Board of Directors

Chairman - Christof von Branconi

Mr. von Branconi studied chemical engineering in Karlsruhe, Germany, after a commercial apprenticeship and a stay abroad in Brazil. He received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Fontainebleau, France.
Subsequently, Mr. von Branconi worked for the management consultancy Arthur D. Little before joining the Lurgi Group. From 1995 to 2001, he was a member of the Executive Board of Lurgi Metallurgie, from 2003 to 2005 a member of the Executive Board of Lurgi AG and from 2012 to 2014 again Vice President Europe / CIS / Africa at the plant engineering company which was acquired by Air Liquide in the meantime.
From 2007 to 2011, Mr. von Branconi was Executive Board Member for the Power Generation division of the then publicly listed Tognum AG (now Rolls Royce Power Systems). During this time, he was also Chairman of the Power Systems Association within the VDMA. Since 2014, Mr. von Branconi’s project management specialist Indeco Consulting GmbH has focused on advising companies that are implementing a large capital goods project.

Deputy Chairman - Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. Franz Josef Radermacher

Professor (emer.) at the University of Ulm, Chairman of the Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing/n (FAW/n) Ulm, President of the Senate of Economics e. V., Bonn, Vice President of the Ecosocial Forum Europe, Vienna, and member of the Club of Rome. Since August 2018 he is also a member of the Austrian Council for Sustainable Development and a jury member of the BWS NachfolgerForum.
He studied mathematics and economics (RWTH Aachen, University of Karlsruhe), postdoctoral lecture qualification in mathematics at RWTH Aachen in 1982.
His research interests include global problems, learning organizations, intelligent systems, digitalization and networking, risk management, responsibility of people and systems, environmentally friendly mobility, sustainable development, overpopulation, world food, climate and energy, and regulation of the world financial system.

Treasurer - Dr.-Ing. Hans-Peter Sollinger

Dr. Sollinger studied mechanical and process engineering at the University of Stuttgart from 1974 to 1979 and received his doctorate from the Technical University of Aachen in 1983. In 1979 he was an engineer at Continental Forest Industry, Augusta (GA), USA. In 1982 he started his career at Voith AG and was Managing Director of Voith Sulzer Papiertechnik GmbH from 1994 to 2000. From 2000 to 2014 he was a member of the Board of Management of Voith AG and CEO of the Voith Paper Division. From 2013 to 2019 Dr. Sollinger was a member of the Advisory Board of Carl Edelmann GmbH & Co. KG and from 2014 to 2020 he was on the Supervisory Board of Leipa Georg Leinfelder GmbH.
In 2019 and 2020, he sat on the Supervisory Board of ISRA Vision AG. Since 2015 he has been Senior Advisor at Rantum Capital Management GmbH. Since 2017, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Bartholet Maschinenbau AG and a member of the Advisory Board of Montratec GmbH.

Prof. Dr. Estelle Herlyn

Prof. Dr. Estelle Herlyn has been working as a freelancer for the Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing/n (FAW/n) since 2012 and is responsible in particular for research projects that are carried out in cooperation with politics and industry.
She is also professor and scientific director of the Competence Center for Sustainable Development at the FOM University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf. There she is concerned, among other things, with the responsibility of companies for sustainable development. In addition, issues of catch-up development and climate protection in a global perspective are a focus of her work.
She is a member of the German Society of the Club of Rome and Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Senate Institute for Public Welfare Policy. After studying business mathematics at the Technical University of Dortmund, she worked for several years in the SAP environment in various international companies (PwC, Ford, L’Oréal, HSBC) before she completed her doctorate at the RWTH Aachen University on questions of balanced income distribution as a decisive aspect of the social dimension of sustainability.

Dr. Ludolf Plass

Dr. Ludolf Plass, who was head of research at Lurgi AG for many years, played a major role in the development and construction of some of the world’s largest methanol plants (black methanol) and is therefore sometimes, not without good reason, referred to as the “methanol pope”. Regarding green methanol, he is involved in relevant projects in Germany. Plass is also involved in the research association DECHEMA e. V. (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology).
Plass studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, and received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.
In 1969, he was employed by Lurgi GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where he held various positions for 40 years, including Head of Lurgi’s Coal and Energy Technologies Division and Managing Director of Lurgi Energy and Environmental Technologies GmbH as well as Chief Technology Officer of the Lurgi Group as Senior Vice President.
Plass also served on the Executive Board of several international Lurgi subsidiaries and joint ventures. He retired from Lurgi in 2009. Plass was also a member of the Executive Board of DECHEMA and worked in several organizations of VDMA (German Engineering Federation).
Currently, Plass is a member of the advisory board of the Dechema Research Institute, advises the PtM Power-to-Methanol project funded by the BMWi and is active on the board of the “Global Energy Solutions” association founded in September in Ulm.
Ludolf Plass has held a number of positions, including senior advisor to the management of Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions c/o Lurgi GmbH, Frankfurt, advisor to the Management Board of Südchemie AG, Munich,Chairman of the Advisory Board of Schaefer Kalk GmbH & Co KG, Diez, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Techno-Physik GmbH, Essen, member of the Industrial Council of Finatem Beteiligungs Gesellschaft Frankfurt, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Ecoloop GmbH, Duisburg/Elbingerode/Harz, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Christopherus Heim, Welzheim, all in Germany.

Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke

Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke, after studying and obtaining a doctorate in physical chemistry in Kiel, worked for eight years for the Linde Group in petrochemical plant construction and then moved to Süd-Chemie AG in Munich, now part of Clariant AG. After several years in South Africa in connection with coal- and offshore natural gas-based synfuels projects and in the USA, Dr. Wernicke was a member of the Board of Management of Süd-Chemie from 1997 to 2011, from 2007 Deputy Chairman. In addition to several supervisory board mandates, Dr. Wernicke is involved in many expert committees, including as a member of the Executive Board and currently as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (DECHEMA).
He is also a member of the Economic Policy Committee and the Innovation Committee of the Bavarian Chemical Associations, the Advisory Board of the Bavarian Chemical Cluster and the Board of Trustees of the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis in Rostock. He is co-author of two relevant books entitled “Future Fuels – Energy Shift in Transportation as a Global Climate Goal” and “Methanol: The Basic Chemical and Energy Feedstock of the Future”.