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Speakers' biographies

Ewa Abramiuk-Lété
Secretary-General, European Fuel Oxygenates Association (EFOA)

Ewa Abramiuk-Lété is the secretary-general of the European Fuel Oxygenates Association (EFOA), a Sector Group of Cefic’s Petrochemicals Europe, which represents the voice of European producers of clean and efficient blending components of petrol called fuel ethers. Fuel ethers, including bio-MTBE, bio-ETBE, bio-TAME and bio-TAEE, are key components for producing high octane fuels. They increase petrol’s performance, while reducing the emissions of air pollutants. Before joining EFOA, Ewa was an advisor to a wide range of corporate clients in the energy and transport sectors at renowned public affairs agencies. Ewa also worked for many NGOs and think tanks both in Warsaw and Belgium as well as for the European Commission’s DG Transport and Energy (TRAN) and the Polish Ministry of Economics. A Polish national, Ewa has a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy and a post graduate education in economics and social studies. Ewa studied at Collegium Civitas and Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) in Poland, as well as Uppsala University in Sweden.


Eleni Athanasopoulou
Research Fellow, Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens (NOA), Greece

Born in Athens, Greece, in 1976. Holds a Bachelor Degree in Geology (NKUA, 2000), an M.Sc. degree in Environmental Physics (2003) and a Doctorate in Physics (2009) in the Physics dept. of the same univ. Her Ph.D. Thesis was upon the inorganic aerosol chemistry (incl. heterogeneous) during anthropogenic and natural interaction of pollutants over Greece (funded scholarship). Conducted parallel research within the activities of the Numerical applications in the atmosphere Group at the Environmental Physics & Meteorology Division of the same dept. and univ. Worked as a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (IMK-TRO) during 2010-2011 in the field of secondary organic aerosol modeling. She then took a post doctoral grant (2012-2015) for the project “Chemical and physical processes of atmospheric Aerosol over the Aegean Sea during Etesian and Saharan events” (Action: "Support of Postdoctoral Researchers", co-financed by EU & GR), at the NKUA in collaboration to Manchester Univ., UK. She has participated in 18 research projects, published 11 articles (8 as a first author) in peer reviewed journals and 23 articles in conference proceedings. She is a member of the APCG group (IERSD/NOA) since 2011, conducting research on the impact of pollution extremes (e.g. wild fires, domestic heating, dust intrusions) on aerosol composition and meteorology. She is a contract lecturer (2017-2018) for the undergraduate course "Atmospheric Pollution", at the Physics Dept, University of Patras (Greece).


Galin Bonev
Founder and CEO, Eljoy bikes

Galin Bonev is founder and CEO of Eljoy bikes. He founded the company in 2015 with the mission to make cities better and healthier places to live by reducing air pollution caused by cars. He provides a faster, more accessible and sustainable alternative to motorized vehicles used in cities by tailor-made design and local manufacturing of electric bicycles. His latest project is the development of an electric bicycles sharing system for public use, which can accelerate the transition to a truly sustainable mode of city transport.
Before founding Eljoy bikes, Galin was a financial auditor at Deloitte for six years, where he worked with multinational companies from different industries. After that he worked for six years as head of reporting and controlling for a Bulgarian holding company with more than a billion annual consolidated revenues. He is an expert in International Financial Reporting Standards. Galin has a master’s degree in international finance and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Economics in Varna, Bulgaria.


Jean-Marc Brimont
Head of Brussels Office, GRTgaz

Jean-Marc Brimont has 16 years’ experience in the energy business with a focus on gas infrastructures.


Daniel Calleja
Director General, Directorate-General for the Environment, European Commission

Daniel Calleja has a very broad experience in the Commission having worked in many different areas since 1986. Before joining DG ENV on 1st September 2015, Mr Calleja was Director General of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs till 31st August 2015. Previously, from February 2011 to January 2012, he was the Deputy Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry, and Special Envoy for SMEs. Mr Calleja was Director for Air Transport at the European Commission from November 2004 to February 2011, in charge of the single European aviation market, safety and security issues, and its external dimension. He has successfully negotiated, on behalf of the E.U., the EU-US Open Skies Agreement. From 1993 to 2004 he worked in different positions in the cabinets of several Commissioners, including the President of the European Commission, advising on Transport and Competition matters, State Aids and the application of Community Law. Mr. Calleja was the Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Marcelino Oreja, responsible for institutional affairs, and for the Amsterdam Treaty negotiations. He was also the Head of Cabinet of the Vice-president of the European Commission, Mrs. Loyola de Palacio, in charge of Transport and Energy between 1999 and 2004. During her mandate he contributed to the development of some key files like the maritime safety packages, the first EU Directive on renewables and the launch of the Galileo programme. He started his career in the Commission as Member of the Legal Service between 1986 and 1993, representing the institution in numerous cases before the European Court of Justice. His background is in Law and Business Administration.


SOLVAir Regulation and Business Development Manager, Solvay S.A, France

Pierluigi Cassaghi is a chemist. He has worked on flue gas cleaning since 1987 as part of the team that discovered and developed the use of sodium bicarbonate for acid gas mitigation. Having developed and adapted the process to most of the industrial process, he obtained some patents concerning the flue gas treatment and the recycling of the residues. He is following the evolution of environmental regulation as part of some TWG (EU Technical Working Groups like CWW, LCP, WT, WI) in charge of the revision of BREFs under IED Directive.


Dermott Crombie
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Ingersoll Rand

With a life-long interest in environmental matters, Dermott Crombie earned his PhD for work on refrigerants to replace CFCs (following the original Montreal Protocol). Today he chairs Ingersoll Rand’s Global Refrigerants Council. He has worked around the globe in several commercial roles, and is a member of London’s Heavy Goods Vehicles Transport Committee, working on their LoCITY initiative. He is also a member of the ISO 20854 WG on next-generation flammable refrigerants.


