About

Sustainable process innovation by idea generation and validation to successful implementation

Jan Harmsen started Harmsen Consultancy BV in 2010 after a 33-year career at Shell, where he obtained his industrial experience in research, development, design, start-up, operation and de-bottlenecking of chemical and biological processes. Hence, he knows from experience how to innovate, i.e. to get from idea to commercialisation in an effective and efficient way. He also has been a part-time professor in sustainable chemical technology at Delft and Groningen University 1997-2013.

His experience in both chemical and biological process technology and in teaching, is what gives Jan Harmsen  a unique approach in advice to process industries and academic institutes.

Current positions and functions of Jan Harmsen:

– Independent Consultant Sustainable Process Innovation
– Teacher Sustainable Design at Delft University of Technology.
– Editor of the Elsevier Journal of Chemical Engineering, Processing, Process Intensification
– Member EFCE Working Party Process Intensification 
– Climate Stewards International member Board of Trustees

Clients include:

  • AKZONOBEL
  • Corbion
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Det Norske Veritas
  • Dosign
  • DSM
  • ECN
  • Flowid
  • FrieslandCampina
  • Groningen University
  • Hogeschool Utrecht
  • Huntsman
  • ISPT
  • Technoforce
  • TMC Chemical
  • TU Delft
  • TU Einhoven
  • SABIC
  • ZETON

For Jan Harmsen’s full resumé, click here.

Sustainable development is not a fixed state of harmony, but a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are made consistent with future as well as present needs. 
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. 

(From the Brundtland report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), Our common future, Oxford University Press 1987.)

The Brundlandt Definition contains two key concepts:
the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology, social organisation and on nature’s ability to meet present and future needs.

Precautionairy principle definition
At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro the (non-binding) Rio Declaration 1992 was agreed with the following text:

Principle 15
“In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”