Keynote Speakers  

Martin Brettenthaler, CEO Swiss Krono Group

President of the European Panel Federation (EPF)

Martin Brettenthaler (born 1970) is the CEO of SWISS KRONO Group, a leading family-owned laminate flooring and wood-based panel producer headquartered in Switzerland. With ten production facilities in eight countries and sales around the world, the Group employs 5’100 employees and generates a turnover of appr. EUR 2.3 billion in 2021/22. Prior to becoming SWISS KRONO’s CEO in 2016, he has been leading the wood-fibre insulation producer Pavatex and had been COO of HIAG Group before that. After his studies in St. Gallen and Paris he had started his career as management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in Munich and Paris. Since 2021 he also has been serving as Chairman of the European Panel Federation (EPF) that represents the interests of the industry on the European level. Martin Brettenthaler strongly believes in the important role that the wood-based panel industry can play as a role model for sustainability in the decarbonization of Europe’s manufacturing industry. A married father of three daughters he lives with his family near Basel, Switzerland, and enjoys running and playing golf and chess.

Jori Ringman, Director General, CEPI Confederation of European Paper Industries

Since June 2019, Jori Ringman is Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi). Previously he was Deputy Director General and responsible for issues relating to sustainability, environment and consumer protection, with particular concern for packaging and food contact. Since joining Cepi in 2005 he has been advancing and exploring circular low carbon bioeconomy in the sector.
Prior to 2005, he was a civil servant at the European Commission and a political advisor in the European Parliament.
Mr Ringman has a background in Economics, Econometrics and Business Management and broad experience in communications, public administration and politics. He also holds an MSc in Environmental Decision-making.

Edi Snaidero, Chairman of the European Furniture Industries Confederation EFIC

  • Degree in Mechanical Engineering in Trieste
  • More than 30 years at Snaidero R. SpA, a family kitchen manufacturing company in which Mr. Snaidero held different roles over the past decades, from Technical Director to General Manager and later Chief Executive Officer.
  • Member of the board of FLAE (Salone del mobile)
  • Elected by the Italian kitchen companies as representative of the kitchen sector in FederlegnoArredo /Assarredo.
  • During his thirty years experience in building a pan-European group, he acted as CEO and Chairman of several companies in different European countries, such as Rational GmbH, CDI France, Ixina Belgium and Eurocucina Ltd.

Carsten Aßhoff M. Sc., Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, Braunschweig (D)

  • degree in aerospace engineering in Aachen
  • 6 years as scientific researcher at Fraunhofer WKI
  • First 4 years he investigated research activities in plastic compound developing for injection molding at department Application Center for Wood Fiber Research (HOFZET)
  • Changed to department Binders and Coatings (BICO) in 2020, where he was started his doctor thesis in AM with wood
  • He is doing his PhD at TU Braunschweig with supervisor Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Sven Hartwig

Martin Benfer M. Sc., Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, wbk Institute of Production Science, Karlsruhe (D)

  • After his Master’s degree in development and design at RWTH Aachen University he moved to Karlsruhe for his doctorate.
  • At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, he is focused on production engineering, specifically the topics transparency and traceability in production networks, as well as decision support in global production networks.
  • He is the German consortium leader for the research project champI4.0ns funded by the German BMWK and the Austrian BMK.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Dieter, Thünen-Institute of Forestry, Hamburg (D)

Born in 1966 in Berlin
1987 - 1993: study of forestry at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich (Diploma)
1994 - 1997: Doctoral thesis in forest economics at LMU Munich
1999 - 2008: Scientist at the former Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products (BFH)
2008 - 09/2013: Head of the Thünen Institute of Forest Economics
02/2011: Habilitation at Göttingen University
Since 10/2013: Head of the Thünen Institute of Forestry (until 30.11.2021 International Forestry and Forest Economics)
09/2014: Appointment as Professor at Göttingen University

Martin Direske M. Sc., IHD Institut für Holztechnologie Dresden (D)

  • Bachelor of Science (Forestry) in Dresden followed by a
  • Master of Science (Wood Science and Technology) in Dresden
  • Since 2013 Scientist at the Institut fuer Holztechnologie Dresden gGmbH, department Materials

Dr. Manfred Dunky, Xylo Technologies AG, Niederteufen (CH)

  • Degree in "Kunststofftechnik" ("Plastics Technology") 1977 at the Montanuniversität Leoben (Leoben, Austria), followed by a doctorate (Dr.mont.) at the same university 1980 with a work about the "Physical-chemical analysis of urea-formaldehyde resins as adhesives in the production of particleboards"
  • Habilitation (postdoctoral lecture qualification, "Universitätsdozent") 2000 at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)
  • In total 40 years working in the chemical and wood-based panel industry (Krems Chemie / Neste Chemicals / Dynea in Krems, Austria and Kronospan Lampertswalde, Germany), dealing with research and development of synthetic and bio-based wood adhesives and application of adhesives in the wood-based panel industry, including international responsibilities. After retirement 2019 working up to now as consultant at XYLO Technologies AG for Kronospan for the same overall topics.
  • Teaching at several universities on wood adhesives and wood-based panels; supervision of diploma and doctoral theses; publishing about 50 scientific papers, including review papers and book chapters; one authored and three (one just in press) edited textbooks, frequent lecturing at international conferences, ongoing reviews for international scientific journals; member of the editorial board of three international scientific journals.

