A chemist [MSc] and materials scientist [PhD] by training, Catharina started her first company in nanomaterials technology in 2012 during her PhD in Materials Science at Cambridge University.
For the following 6 years and subsequent to a successful funding round, she set the R&D strategy for the company as its Chief Scientist and was involved in materials & reactor engineering, production standardisation and IP management. She gained experience in the product development process to prototype stage in a variety of technology areas. Her experience in market research and developing business cases spans fields from coatings, composites and inks to plasma engineering and led to partnerships in many industries like automotive, construction and textiles. She was further involved in all areas of the business including HR in recruitment, team building and management and contract negotiation. Catharina was the company’s face for PR purposes and her effective engagement with all media outlets from print to TV earned her the title of “The First Lady of Graphene” and one of the eight business leaders to watch in 2015 by UK media.
Her present business, DRCJ Consulting, facilitates innovation through collaboration between corporates and start-ups. Current client projects include the design of an innovative waste management plant for a developing market and establishing circularity in the use of polymers in packaging.
Catharina is part of the Advisory Boards of the Linz Institute of Technology as well as the Austrian Future Academy. Her work was recognised at Manchester’s Wonder Materials exhibition currently exhibiting in the Hong Kong Science Museum. Catharina has been awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in recognition of her role in the design of new nanomaterial manufacturing systems.
Watch Catharina’s TED Talk here
Image copyright: Catharina James
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