Joana Cruz
Policy Advisor for environmental affairs, EUROCITIES

Joana Cruz has served as a policy advisor for environmental affairs at EUROCITIES since March 2016, where she works on a range of environmental policy topics such as air quality, energy, noise, waste, circular economy and biodiversity. She attends the air quality urban partnership as part of the urban agenda for the EU. Before joining EUROCITIES, Joana worked in Brussels for over five years, including in the European Parliament, where she closely followed the national emission ceiling institutional negotiations. She graduated from University of Warwick and completed her master’s in European Business from ESCP Europe.


Neno Dimov
Minister for Environment and Water, Bulgaria

Neno Dimov has an extensive career in the environmental field, with expertise covering both national and EU environmental issues. He is currently the minister of environment and water of the Republic of Bulgaria. Prior to becoming environment minister, he held managing positions with the Bulgarian Environment Ministry, the Executive Environment Agency and other environment bodies. Mr Dimov has been a member of the Managing Board of the European Environment Agency (1997-2002), as well as the General Assembly of the Regional Environmental Center in Szentendre, Hungary. He has participated in more than 20 international conferences and projects, and has been a guest lecturer at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the European Institute, and the Regional Economic Development Institute, among other organisations. He holds a master’s degree in mathematics and a PhD in physics.


Danail Danailov
Member of the Board (responsible for strategy and business development), Speedy JSC

Dani Danailov has 24 years of extensive experience in business and finance with an emphasis on equity investment, consulting and privatisation, and stock markets and macroeconomic analysis. In 2012, Dani joined Speedy JSC’s Board of Directors and was actively involved in the development of the strategic relationship with GeoPost, regional partnerships in Romania and Greece, the design of new business segments, the network development of Speedy, and the entrance of the company on the Bulgarian capital market. For 12 years Dani worked for SEAF (a US-based private equity management company) in the Balkan region in the field of private equity and has developed specific experience in a variety of industries including energy (LPG distribution, engineering solutions), paper product production, stationery product distribution, electronics production, waste processing and recycling, food processing, food services, and renewable energy. From 1998 to 2000 Dani worked with Brno Broker Group (a Czech brokerage and investment advisory company) in Bulgaria. Initially he was a broker; later he was involved as a consultant on privatisation projects in energy and media. From 1996 to 1998 Dani was an economist with the Agency for Economic Analysis and Forecasting within the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance. Mr Danailov holds an MSc in Finance from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he studied from 1992 to 1996.


Peter Demeyer
Senior Scientific Advisor, Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Research (ILVO), Government of Flanders

Peter Demeyer started in 2005 at ILVO, as Environmental Technology group leader. He coordinated mainly project oriented research on (1) characterization of emissions from livestock production and (2) testing existing & developing new mitigating technologies at farm level. He is currently active as senior scientific advisor at ILVO on aerial emissions from livestock and sustainable agricultural production techniques. Since 2014 he chairs the Scientific Team that advises the Flemish minister on regulation of low emission animal housing systems. Since 2012 he is founding and core-group member of VEMIS, which is the Flemish consortium for knowledge building on aerial emissions from livestock production. Peter Demeyer has a master and PhD degree in Agricultural Sciences (Ghent University, Belgium).


Anna Engleryd
Chair, UNECE Air Convention (CLRTAP)

Anna has devoted her entire career to environmental issues. Since 15 years she is employed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency where she works with international air pollution issues and has been active representing Sweden in international negotiations on air pollution under various fora. Previously she worked with energy efficiency at the Swedish Energy Administration and before that spent a period at the French research institute CIRED (Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement). She holds a Master of Science in Agronomy from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and a DEA (diplôme d'études approfondies) from the French IFP Institute (École nationale supérieure du pétrole et des moteurs).
Since December 2014 she is Chair of the Executive Body to the UNECE Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution.


Elena Gatcheva
VP Strategic Partnerships at International Power Supply AD, Bulgaria

Elena Gacheva is vice president of strategic partnerships at International Power Supply AD with over 17 years of experience in international business and sales. Elena is implementing the international market expansion strategy for the most advanced internationally recognized hybrid (off-grid) system EXERON ( – ees Award winner, patent pending in USA. With 28 years of experience in the power supply area, a military certification and a footprint in 58 countries, IPS is targeting companies worldwide to integrate the company’s innovative power solutions for mini- and smart-grids, defense, oil & gas and telecom areas


Vincenzo Gente
Senior Project Adviser, Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), European Commission

In the Horizon 2020 Environment and Resources Unit, Vincenzo Gente is contributing to the management and implementation of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Specifically, he is coordinating and supervising several horizontal activities related to eco-innovation and circular economy. He first joined the European Commission in 2010, where he served as a policy officer in the Eco-innovation Unit of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Vincenzo Gente obtained a PhD in raw material engineering and environmental protection at the University of Rome La Sapienza.


Salem Gharbia
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University College Dublin

Salem Gharbia is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Planning and Environmental Policy at the University College Dublin (UCD) based on the iSCAPE ‘Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe’ Horizon-2020 project.
Salem Gharbia has a PhD in environmental engineering from Trinity College Dublin. His area of interest is integrated environmental dynamic systems modelling using GIS platform and machine learning techniques.
In the context of iSCAPE, Dr Gharbia works on guidelines to promote passive methods for improving urban air quality under climate change conditions, in addition to the process of applying, monitoring and evaluation of physical passive control systems interventions to reduce the personal exposure of air pollution.


Dr. Tunç Görüney
Corporate Energy and Environmental Manager, Şişecam

Dr Görüney currently serves as Şişecam Group’s Energy and Environmental Manager where he is in charge of integrating new energy and emissions technologies with glass melting furnaces. Before joining Şişecam, he led a new offering development for the global glass industry at a US-based, Fortune-500 industrial gas company, Air Products. During his two years with Şişecam, he led a EUR 4.3 million project co-funded by the European Commission’s LIFE 2012 programme in Bulgaria and was recently awarded a LIFE 2016 project there, with a total budget of EUR 2.8 million, to further improve the energy and environmental performance of tableware glass manufacturing. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and has numerous publications in his field, including patents on oxy-fuel combustion.


