Biographys and abstracts

Vincnet Placet

Dr. Ing. Vincnet Placet

Head of the Research Team Damage Tolerance and Durability of (Bio)Composites

FEMTO-ST Institute (France)




After receiving an engineering diploma in wood science and engineering from the “Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Technologies et Industries du Bois”, Epinal, France in 2003, and a Ph.D. degree in wood science from the University Henri Poincaré, Nancy, France in 2006, Vincent Placet became Research Engineer at the Department Applied Mechanics of FEMTO-ST Institute, Besançon, France in 2006. He obtained a habilitation degree in composite materials from the University of Franche-Comté in 2013. His main research interests are thermo-hygro-mechanical behaviour of plant fibres and wooden materials, long-term durability, fatigue tolerance and health monitoring of bio-based composite materials and structures. He is the head of the MATECO research group (Materials for the ecological transition) within the Department of Applied Mechanics of the FEMTO-ST Institute. Within the last ten years, Vincent Placet has been involved in various French and European research projects publically funded or granted by private companies dealing with the valorization of plant fibres in structural and multifunctional bio-based composites. Vincent Placet has authored and co-authored over 60 papers in refereed journals and has contributed over 80 national and international conference presentations. In 2015, Vincent Placet was awarded “Daniel Valentin Price” by AMAC, the French association for composite materials.

Abstract of the talk

Global environmental issues have led to a remarkable growth of research and development activities on sustainable materials emerging from plant fibres, bio-based plastics and their composites. This new class of materials is a relevant alternative to traditional composite materials to reduce the carbon footprint. Despite, the large amount of work focused on the characterization and enhancement of the mechanical performance of bio-based composites, the current scientific knowledge relating to their long-term durability performance is very limited in open literature. So, the objective of this presentation is to review the current knowledge, recent advances and remaining challenges related to the mechanical behaviour and damage of bio-based composites under various aging environments (hygro- and hydro-thermal ageing, fatigue, creep…).



Markus Biesalski

Prof. Dr. Markus Biesalski

The Technical University of Darmstadt
Department of Chemistry
Macromolecular Chemistry & Paper Chemistry



Markus Biesalski studied chemistry at the University of Mainz, Germany, and received his Ph.D. in macromolecular chemistry in 1999 at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. From 2000-2002 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. In 2002 he joined the Faculty of Technology at the University of Freiburg as an Assistant Professor. In 2008 he accepted a call for a Full-professorship at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, where he has been since then heading the Laboratory of Macromolecular Chemistry and Paper Chemistry.

The scientific core expertise of his group progresses from polymers at interfaces, the understanding of dynamic processes of fluid imibition of porous materials to the development of functional papers for construction applications, functional paper coatings and the use of renewable raw materials for the design of environmentally sustainable materials. More details can be found at:


Abstract of the talk

In this talk I will introduce our recent efforts in understanding and controlling water-paper interactions. Examples progress from novel bio-based wet-strengthening polymers to understanding and controlling the attachment of such functional modules to paper fibers and how the environment from which such polymers are being applied may dramatically change the outcome of the mechanical properties of the paper.

In a second part of my talk, I will focus on our current understanding of fluid imbibition in paper sheets and how we can use hypergravity conditions in order to gain quasi-static conditions during paper imbibition which allows e.g. for a simple material analysis such as pore size determination in contact with a swelling solvent.



Orlando Rojas

Prof. Dr. Orland Rojas

The University of British Columbia
Faculty of Applied Science
Departments of Chemical & Biological Engineering | Chemistry | Wood Science
www: (CBE)



Prof. Orlando Rojas, Canada Excellence Research Chair and Director of the Bioproducts Institute in University of British Columbia.

Prof. Rojas is recipient of the Anselme Payen Award, the highest recognitions in the area of cellulose and renewable materials and elected as Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2013), the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (2017) and recipient of the Tappi Nanotechnology Award (2015).  Prof. Rojas acts as a scientific ambassador between Finland and Canada to advance a Boreal Alliance in the area of Forest Bioproducts. He has authored about 430 peer-reviewed papers (26000 citations) related to the core research, mainly dealing with nanostructures from renewable materials and their utilization in multiphase systems. 


Despite its promise, and compared to nanocelluloses, the subject of “nanochitin” remains largely unexplored. The limited understanding of the connection between the main chemical and structural features of this abundant nanopolysaccharide and its macro-scale precursors have delayed its deployment. For instance, a deeper knowledge about the colloidal interactions of nanochitin in aqueous suspension is needed to engineer new materials. Based on these needs, this talk describes different aspects of nanochitin in the framework of its chemistry, multi-scale and hierarchical structures as well as its self-assembly behavior. I will introduce the results of our current work on insect- and crustacean-based nanochitin, from chirality, to filaments and 3D materials that benefit from hydrogelation, with applications spanning health and material development.



