Past Team Members

April 15, 2024

Dr. Konstantinos Pyrgakis

pyrgakis-fotoDr Konstantinos Pyrgakis holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from National Technical University of Athens on the Design of Integrated Biorefineries. He offers his experience in process design, simulation and optimization, as well as in techno-economic analysis and modeling. His scientific interests include process and energy integration in multi-process plants, synthesis of thermochemical and biochemical biomass valorization paths; and the synthesis of fully integrated distillation systems. He has extensive knowledge on computational tools: Fortran, AspenTech, Aspen Process Economic Analyzer (APEA), GAMS, Matlab, ANSYS, PHOENICS and MathCAD. He defended his PhD Thesis on May 2020.



Dr. Aikaterini Mountraki

Aikaterini Mountraki received her diploma in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2009. In 2011 she received her MSc in «Computational Engineering» from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). From 2010 to 2014 she participated in the FP7 European project BIOCORE. She has also been a member of the Marie Curie Action RENESENG as an associate researcher in the French CIMV enterprise and a PhD candidate in NTUA under the supervision of Professor Antonis Kokossis. She is fluent in Greek, English, French and German. Aikaterini’s scientific field of interest is focused on the design, integration and optimization, mainly of bioprocesses. As a researcher in BIOCORE she has completed a detailed simulation on second generation biorefinery, as well as a great number of valorization bioconversion processes, validated by the industrial and/ or laboratory partners. Those models served as the base for heat and water integration analysis, process synthesis, waste management, LCA and economic studies. In RENESENG her scientific research focused on the synthesis of biorefineries of different generations and other bioconversion processes. Her work includes impact studies of different synthesis scenarios in equipment process design as well as reactor optimization design and CFD studies. She successfully defended her PhD thesis on Systems Integrations for the Holistic Design of Second Generation Biorefineries on March 2019.


Dr. Mirela Tsagkari

Mirela Tsagkari obtained her Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering at National Technical University of Athens in 2012 (Grade: 7.8/10.0). During her studies, she worked as an intern in the Institute of Physical-Chemistry at NCSR Demokritos (Greece), where she gained experience in radio carbon (C14) dating. In 2012, she spent the summer working within the BAROID Drilling Fluids Laboratory at Halliburton in Muscat, Oman, where she became acquainted with the Oil&Gas Industry demands. Her master’s thesis (partially completed at the University of Surrey) focused on biorefinery economics with a special view on early stage, order-of-magnitude cost estimation methods. She continued working in this field for six months as part of the BIOCORE project, where she employed Aspen Process Economic Analyzer to provide extensive techno-economic analysis of the lignocellulosic-based biorefineries and their derivative processes involved in the project. From September 2013 until March 2014, she joined S&B Industrial Minerals as a Lab Engineer within the R&D Specialties Department in Athens, where she worked on the synthesis of a decision protocol for the rapid qualitative and quantitative evaluation of unknown bentonite samples. In April 2014, she moved to Lyon, France where she joined Arkema to continue her research in biorefinery cost engineering within the FP7 Marie Curie program RENESENG. She successfully defended her PhD thesis on“Methodology of rapid evaluation of capital and operating cost of biorefineries with applications in multi-scale problems” on November 2019.


Dr. Paraskevi Karka

Dr. Paraskevi Karka is a tenure-track Assistant Professor with education profile in Sustainable Process Design at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Groningen. Her research interests include modelling, process design and sustainability (Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and technology assessment) of industrial processes, technoeconomic analysis, circular economy and industrial symbiosis. She has authored several papers in scientific journals among of which in the International Journal of LCA, Energy Strategy Reviews, Chemical Engineering Science, etc. and she has participated in a variety of conferences in Europe and the USA such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting, European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering, etc. She has participated in various EU and national research projects in the National Technical University of Athens, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Groningen. She successfully defended her PhD thesis A computational systems framework to assess and support decisions on the sustainable development of biorefineries in early stages of design on July 2018.


Dr. Marinella Tsakalova

Marinella is a Chemical Engineer holding a PhD from National Techical University of Athens. Her research addressed the synthesis of value chains for biorefinery applications with a view to promote systems engineering technology, namely a generic and transferrable methodology to a seemingly complex and large problem. In her research Marinela had to: familiarize with diverse paths to valorise biomass (including that of organic waste) into platform chemicals and end-products; master methods and techniques in process synthesis, modelling and mathematical optimization; study and exploit concepts in graph theory, and; familiarize with Life Cycle Analysis concepts that she had to use in combination with conventional (economically-oriented) objective functions in process development. She defended his PhD Thesis on November 2016.


Melina Psycha

psycha-photoMelina Psycha is a chemical engineer with extensive knowledge on algae biorefineries. She received her bachelor and master’s degree from the School of Chemical Engineering of National Technical University of Athens and completed her dissertation entitled “Integrated Designs of Microalgae Biorefineries Using a Fixed Selection of Halophytic Algae” in the Department of Process Analysis and Plant Design. Since 2014 she has been working as a Research Assistant as well as a PhD Candidate in the Industrial Process Design & Systems Engineering Unit. Her work focuses on the design of 3rd generation biorefineries with special attention to water substrates from algae systems. Specifically, she is engaged in the synthesis of chemical paths with attention to high-value products and process design analysis by using commercial software and modelling tools. She has worked for the D-Factory project setting a benchmark for a feasible and sustainable algal biorefinery.