Andrzej Gula
Co-founder,, Polish Smog Alert and President, Institute of Environmental Economics

Graduated from the Krakow University of Economics, Andrzej Guła, co-founder of Krakow Smog Alert – an initiative undertaken by Krakovians fighting for an improvement in air quality - and the leader of Polish Smog Alert, which unites clean air grassroots from Poland. He is an expert in energy efficiency and environmental protection. He is working in environmental protection for over 20 years. An advisor to numerous institutions: ministries, local administration in Poland and abroad, international institutions such as the World Bank, JASPERS, European Investment, Bank, OECD.


Mariyana Hamanova
Founder and Managing Partner, Cleantech Bulgaria

Mariyana is Co-Founder and Co-Chairperson of Cleantech Bulgaria. She has wide experience in leading complex international projects in the field of sustainable innovation and tech start up establishment and consulting. Most of the projects are based on collaboration with large cross-national groups of organizations, universities, clusters and innovation networks, as well with business incubators, accelerators and VCs with focus on cleantech. Mariyana graduated University of Konstanz, Germany with focus on sociology and organizational development and holds a MBA degree from FOM Essen, Germany and Technical University Sofia, Bulgaria. Mariyana is also one of the founders of Back2BG – an initiative dedicated to Bulgarian specialists and students abroad. She is a co-organizer of the most important career fair in Bulgaria – “Career in Bulgaria. Why not?” focused on professional development of Bulgarians with international education and experience.


Dolores Hidalgo
R&D Projects Scientific Manager, Fundación CARTIF

Dr. Dolores Hidalgo is currently R&D Projects Scientific Manager at the Environment and Biofuels Area in CARTIF Technology Centre and associated researcher of the ITAP Institute (University of Valladolid). Dr. Hidalgo studied Chemical Engineering at Valladolid University where she received her Doctor degree in 1999. She has a degree in Environmental Technology received in 1993 and a degree in Finances received in 2004. Coordinator of numerous research projects, she is the author of over 50 articles, more than 70 papers at international conferences, organizer of a number of workshops and inventor of 3 patents.


Iravan Hira
Chairman, Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum
Managing Director, Hewlett Packard Bulgaria and Hewlett Packard Global Delivery Bulgaria Center

Iravan Hira has been the Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Bulgaria and Hewlett Packard Global Delivery Bulgaria Center for more than six years. Under his leadership, Hewlett Packard Bulgaria has been positioned among the top leaders in the IT sector in the country and achieves significant business results (taking the Bulgarian branch of the company to the leading position in Central and Eastern Europe). Iravan has worked in Hewlett Packard Bulgaria since the company was established in the country in 1998, and has held various sales and management positions. He has special expertise in the field of new business development, sales management and corporate transformation. He has been honored with membership of the ‘Achievers Club’ of global Hewlett Packard Company twice, in recognition of his professional success. Among Iravan Hira’s priorities are the need to strengthen the hi-tech industry in Bulgaria, the introduction of innovations for sustainable economic growth, the development and promotion of corporate social responsibility as an important public function of companies, and the encouragement of entrepreneurship in IT in the country. Because of his active work in these areas, Iravan Hira was elected as Chairman of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum in 2013. Iravan Hira holds an MA in Computer Science from the Technical University of Sofia.


Yoana Hristova
Deputy Mayor for "Green System, Ecology and Land Reform", , Sofia Municipality

Yoana is a founder of consulting firm "I V Project Group" Ltd., Sofia, Bulgaria. Before founding I V Project Group" Ltd she hold different positions within the Environment Ministry and the Executive Environment Agency of Bulgaria, among which: Head of Department "Territorial Unit - Sofia", General Directorate "Operational Program Environment"; Director of “European Union Environment Funds” Directorate, Intermediate Body of the Operational Program "Environment 2007-2013; Head of International Relations Department.
Ms Hristova has been Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fund for the Bodies of Local Self-Government in Bulgaria as well as National Coordinator for Bulgaria of the European Environment Agency.
Yoana has a master’s degree in Economics from the Academy of Economics "D. Tsenov" - Svishtov, Bulgaria and a specialization in Environment Management Policies from the National Institute for Human Resources Development in the Area of Environment - Seoul, South Korea.


Jens Hürdler
Project Manager - Transport and Air Quality, Environmental Action Germany (DUH)

Graduating as a physical geographer, Jens Hürdler worked in several national (German and Swiss) and European projects on freshwater ecology, at Agroscope (Zurich, Switzerland) and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB, Berlin, Germany). The projects focused on the nutrient emission modelling of the land-based emissions of greater river catchments. He then joined DUH to support its work on climate protection, especially in agriculture (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) and air pollution due to residential wood burning. DUH is politically independent, recognised as a non-profit organisation, entitled to initiate legal action, and campaigns mainly at national and European level.


Angelo Innamorati
Policy Officer, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

Angelo Innamorati is an agronomist with experience in Italian and European public administration of several agricultural sectors. He works as an administrator in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture, Unit D4: Environment, Climate Change, Forestry and Bio-economy. The files dealt with are: integration of the environmental requirements in the Common Agricultural Policy first and second pillar, fertiliser legislation, precision farming, sustainable use of pesticides, endocrine disruptors and chemical legislation, soil protection, air pollutants of agricultural origin, the Nitrates Directive, circular economy, water reuse, biogas and digestate, and biodegradable plastics.


Annika Isaksson
CEO, Amminex Emissions Technology

Annika Isaksson joined Amminex Emissions Technology in May 2012, taking over as CEO. Before joining Amminex, Ms. Isaksson worked for 11 years at Swenox AB (a supplier of exhaust systems for commercial vehicles), including six years in the executive management team as a R&D manager, business director and deputy managing director. Ms. Isaksson has an MSc in mechanical engineering from Linköpings Tekniska Högskola and has obtained leadership and financial and training at IHM, Leadership Trust, Ashridge Business School and IMD Switzerland Ms. Isaksson is a Swedish national, born September 1971.


