Studied Chemical Engineering with specialization in food and plants, and metal accumulation in plants. He started with environmental analysis for the Austrian Environmental Protection Agency in 1998, working his way through waste management, with the focus shifting to circular economy solutions from 2006 onward. He has held lectureships on Sustainable Product Design, Supply Chain Management and CSR at two Austrian Universities of Applied Science, together with delivering countless speeches and talks at conferences on a variety of different topics. He has worked at alchemia-nova since 2002, becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2010 and then Technical Director in 2019 in order to place greater focus on innovations, knowledge sharing and consulting for ministries and companies. He is the developer and initiator of several national and international projects including the transdisciplinary H2020 projects HYDROUSA, HOUSEFUL and the COST Action Circular Cities – co-creating ideas and nurturing them to life. The strong systems-approach combines technology innovation with nature inspiration and drives social transformation.
Francesco Menconi (BLC LLB) graduated with a Law degree from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) in 2000, after which he established his own law firm. During the course of his tutelage and private practice, he was exposed to a broad spectrum of criminal and civil litigation matters, institutional procedures, business registrations, the protection of intellectual property rights; and the drafting of contracts, pleadings and business proposals.
After moving to Europe in 2003 he gained valuable business experience within the hospitality industry, fulfilling various managerial and self-start-up entrepreneurial roles in Italy and England. He moved to Austria in 2013 where he established himself as an English trainer, content writer and translator, before joining the alchemia-nova team in 2017. A Prince 2 certified Project Manager, and fluent in English, Italian and Afrikaans, he is enthusiastic about the opportunity of contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly circular economy.
With his varied background and experience, he brings added value to alchemia-nova’s offering in respect of communications, project management and business development. He was appointed as managing director of alchemia-nova GmbH in January 2019.
Biologist and technician of natural materials
Veronika Reinberg studied biology at Vienna University and at the University of applied sciences Wiener Neustadt (location Tulln) biotechnology (specialisation technology of natural materials). In her second diploma thesis she dealt with biocascading sunflowers (EU-project HELICAS) as employee from alchemia-nova with the emphasis on cosmetical applications. Afterwards she was employed as scientific staff member at the University of applied sciences in Wieselburg, where she was entrusted with project management, in product development and teaching in the field of renewable materials. Even here the focus oft these projects were biocascading (e.g. the utilization of stones from stone-fruits of meadow orchards in the Mostviertel). She recently works a lot with the recovery of metals from plants and coordinates the project GRecoMet. Since 2012 she supports the team from alchemia-nova.
Theresa Heitzlhofer studied biology/ecology at the University of Vienna. Her focus topics were biogeochemical cycles, microbial ecology and human ecology. For several years she worked in the areas of education for sustainable development and circular economy (teacher training, adult education, formal and non-formal education). At alchemia-nova she works in project management, public relation and science communication.
Nektaria Efthymiou-Charalampopoulou studied environmental biology at the University of La Verne, completed a Master Degree in Environmental Law and Conservation at the University of Kent and earned a Master Degree in Environmental Management from the European Association for Environmental Management Education. Her expertise is built on more than 15 years of professional experience in the fields of environmental protection, nature conservation, climate change mitigation & adaptation, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. She worked for international consulting companies and academic institutions and provided her expertise and management skills as an independent consultant to the private and public sector and to non-governmental organizations.