Wim Van Swaaij studied Chemical Engineering Sciences and obtained his PhD at the Technical University in Eindhoven The Netherlands. From 1965 to 1972 he worked for Shell Research BV for two years in Nancy ( ENSIC) but mainly in Amsterdam, on fluidization, reaction engineering and process development. His last position was section leader gasification processes. In 1972 he became full professor of Chemical Engineering Sciences and later of Biomass at the University of Twente where he (co-) authored over 500 scientific papers, several handbooks and was promotor of 60 Ph.D. students. From 1992 till 2002 he was scientific director of the Dutch National Graduate School on Process Technology (OSPT) and of the Process Technology Institute Twente (PIT). He is/was consultant for several multinational firms: AKZO, DSM, Unilever, Shell, Solvay Duphar, TNO, BASF, Cortis-Dow.
Van Swaaij is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and received several prices and rewards for his scientific work, like the “Grand Prix du Génie des Procédés” of the French Academic of Sciences (1996), doctor honoris causa by the Université de Nancy (1996), the Royal Dutch Shell Prize (2004) and the Golden Tesla medal for energy research (1999).