Hannamari Jaakkola
Business Development Manager, Vaisala Oyj

Hannamari Jaakkola works as a Business Development Manager for Air Quality product area at company Vaisala Oyj in Finland. Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on 80 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for weather and environmental monitoring in the fields of meteorology, air quality, transportation and industries. Since joining Vaisala in 2009 from machinery company Valmet in Finland Hannamari Jaakkola has worked in various expert positions specializing on environmental measurements. Prior her current role she was managing Vaisala´s meteorology business in Latin America and in China. She holds a M.Sc. (Eng) degree in Material Science from Tampere University of Technology. In her current role she is studying the new paradigm for urban air quality: The possibilities to take the advantage of dense air quality data for various citizen services and applications.


Stijn Janssen
Programme Manager — Environmental Modelling, VITO

Stijn Janssen obtained a degree in Civil Engineering in 1998 and received a PhD in Physics in 2002. He has built up a wealth of experience in statistical air quality forecast modelling and spatial mapping techniques. He joined VITO’s Air Quality Modelling team in 2005. The scope of his air quality modelling activities ranges from the regional to the urban micro-scale, where he uses advanced 3D air quality models. Most of the work has been funded by local, regional or European environment agencies, the European Space Agency, or within the framework of European research projects. He works in close collaboration with VITO’s Chinese joint venture LIBOVITO to bring air quality services to the Chinese market. He is Co-Chair of FAIRMODE, the European Forum for Air Quality Modelling, and Programme Manager of VITO’s Geo and Atmospheric Modelling team.


Yavor Kehaiov
Occupational Health and Safety, Environment & Management Systems Director, KCM AD

Yavor Kehaiov started his professional path at KCM AD 17 years ago, at the plant’s ISO 17025-accredited environmental laboratory, dealing with emissions, and water, soil and noise monitoring and reporting. In 2007 he took the role of Laboratory Manager for three years, while also acting as KCM AD’s ISO 14001 Management Representative. In 2010 Yavor’s responsibilities shifted towards a milestone investment project for the company, namely the environmentally-orientated New Lead Plant project, where he managed the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning stages of a key project area — the Off Gas Treatment Plant. Following the successful implementation of the project in question, Yavor has recently been appointed as OHS, Environment & Management Systems Director of KCM AD.


Quentin Kelly-Edwards
JH Agro Regional Manager for United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland, JH Agro A / S

Quentin has a passion for sustainability, environmental protection and agricultural technology & innovation. He has recently joined JH Agro A/S, who specialise in slurry acidification and automated bedding / feeding systems, to develop the distribution network in the UK & RoI markets. With an engineering education, technology and commercial farming background in Zimbabwe, he has been actively involved for the past ten years in the development of new products & start-up businesses in the United Kingdom. These have been primarily in the agricultural AD technology and off-grid mobile & deployable, small scale renewable energy systems industries. All are areas of particular interest to him. The JH Agro NH4+ is an exciting, patented technology that not only provides an effective solution to reduction of emissions from housed pig & dairy production, but also improves crop yields, giving farmers a return on their investment.


Joanna Kiersnowska
LIFE Project Specialist, Air Quality Unit in Environmental Department of Marshal Office, Malopolska Region, Poland

Joanna Kiersnowska graduated with a law degree from Jagiellonian University in 2013, with a postgraduate degree in project management in 2015, and took part in energy efficiency and air protection postgraduate studies as a part of the LIFE project in 2017. Since 2015 Joanna has been working on the LIFE IP MALOPOLSKA project called Implementation of Air Quality Plan for Malopolska Region – Malopolska in a healthy atmosphere (first on the LIFE Technical Assistance Project, then the LIFE Integrated Project). Her duties include inter alia: coordinating and monitoring partners and Ecomanagers, financial and technical support, reporting and evaluating, conducting procurement in accordance with public procedures, designing the project budget and monitoring its implementation, taking care of the project in accordance with the schedule, international cooperation, PR and implementation of the communication strategy .


Prof. Nikolay Kozarev
Head of Department, University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Department of Environmental Engineering, Bulgaria

Nikolay Kozarev graduated from The University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Sofia, in 1973. Soon after that he began teaching at the same university in the field of mathematical modelling and opimisation. In 1987 Nikolay Kozarev defended his PhD thesis “Algorithms and software for investigation and control of absorption units and systems”.
During the period 1992 – 2011 he works as Professor at The University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Sofia, Dept. “Automation of industry”. His scientific interests were focused on mathematical modelling and optimal control of heat and mass transfer processes in chemical technology and metallurgy, basic processes in crude oil processing, mixture design, energy saving.
Meanwhile professor Kozarev devoted his efforts also towards environment protection and especially to air pollution. From 2011 professor Kozarev is a Head of department “Environmental Engineering” at The University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy.
The main topic in his monograph “AIR QUALITY MONITORING ASSESSMENT CONTROL” is the mathematical modelling and computer simulation of pollutant dispersion for air quality assessment and control.


Gustaf Landahl
Head of Department, Environment and Health Administration/Planning and environment department, City of Stockholm, Sweden

Gustaf Landahl’s department is responsible for the city’s work on:

  • environmental control
  • environmental issues in land-use planning
  • clean vehicles and fuels, and
  • climate protection and energy efficiency.
Mr Landahl has coordinated several large European projects with funding from the European Commission and is also a frequent speaker at international events. He also coordinates GrowSmarter, a European project demonstrating 12 smart solutions to help Europe grow smarter.


Guido Lanzani
Head of Air Quality Unit, Environmental Monitoring Area, ARPA Lombardia

A university graduate in physics, Guido Lanzani has been the head of the Air Quality Unit of ARPA Lombardia, the Regional Environmental Protection Agency, since 2001. He coordinates the activities concerning air quality monitoring, the emission inventory in atmosphere and the modeling on air quality in Lombardia. He coordinates the technical support to the Regional Government to implement the EU and Italian legislation and to delineate strategies and adopt measures to improve air quality.