Lars Berglund

Prof. Dr. Lars A. Berglund

KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Department of Fiber and Polymer Technology
Wallenberg Wood Science Center
Stockholm, Sweden



Lars Berglund is professor of Wood and Wood Composites at KTH Royal Inst of Technology in Stockholm. He has been a visiting researcher at Stanford University, Cornell University and Kyoto University. His research interest is in nanostructured composite materials; primarily those based on cellulose. An important challenge is transparent cellulosic nanomaterials, which also can serve as load-bearing engineering materials. Professor Berglund has published more than 300 journal papers, obtained around 10 patents, examined more than 20 PhD’s and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is a co-founder of Cellutech AB and was the director of Wallenberg Wood Science Center for 11 years. He holds an ERC Advanced Grant on Wood Nanotechnology. He is a “highly cited” author on Web of Science, has more than 20.000 citations and an H-index of 70.


Cellulose biocomposites are often considered ecofriendly without deeper analysis. For instance, if we need excessive amounts of energy and/or chemical treatment to disintegrate nanofibers from a plant cell wall, the use of these nanofibers may increase rather than decrease environmental “stress”. In addition, the use of a synthetic polymer matrix may also be questionable in some cases since recycling may be compromised, and this polymer matrix itself may have negative effects on the environment. A thorough analysis is required before we can classify a material as environmentally friendly, contributing to sustainable development.

Various types of nanofibers and plant fibers and corresponding composites will be analyzed, and suitable selections of material components will be suggested for different categories of products. In fact, cellulosic nanofibers can be used as a polymer matrix for hybrid organic/ceramic composites. Another route to explore is the possibility to use top-down approaches, where nanostructured wood substrates form the reinforcement in polymer biocomposites.



Ali Khademhosseini

Dr. Ali Khademhosseini

CEO at the Terasaki Institute





Ali Khademhosseini is currently the CEO and Founding Director at the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation. Previously, he was a Professor of Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering and Radiology at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). He joined UCLA as the Levi Knight Chair in November 2017 from Harvard University where he was Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and faculty at the Harvard-MIT’s Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and as well as associate faculty at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. At Harvard University, he directed the Biomaterials Innovation Research Center (BIRC) a leading initiative in making engineered biomedical materials. Dr. Khademhosseini is an Associate Editor for ACS Nano. He served as the Research Highlights editor for Lab on a Chip. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE), Materials Research Society (MRS), NANOSMAT Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is also the recipient of the Mustafa Prize ($500,000 prize) and is a member of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, Royal Society of Canada and Canadian Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Inventors. He is an author on >650 peer-reviewed journal articles, editorials and review papers, >70 book chapters/edited books and >40 patents/patent applications. He has been cited >74,000 times and has an H-index of 139. He has made seminal contributions to modifying hydrogels and developing novel biomaterial solutions for addressing pressing problems in healthcare. He has founded 2 companies, Obsidio Medical and Bioray. He received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from MIT (2005), and MASc (2001) and BASc (1999) degrees from University of Toronto both in chemical engineering.


Engineered materials that integrate advances in polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, and biological sciences have the potential to create powerful medical therapies. Dr. Khademhosseini is interested in developing ‘personalized’ solutions that utilize micro- and nanoscale technolgoies to enable a range of therapies for organ failure, cardiovascular disease and cancer. In enabling this vision he works closely with clinicians (including interventional radiologists, cardiologists and surgeons).
For example, he has developed numerous techniques in controlling the behavior of patient-derived cells to engineer artificial tissues and cell-based therapies. His group also aims to engineer tissue regenerative therapeutics using water-containing polymer networks called hydrogels that can regulate cell behavior. Specifically, he has developed photo-crosslinkable hybrid hydrogels that combine natural biomolecules with nanoparticles to regulate the chemical, biological, mechanical and electrical properties of gels. These functional scaffolds induce the differentiation of stem cells to desired cell types and direct the formation of vascularized heart or bone tissues. Since tissue function is highly dependent on architecture, he has also used microfabrication methods, such as microfluidics, photolithography, bioprinting, and molding, to regulate the architecture of these materials. He has employed these strategies to generate miniaturized tissues. To create tissue complexity, he has also developed directed assembly techniques to compile small tissue modules into larger constructs. It is anticipated that such approaches will lead to the development of next-generation regenerative therapeutics and biomedical devices.