Dirk Nelen is part of the Research Group for Sustainable Materials Technology at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, VITO. He holds a MSc in Bioscience Engineering. As a senior researcher on sustainable resources management, he contributes to the development and implementation of strategies for waste and materials management in a circular economy context. His research topics focus on urban mining, (plastics) recycling, life cycle and value chain sustainability assessment, industrial ecology and industrial symbiosis. He is involved in a number of initiatives driven by European wide partnerships on waste management and raw materials research that include companies, public agencies as well as research organizations.
For the European Topic Centre (ETC) on Circular Economy, Dirk contributes to different tasks on waste prevention, secondary materials markets, assessment of Member State’s waste management performance, sustainable sourcing, and industrial emissions. He was commissioned to develop a series of studies that contribute to the knowledge base in support to the expansion of waste-related industrial activities in Flanders and in the Port of Antwerp. Dirk (co)authored scientific publications on the development of new circular economy indicators and assessment methodologies, among other. He is Vice Chair of the International Solid Waste Association’s (ISWA) Working Group on Recycling and Waste Minimization.