Timo Mäkelä
Senior Advisor, Sitra - Finnish Innovation Fund

Timo Mäkelä is a Senior Advisor for Sitra’s thematic area, Resource Wise and Carbon Neutral Society. He has worked in various international roles for over 20 years, most recently as a Director at DG Environment. His responsibilities including International Affairs, LIFE and Eco-innovation. Timo Mäkelä has previously acted as the Head of European Commission Representation in Finland and as Director for Sustainable Development and Integration at DG Environment. He has also been a member of the advisory board on environmental protection for the Chinese Government, and a chair of the Steering Committee of the UN International Resource Panel.


Kalin Marinov
Deputy Director General, Directorate General, European Funds for Competitiveness, Ministry of Economy, Republic of Bulgaria

Kalin became part of the GD “European Funds for Competitiveness” at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria in March 2015. The unit is Managing Authority of OP “Innovation and Competitiveness” implemented under the European Regional Development Fund with a total budget of EUR 1.3 bln which is the major instrument dedicated to the Bulgarian businesses in the Programing Period 2014-2020. Under his direct responsibilities are programing, monitoring, financial management and verification of the expenditures. Further developed his professional background in the management of financial engineering instruments implemented with public finance. Representing the Ministry of Economy at the Supervisory Board of the Fund Manager of Financial Instruments in Bulgaria and at the Investment Board of JEREMIE Bulgaria. Chairperson of the “SME Initiative Bulgaria” Investors` Board since its establishment in March 2016. Before joining the MoE team he was Executive Director of the Economic Policy Institute, Sofia for more than six years - one of the oldest and most prominent non-governmental organizations in Bulgaria operating to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy and raise the efficiency of the public institutions in the country. In 2013 he was selected to participate in the premier initiative of the U.S. Department of State - the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) – “Accountability of Government II”. In his last year of PhD studies in International Business.


Krasen Mateev
Chief Operations Officer, SolarPro Holding AD

Krasen is an experienced director of operations with a background in the renewable energy sector and clean technologies industry. He is skilled in power plants, PV, smart grid, electrical design, energy storage, and process management. Krasen has strong professional knowledge in engineering, innovation and operation management.


Paul McAleavey
Head of Air & Climate Change Programme, European Environment Agency

Paul McAleavey is responsible for the strategic development of the Agency’s work in the areas of air quality and noise, air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions, climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the cross-cutting themes of energy and transport. The work of the Agency covers data flows, indicators, regular reporting and assessment activities and involves intensive collaboration with EU institutions and EEA member countries. Dr McAleavey has a BA honours degree in Political Science from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (1990) and a PhD from the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence (1995). Having previously worked as a Senior Economic Researcher in the UK civil service, at the Scottish Office Industry Department, he joined the European Commission in Brussels in July 1995. He held several posts in the European Commission before joining the European Environment Agency on 1 January 2005.


Csaba Mezei
Project manager, Expert (Smart Cities and Mobility), Regional Environmental Center (REC), Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe

With a BA degree in Education, Csaba Mezei works as an expert in the REC’s Climate, Mobility and Low Emission Development Unit where he manages projects related to smart cities and sustainable urban mobility. He currently manages REC activities for the following projects: CIVITAS SATELLITE (the EC's initiative for sustainable urban transportation) as task leader, and OPTIMUM (research and piloting innovative ITS solutions for more sustainable urban transport) as dissemination manager. His recent project portfolio also included the SEiSMiC project (Societal Engagement in Science and Mutual Learning in Cities) for which he is the national coordinator and deputy project manager; the Traffic Snake Game Network (IEE-financed campaign for developing schoolchildren’s travel behaviour) for which he is national coordinator; and Mobile2020, a capacity-building programme related to cycling inclusive mobility planning. Prior to working at the REC, Mezei was Hungary’s country director for Greenpeace.


Iskra Mihaylova
Chair of the Committee on Regional Development, European Parliament

Iskra Mihaylova has an extensive career in the field of regional policy and environment. Mihaylova was a deputy minister for regional development in Bulgaria from 2005 to 2009. In the period 2009-2013 she was Member of Bulgaria’s 41st National Assembly and Chair of the Parliament’s Committee on Environment and Water. She was also member of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds. From May 2013 up to June 2014 Iskra Mihaylova acted as a Minister of the Environment and Water of Bulgaria. She has participated in numerous international forums as a lecturer and as an official representative of Bulgaria in her capacity of Deputy Minister, Member of Parliament, and Minister of Environment in Bulgaria. For years, she has worked for the implementation of the European Cohesion Policy in Bulgaria and was actively involved in the Operational Programmes “Regional Development”, “Environment” and in the monitoring committees of cross-border cooperation programmes. Since 01.07.2015 she has become Member of the European Parliament to the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Currently, Iskra Mihaylova is Chair of the Committee on Regional Development at the European Parliament. She is also Substitute at the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. In March 2017, Iskra Mihaylova was awarded the Annual MEP Award 2017 for Regional Development.


Teresa Moreno
Senior Researcher, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Teresa Moreno has a PhD in geology from the University of Cardiff (UK, 1999) and has been working on the physio-chemical characterization and health effects of inhalable particulate material for the last 18 years. Currently a senior researcher at the IDAEA institute, she has published more than 130 articles in SCI journals, contributed to 50 other books and informative publications, and co-edited books on the geology of Spain, geology of Chile and geology of Japan published by the Geological Society of London. Teresa has also collaborated and directed several national and international research projects on air quality. Her most recent research projects are related to air quality in the Barcelona metro network, including the coordination of the IMPROVE LIFE project of the European Commission .


Stefan Neis
Project Manager, WaterstofNet VZW

After graduating as a commercial electrical engineer from the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen (D) and Heerlen (NL), Stefan Neis started working at WaterstofNet, operating and maintaining three hydrogen refueling stations. In close cooperation with the different vehicle OEMs, test and demonstration programs were carried out. Within WaterstofNet he is responsible and managing all refueling station and application related projects. During the last two years he has also been fully committed to the rolling out of hydrogen hybrid refuse collection vehicles in the BeneLux and Europe.


