelan is an IWA Fellow, Fellow of CIWEM, member of the EWRI Emerging and Innovative Technologies Task Committee and member of multiple IWA specialist and other groups. He has (co)authored over 400 technical publications.
Gonzalo Delacámara, PhD, MPhil
Gonzalo Delacámara is a Spanish economist working globally (80+ countries: EU, LAC, MENA, Central & South Asia), specialized in the economic management of naturalresources: water, climate, energy, atmospheric pollution, oceans, biological diversity and ecosystem services, etc., with emphasis on their complex linkages to economic and social development. He is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Department of Water Economics at IMDEA Water Institute (Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies). He is also the Academic Director of the Water Economics Forum, a public debate initiative with Nobel Prize Laureates in Economics and the Peace, such as professors George A. Akerlof, Jean Tirole or Mohan Munasinghe. Gonzalo works for multilateral organizations such as the European Commission, of which he is a ‘water policy advisor’ (through its DG Environment, Clean Water Unit), the European Parliament (which he also advises on climate change policy), a number of UN agencies and programs (UN Water, UNESCO, FAO, WHO-PAHO, UNDP, etc.), the World Bank Group (including its 2030 Water Resources Group initiative but also the World Bank itself or the International Finance Corporation, IFC) or the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He is also a Senior Advisor and member of the OECD Water Governance Initiative. Gonzalo teaches at postgraduate level in different institutions worldwide. For instance, he is a Senior Faculty Member at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IaaC), which includes a digital design and manufacturing lab linked to the MIT (FAB LAB BCN). Early in 2018, Gonzalo was appointed as Cluster Leader for the ‘Value of Water’ by the European Water Supply & Sanitation Technological Platform (WssTP), currently Water Europe. He is also a mentor in international support programs for female researchers in Germany (Association of Leibniz Institutes) or the United States of America (Techwomen), and author of numerous books and scientific articles as well as a keynote speaker in global events.