Personal Profile

Research Group

Sustainable Systems Engineering (STEN)

Brief profile

Jo Dewulf (18/07/1969) works with the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University, Belgium. He leads the Sustainable Systems Engineering group (STEN) and focuses on clean production with a team that consists at the moment of about 25 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, and 10 master students.

After engineering studies (maxima cum laude, 1992) and PhD (maxima cum laude, 1997) at Ghent University and post-doc research both at Ghent University and at Delft University of Technology, he became assistant professor (2003), associate professor (2007) and full professor (2012) of Clean Technology at Ghent University. He was on leave for two years from his full professor position to join the European Commission (EC) – Joint Research Centre (JRC) as a senior scientist in the Sustainability Assessment Unit (2013-2015). He was a guest professor at ETH Zürich with the Ecological Systems Design group (2019-2020). For his scientific work, he obtained the prize of the laureate of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium in 2008. He was awarded the Francqui Chair 2020-2021 at the University of Antwerp.

In his research, he heavily focuses on clean technology, i.e. searching for preventive actions within production processes and values chains. To do so, he makes thorough analyses at the process, plant and overall industrial system level, based on life cycle thinking and thermodynamic principles in order to find out opportunities for improvement. Since his involvement with the European Commission, he further concentrates on the sustainable use of natural resources, such as resource efficiency, resource criticality, integrated sustainability assessment, and use of secondary resources. He is chairman of the European VinylPlus monitoring committee and a member of the OG EIP Raw Materials (EC) and of the International Roundtable Criticality. The work has been also oriented towards southern countries, with finished and running MSc and PhD projects in collaboration with Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Kenya, and Vietnam.

His work is visible on the international scene, with more than 300 peer-reviewed papers in international journals included in the Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded only), with over 9300 citations without self-citations and an h-index of 59 (bibliography available at He assisted several international conference organisations and international journals, for instance serving at the RCR editorial board. In 2016, the second Wiley book he edited was published: Sustainability Assessment of Renewables-Based Products: Methods and Case Studies.

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