Krum Neykov
Gas Cleaning Installation Manager, Aurubis Bulgaria

Kum Neykov is a Gas Cleaning Installation Manager at the Pirdop-based plant of Aurubis Bulgaria, the biggest copper producer in South-Eastern Europe. Neykov has started his career for Aurubis in 2009 as a shift leader and moved to his present position in 2016. He has been also in charge of the EFESO Project for decrease of sulfur dioxide emissions. Before joining Aurubis, Neykov was a process engineer in Montupet, French-owned producer of aluminum cylinder heads and knuckles. Neykov is a PhD student in Physical Metallurgy and Thermal Aggregates at the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Sofia.


Atanaska Nikolova
Deputy Minister of Environment and Water of Bulgaria

Atanaska Nikolova holds a master’s degree in biotechnology and Engineering Ecology and European MSc degree in Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development.
Atanaska Nikolova holds a master’s degree in biotechnology and Engineering Ecology and European MSc degree in Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development.
During the period 1999 - 2008 she worked as a project manager, expert in environmental management and sustainable local development in the non-governmental sector. She is a consultant for the local authorities in the Black see region in the development of Municipal development strategies, Municipal waste management programmes and Municipal environmental programme. Member of the team who developed the Regional development plan of the South-East planning region. Member of the team who prepared the National report "Millennium Goals, Bulgaria 2008", author of Chapter 7 - "Ensuring a sustainable environment".
From June 2008 to July 2009 she managed the "Eurointegration" Directorate of the Municipality of Burgas and was responsible for attracting and effectively absorbing funds from the EU Structural and Cohesion Fund, as well as for the international relations and partnerships of the municipality.
During 2009 Ms Nikolova was a Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Burgas with a direction of "European Policies and Programmes, Environment".


Pierre Pernot
Head, Partnerships and Digital team, AIRPARIF

Pierre Pernot has been working on air quality since the year 2000. At the beginning, he developed a methodology for measuring pesticides in the ambient air. After ten years of technical work on air quality monitoring at AIRPARIF, he is now working on the innovation, partnership and digital strategy aspects of this subject. He is in charge of coordinating AIRLAB, an accelerator of innovative solutions for air quality. He leads the Partner and Digital team.


Christophe Poillion
Vice President in charge of European Affairs, GRTgaz

In 1988, he started to work for Electricité de France and Gaz de France, where he occupied various positions dealing with gas and electricity distribution. In 1998, he joined the Financial Division of Gaz de France and 4 years later, he started to work for the International Division of Gaz de France, as permanent advisor of SPP (the Slovak gas company) for issues related to regulation. In May 2006, he became Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eustream, the Slovak gas transmission system operator. Since October 2008, Christophe Poillion has been working for GRTgaz, the French gas transmission operator. He is currently in charge of European affairs, after having been responsible for strategy for 4 years. Since June 2014, he has been chairing the Task Force of GIE dedicated to Security of Supply.


Elizabeth Press
Director of Planning and Programme Support, IRENA

Elizabeth Press is the Director of Planning and Programme Support at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). As part of her portfolio, Ms Press has been working extensively on renewable energy in the climate action context, and has been one of the leading members of the UN Global Climate Action team on energy, where IRENA spearheads efforts on renewables. Ms Press joined IRENA in November 2010 as part of the team to lead IRENA’s transition from a Preparatory Commission to a full-fledged Agency in April 2011. Before joining IRENA, Ms Press had some 18 years of international experience, mainly with the United Nations, in the fields of development, humanitarian assistance, and political affairs. She has served in HQ duty stations in New York and Geneva, as well as in different field locations, including Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, the DRC, Cambodia, and Kosovo. Ms Press holds an MA in Public Administration.


Laura Pretto
Technical civil servant, Agenzia provinciale per la protezione dell'ambiente (APPA), Environmental protection agency, Autonomous Province of Trento

Graduated as environmental engineer, after experiences abroad as technical consultant in several projects in developing countries, she currently works for the Air Quality Unit of the Environmental Protection Agency (APPA) of the Autonomous Province of Trento. APPA is an autonomous technical organization, in charge of monitoring, planning, advises and technical controls on the protection of soil, water, air, waste management, etc. Laura Pretto is in charge of the air quality planning for the Agency and of the redaction of the local Air quality plan. She is involved in interregional agreements with the neighbour regions, in intersectorial working groups (on woody biomass and on climate change, among others) and she manages two LIFE projects (BrennerLEC and PREPAIR), both strongly related to air quality issues and where the Agency is associated beneficiary .


Katia Raffaelli
Project Manager LIFE IP-PREPAIR, Emilia-Romagna Region, General Directorate for Territorial and Environmental Care

Katia Raffaelli has been working for Emilia-Romagna Region since 2001, with tasks on mobility, water management, air pollution and climate change. She has been involved in several European projects both as project manager, thematic expert or evaluator and has been coordinating the participation of the Region in some European networks (eg. AIR network, ENCORE). Since 2010 she has been dealing with activities related to the implementation of air quality policies in Emilia-Romagna and she has been in charge of the elaboration of the air quality plan of the Region. She is currently the project manager of the LIFE Integrated Project PREPAIR (Po Regions Engaged to Policies of AIR), co-financed by European Union in 2016 with the aim of improving air quality in the Po Basin .


