Profile & expertise

Ghent University offers high-quality, research-based education in all academic disciplines. The mission of open and democratic education is realized by the availability of social facilities and professional guidance concerning the study career. With a view to cooperation in research and scientific service, numerous research groups, centres and institutes have been founded over the years. Several of them are renowned worldwide, in various scientific disciplines. Ghent University invests an annual amount of more than 175 million euro in research projects on behalf of public and private partners.

The Laboratory for Chemical Technology (LCT) of Ghent University conducts both fundamental and applied research in the field of chemical engineering. The challenge for chemical engineers is to bridge the gap between molecule and industrial plant. LCT is one of the few research centers in the world that covers the entire spectrum of competences that are needed to successfully connect molecular research to industrial chemical processes. A common feature of the research projects is the development of multi-scale models for the design of chemical products and processes. Experimental validation is performed whenever found appropriate.

LCT’s research supports society to address pressing challenges of our time. This is achieved in several ways: (i) providing the means for a transition from fossil to renewable feedstocks; (ii) developing innovative chemical technologies such as controlled radical polymerization and vortex reactor technology; (iii) introducing guidelines for new functional materials, in particular catalysts and polymers; and (iv) licensing of unique computer codes, allowing advanced process design.

LCT research is organized along five research themes The proposal relates to progress of the theme polymer design (coordinator: Prof. Dagmar R. D’hooge). This research theme aims among others at the design of new polymeric materials up to industrial scale, considering advanced multi-scale computational tools. Our goal is to take control over the entire molecular structure of individual polymer chains, taking into account economic and environmental constraints. Important aspects covered are a fundamental understanding of polymerization and depolymerization kinetics, sustainable scale-up of (de)polymerisation processes, and the detailed characterisation of polymer products so that structure-property relations can be identified.

Role in the Project

UGENT (LCT) is the academic partner with a twofold contribution. Firstly, a detailed mechanistic understanding of the depolymerization kinetics is targeted, including validation to experimental data obtained in collaboration with the industrial  partners. Secondly, a leading role is taken regarding the dissemination of the research activities, including the training of next-generation scientists and employees with a career in the chemical recycling industry.



Prof. Dagmar R. D’hooge


Prof. Dagmar R. D’hooge,

Dagmar R. D’hooge (°1983;  associate professor) focuses in his research on the design of polymerization and polymer processing techniques. The functional material design and related process intensification is performed up to the industrial scale, using advanced in-house developed multi-scale modeling tools in combination with experimental validation. He is currently coauthor of seventy peer-reviewed publications and a member of the subcommittee on “Modeling of Polymerization Kinetics and Processes” of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

He was a postdoctoral researcher in the Matyjaszewski Polymer Group (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA) in 2011 and in the Macromolecular Architectures (MacroArc) Research Team (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karslruhe, Germany) in 2013. He is also a former postdoctoral researcher of the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen). Since 2017 he is a visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University.

He is a (co-)lecturer for polymer engineering courses at the Faculty, covering e.g. polymer reaction engineering, physics and processing.

In the current project, he is the PI, member of the executive board, and dissemination officer.

UGENT Prof. Dagmar R. D’hooge

Dr. Paul H.M. Van Steenberge

Paul Van Steenberge holds a postdoctoral fellowship mandated by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). One of his main research interests is on the production of functional nanoparticle latexes via sustainable industrial production processes. Current emphasis is on dispersed polymerizations in aqueous medium with high solids content, to avoid the use of toxic compounds and to minimize energy consumption.

He was several times (2013, 2014, and 2016) a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada) where he performed reactor design for automotive coatings and emulsion latexes.

He is lecturing “Introduction to Polymer Technology” in the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Technology and “Safety and Environment” in the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering.

In the current project, he is the co-PI.

UGENT Dr. Paul H.M. Van Steenberge

Kyann De Smit

Kyann De Smit is a PhD student who graduated in 2018. His master thesis was appreciated by the industrial community by the Solvay Award, covering both modeling and experimental skills.