Holiferm’s team

Meet the Team

At Holiferm we are driven by our common goal to accelerate the transition to a bio-based economy by bringing biosurfactants to market. Our team is diverse and multidisciplinary, with people from commercial, scientific and engineering backgrounds who are united in our commitment to exceed customer and collaborator expectations.

Ben Dolman

Chief Executive Officer

Ben Dolman is a co-inventor of Holiferm’s technology. As well as bringing his technical expertise in biosurfactant production, Ben has developed links throughout the industry, enabling a series of collaborative projects and won the BBSRC Early Career Researcher Innovator of the Year award 2018 for this work.

Richard Lock

Managing Director

Richard has grown an impressive chemical portfolio supporting multinational yearly revenue generation of £28.5 million, with proven organic growth, and growing EBITDA from 12% to 16%, between 2018-2019. Created the commercial business case to build a 36,000 tpa £3.5 million betaine plant and agreed supply contracts for 1000’s of tonnes.

Peter van Gelderen

Investor Director

Peter has supported a number of cleantech startup companies as a partner in ICOS capital and brings a wealth of strategic advice and network.

James Winterburn

Technical Director

James Winterburn is a Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering and world-leading expert in biosurfactant production and integrated separation of bio-based products. James focuses on improving processes via a bioprocessing and biochemical engineering route, including the whole value chain from feedstock to the application of biosurfactants. As a co-inventor of Holiferm’s technology he won the BBSRC Early Career Innovator of the Year 2018 award.

Richard Bullen

Process Engineer

Richard Bullen has worked for a number of design companies as an engineer or senior engineer, and now brings this experience to design Holiferm’s initial pilot and support our laboratory team with engineering challenges.

Vicky de Groof

Chief Technical Officer

Vicky joined us after completing her PhD. Her PhD was examining fermenting food waste to generate bio-based sustainable chemicals. She is currently using her expertise to help us refine our bio-surfactant production process.

Patrícia Domingues

Fermentation Scientist

Patricia has a PhD investigating biosurfactant production in anaerobic organisms, and now applies this knowledge to Holiferm's sophorolipid production process.

Mariane Gaio

Office Manager

Mariane built and sold a successful travel agency, and now coordinates grant activities, travel, HR and administrative activities at Holiferm.

Tsz Nok Lam

Laboratory Technician

Nok joined us after managing fermentations at the City of Hong Kong University. while there he developed new protocols for obtaining dry cell weight values, as well as handling administrative tasks such as purchasing and health and safety for the lab he was based in.

Danail Milev

Scale up and manufacturing engineer

Danail comes to us from an extensive background of scaling up fermentation processes, such as scaling a process up to a 17000L bio-reactor. He is currently based in Daresbury helping to operate and fine-tune the pilot plant reactor, preparing for the next scale-up.

Dave Atherton

QC and Downstream Scientist

Dave has joined us to help us ensure that our Sophorolipid product is well characterised and of the highest quality. He has had 15 years of experience as a QC scientist and 2 as a QA manager with a broad experience of different characterisation techniques and products.

Andrew Hardwick

Executive Assistant

Andrew comes to us as an experienced teacher who has trekked all over the world from the depths of the jungle in Borneo, to Vietnam and Malawi. He has been in a variety of teaching roles either teaching the art of teaching to improve education these developing countries or teaching English at international schools and English development centres. Currently he brings his formidable talents to helping us sharpen our presentations and streamline our internal and external communications.

Lawrence Clarke

Technical Sales Manager

Lawrence has an extensive 6 year background in formulating personal care products, including products containing rhamolipids a type of biosurfactant, working at both Unilever and Pennwhite Ltd.