Boyan Rashev
Partner Manager, Denkstatt Bulgaria

Boyan Rashev is one of the leading experts in sustainability management in Bulgaria. Since 2007, he has been a Managing partner at denkstatt – the premier advisory on natural, social and human capital management in Bulgaria. Boyan has over 14 years of work experience in the fields of environmental management, valuation of ecosystem services and impact assessments, climate change mitigation and adaptation, water management and corporate sustainability. His experience also includes workshop moderation, training courses, presentations and dissemination on sustainability and environmental policy topics as well as managing the diverse stakeholders for major projects and institutions in Bulgaria. Boyan has worked with many different businesses including mining, energy, retail, telecoms, food & beverage to financial industry as well as institutions such as Sofia Municipality, Ministry of Environment and Water and European Commission. He is very active in shaping the sustainability agenda in Bulgaria by regularly publishing articles, participating in TV talks and public discussions on critical topics.
He has contributed to several key European research projects including CleanSea, WasteKIT, OPERAs, LUC4C. He holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental and Resource Management from Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany. Boyan Rashev also studied at the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna and Central University of Venezuela in Caracas.


Giuseppe Riva
Director Mediterranean Region, PlasticsEurope

Born in 1948, Giuseppe Riva graduated from the University of Milan in Industrial Chemistry in 1971. He has spent all his career in the petrochemical and plastics business; in the research, marketing, sales and strategic departments of multinational companies, such as Montedison and Eni.
Since January 2000 in Federchimica (the Italian Federation of Chemical Industry) as director of Assobase, the Italian Association of Base Chemicals Products and of PlasticsEurope Italy, the Association of plastics manufacturers, coordinated by PlasticsEurope, the European Plastics Manufacturers Association. He is director of PlasticsEurope for the Mediterranean Region.
From 2001-2004 he has been vice-president of the Italian Chemical Society.


Marco Rubinato
Project Officer, Unit A2 SME-Instrument, EASME - Executive Agency for SMEs, European Commission

After gaining an MA in Environmental Science and Management from UCL in Louvain-la-Neuve, Marco Rubinato worked with and for SMEs for more than 10 years in fields related to environmental politics, business development and project management. He then joined EASME, where he works on green projects mainly linked with the circular economy. His activities are related to project follow-ups, report evaluations, dissemination and on-site visits.


Prof. Dimosthenis A. Sarigiannis
Director, Environmental Engineering Laboratory Chemical Engineering Department Aristotle University of Thessaloniki University Campus, School of Engineering, ICARUS Coordinator, Greece

Denis Sarigiannis is an associate professor of environmental engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece; an associate professor of environmental health engineering at the Institute for Advanced Study (IUSS) in Pavia, Italy; a professor and director of the PhD program on environmental chemical risk at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IUSS) of Pavia in Italy; and a visiting professor at the University of Paris Descartes, the Medical Schools of the University of Athens, the University of Crete, and the School of Life Sciences of the University of Thessaly in Greece. He is president of the Mediterranean Scientific Association for Environmental Protection, vice-president of the Hellenic Society of Toxicology, a member of the Expert Committee on Air Pollution of the Greek Ministry of Health, and advisor to the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health on combined exposure to multiple stressors in the indoor environment, human biomonitoring and endocrine disrupting chemicals. In 2015 he received the Bo Holmstedt award from EUROTOX and the Bo Holmstedt Foundation for toxicology contributions to drugs and chemicals.


Kamelia Slaveykova
Country Chair, Shell Bulgaria and Greece

Kamelia Slaveykova has served as a country chair for Shell Bulgaria since August 2008. Since August 2010 she has an additional role as the Shell country chair for Greece where the company applies an indirect business model. Kamelia is also Shell’s external relations manager for Central and Eastern European countries.
Her professional profile includes an executive MBA degree from the American University in Bulgaria and a series of international trainings and qualifications obtained within Shell. She has obtained a master’s degree in macroeconomics from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia.
Kamelia joined Shell in 1993 as the head of the Marketing and Advertising Department. Between 2000 and 2003 she had a marketing function at Shell Europe Oil Products. Later, she moved to a regional managerial role in communications for the CEE countries which was further extended to include the Mediterranean markets.
An active participant in the local business community, Kamelia has been a member of the Managing Board of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum since 2010. She is also a member of the Bulgarian office of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
In December 2016 and 2017, Forbes Woman ranked her as one of the 20 most influential business leaders in Bulgaria. Furthermore, in 2016 she was nominated as one of the top 10 managers of the year in Bulgaria in a competition of the prestigious magazine Manager.


Stefan Spassov
CEO, eMobility International (Eldrive); Ride Share Bulgaria (SPARK)

Stefan Spassov specializes in corporate finance and business development with current focus in the EV mobility and car sharing fields. He has previously been actively involved in the telematics business and negotiated, consulted and led the successful acquisition of EuroGPS (now Viasat Technology) by the European leader in usage-based-insurance Viasat Group. Since August 2017, Stefan is the CEO of eMobility International and leads the expansion of a national charging stations infrastructure and promotion of EV mobility. In parallel, he led the successful launch of the first electric car sharing service in Bulgaria (SPARK).


Angel Stanev
Marketing Manager, Innovation, DPF Cleaning Machine, Bulgaria

Angel Stanev is a marketing manager at Innovation – DPF Cleaning Machine. Since completing his MA at Greenwich University he has been a resident columnist at Business Club Magazine focusing on issues such as sustainability and marketing and communications for SMBs. Angel Stanev is also a member of the Quality of Life® association which focuses on the improvement of the living conditions of Bulgarian citizens.


Zhivko Stefanov
Executive Director, AGNON LTD, Bulgaria

Zhivko Stefanov has more than 15 years in IT industry with expertise from hardware to DB administration and software development. 8 years ago left IT business in order to study sustainable agriculture and natural building. Developing commercially for 4 years, highly efficient wood stove with super low emissions based on the rocket mass heater’s technology.


Tiffanie Stéphani
Agriculture and Environment Manager, Fertilizers Europe

Before joining Fertilizers Europe in March 2016, Tiffanie was a senior policy officer in the European & environmental affairs department of the German Farmers’ Association (Deutscher Bauernverband, DBV) in Brussels. Having worked in European affairs and in the farming sector for about ten years, she has developed a deep insight into public relations as well as a strong network in Brussels with representatives from the EU institutions and relevant stakeholders in the agri-food chain. Tiffanie is passionate about food & cooking for family and friends. She is also fascinated by islands as a travel destination, a great escape to discover places she never knew could exist. She holds a university degree in political science from Sciences Po Lille and a master’s degree in European public management.


Margherita Tolotto
Air and Noise Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau

Margherita is Air and Noise Policy Officer at the European Environmental Bureau, Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens' organizations. She has a background in European and International Law and has represented NGOs on a broad range of issues from agriculture and environmental democracy to mercury. Before joining the EEB in 2013, she worked in the Veneto Region representation office in Brussels, following environmental-related issues.


Antonino Tripodi
CEO, UNeed.IT / Technical manager, LIFE_SC project

Antonino Tripodi is a civil engineer with specialisation on Transport and Ph.D. in Transport Systems with fifteen years of professional experience in studying transport systems, with focus on road safety, urban planning, sustainable mobility. He has participated and managed multi-partner projects, both national and international: e.g. ESTEEM, for the definition of a roadmap for the research on the transport safety and security in the Maghreb region; SAFERBRAIN, for the transfer of European methodologies in India and Brazil; SAFERAFRICA for the set-up of a Dialogue Platform on road safety between Africa and Europe. He is dealing with the design and implementation of traffic accident databases and information systems on road safety in developing countries (e.g. Cameroon and Pakistan). In 2016 he created a new SME specialised in design and implementation of sustainable mobility solutions: UNeed.IT. Since July 2017, he is the technical manager of the Life for Silver Coast project, dealing with implementation of integrated, electric and shared mobility solutions in touristic areas in Italy.


Paolo Tripoli
Board of Directors, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer, IS CLEAN AIR

Paolo Tripoli has served as a professor of mathematics, physics, and electronics for more than 10 years for the Italian Ministry of Education and Scientific Research. He is a researcher for IMRA MATERIAL JAPAN R&D, for the National Institute of Condensed Matter Physics (INFM), for MITI-NEDO-IAE-NHE NHE-Laboratory (Japan), for Stanford Research Institute SRI International (USA), for ENEA National Institute of Environment, Energy and New Technology, and for A.P.A.T. Agency of Environmental Protection and Technical Service. Paolo is a research director for S.P.In, for University of Rome II ‘Tor Vergata’, for IsTECH and now for IS CLEAN AIR.
Paolo received a National Security Certificate (NOS) from NATO in 1998, and serves as a scientific and technical referee for the Institute of Physics, the American Nuclear Society, Elsevier Science, Springer, the US Department of Energy, and IEEE.
He is a European Commission Expert Evaluator/Reviewer/Monitor, an International Scientific Referee for Romanian Ministry of Culture and for the Czech Ministry of Education. Paolo is also a member of the IPPC Workgroup GTR4-Chemistry of the Italian Environment Ministry.


Ivelina Vassileva
Chairperson, Environment and Water Committee

Ivelina Vassileva is the chairperson of the Environment and Water Committee and deputy chairperson of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds at the National Assembly in the 44th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. She served as the minister of environment and water from November 2014 to January 2017. Ms Vassileva was a member of the 42nd and 43rd National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria (May 2013 - November 2014). Previously, she served as deputy minister of environment and water in the first government of Mr Boyko Borisov (2009-2013) and before that, deputy mayor of EU integration and ecology in the municipality of Burgas (2007-2009). She is a specialist in European project management.


Kurt West
Technical Salesman, JH Agro A / S

Kurt has a lot of work experience with sales for animal production, largely by handling manure from cattle and pigs over the last 15 years, his focus has been to minimize environmental impact from manure, to reduce the negative effect of storage and application to fields and also improve nutrient value for plants. He therefore has great insight and technical knowledge of acidification of cattle and pigs slurry. Acidification is a technology that has a great positive effect on environmental impact in the form of ammonia emissions from slurry, which is detrimental to the environment in addition to the emission of greenhouse gases that acidification also helps to reduce. Kurt has great insight into designing stables so that the slurry can be acidified and thereby reduce ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions. He has participated actively in developing over 100 successful acidification plants.


François Wakenhut
Head of the Clear Air Unit, Directorate-General for the Environment, European Commission

François Wakenhut is Head of the Clean Air Unit since mid-2016. In the same Directorate-General, he was previously Head of the Resource Efficiency & Economic Analysis Unit (2015-1016), Biodiversity Unit (2009-2015) and Head of Unit for International Relations, Governance & Development (2008-2009). He has also served as Assistant to the Director-General of the Directorate-General for the Environment (2007-2008); Political Coordinator for the Marine Environment/Water in Water & Marine Unit of the Directorate-General for the Environment (2004-2007); Administrator in charge of Environmental Integration within the Sustainable Development & Economic Analysis Unit of the Directorate-General for the Environment (2001-2004); and Administrator within the team of the Director-General (2000-2001). François Wakenhut studied at the Institute of Political Studies in Strasbourg, Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and at the College of Europe in Bruges.


Herbert Woopen
Lawyer, EU Representative, Opus

As a German lawyer, Herbert has started promoting Remote Sensing technology as a very useful tool to be implemented in European legislation immediately after the VW scandal broke in 2015. Before, he has served in various mostly international roles in Arbitration, Government Affairs and Legal Research – mostly in Brussels interacting with EU legislative bodies and agencies. Beyond continuing to participate in efforts to redesign the landscape for collective redress instruments in Europe he also serves on the board of a mutual insurance company in Cologne/Germany. His previous professional development comprised various management responsibilities in banking and insurance.


Santiago Urquijo Zamora
Policy Officer, LIFE Programme Unit, Directorate-General for the Environment, European Commission

Santiago Urquijo Zamora works in the LIFE unit managing environment projects for 10 years. Prior to working for the Commission, he worked as an advisor for the Galician Ministry of the Environment, and before as a consultant in different firms in Spain and US. He holds a bachelor´s degree in Agricultural Engineering (Polytechnic University of Madrid), a master´s degree in Environmental Engineering (University of Southern California) and an advanced degree in Applied Economics.