Dr. Manuel Fleisch, Fagus-GreCon Greten GmbH & Co. KG, Alfeld (D)

  • Study of chemistry at the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover until the year 2011 followed by a PhD in technical chemistry in the year 2016.
  • Employment as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Technical Chemistry of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University of Hannover until 2018.
  • Since 2018 working at Fagus-GreCon Greten GmbH & Co. KG as responsible product manager for emission measurement technology. The main products are test equipment for the determination of formaldehyde emission according to the gas analysis method (ISO 12460-3) and systems for formaldehyde emission measurement using infrared laser spectroscopy.

Dr. Alessandro Guercio, Turboden SpA, Brescia (I)

  • Degree in Technical Architecture at university of Reggio Calabria, followed by Doctorate in energetic at University of Trieste
  • Working in business development and sales of biomass-fired Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) in Turboden between 2006 and 2015 and from 2021 to today
  • Master in Energy saving and biomass CHP to wood-based industry

Dr. Uwe Kies, InnovaWood asbl, Brüssel (BE)

  • Sc. at HNEE Eberswalde (2005), Dr. rer. nat. at WWU Münster (2009)
  • Research Associate at Wald-Zentrum / IIWH, Münster(2004 – 2016)
  • EU Research Consultant, Paris & Brussels (2009 – 2019)
  • Secretary General of InnovaWood, Brussels (since 2017)

Tobias Krenn M. Sc., Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, Braunschweig (D)

  • Sc. Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology in 2016 at the Georg-August-University Göttingen
  • Sc. Wood Biology and Wood Technology in 2018 at the Georg-August-University Göttingen
  • Since 2019 participating in the PhD program Wood Biology and Wood Technology of the Georg-August-University Göttingen

Martin Langen, B+L Martkdaten, Bonn (D)

  • Since 1994: B+L Marktdaten GmbH, Bonn
    Managing Director
    Industry and economic analyses for industry and government authorities
    Set up of a global construction database
    Responsible for conducting international market analyses
    Responsible for setting up the database "Building Monitor"
    (see www.BL2020.com)
  • Since 1997: Lecturer: Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University
    Teaching business studies / Lecture "Market Research"
  • 1993 - 1994: btp GmbH, Moscow + St. Petersburg
    Support and training of the Russian administration within the privatisation
    Commission and funding of German project teams realised by the German Federal Ministry of Finance
    Co-author of "Handbuch des Unternehmers" 1994 Publisher: NAUKA, Moscow in Russian form, published by the same project funding
  • 1990 - 1993: BBE Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Cologne
    Clients: Industry, Trade, BMWi, privatization agency
    Consultancy and market research
  • 1988: Degree: Dipl.-Betriebswirt (Master of Business Administration)

Prof. Dr. Rainer Marutzky, Meine (D)

  • 1968 – 1973 Study of chemistry
  • 1973 – 1975 Gaining of the doctorate in the field of enzyme kinetics, theme: "Investigations on the bonding of adenosintriphosphate to selected aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetases from E.coli MRE 600”, Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung, Braunschweig-Stöckheim
  • 1976 Employed as scientific research officer at Fraunhofer WKI
  • 1977 – 1995 Leader of the department "Chemical technology and environmental research"
  • 1989 – 1992 Acting director of the Fraunhofer WKI
  • 1991 Post-doctoral thesis in the field of wood chemistry, theme: "Findings on the formation of harmful substances during the combustion of wood and particle boards", Technical University in Braunschweig
  • 1992 - 2009 Director of the Fraunhofer WKI
  • 1996 Award of the university professor
  • Since 2010 Chairman of the Expert Committee of the iVTH

Fabian Meinker, Hywax GmbH, Hamburg (D)

  • 2018 – today: Hywax GmbH, Hamburg (until 02.2022 Sasol Wax GmbH); Sales Manager, Technical Support
  • 2017 – 05.2018: Kloepferholz GmbH & Co. KG, Garching; Sales Manager


  • 2021 – today: University of Göttingen; focus: Wood Biology and Wood Technology; degree: Ph. D. study programme
  • 2010 – 02.2017: University of Hamburg; focus: Wood science and technology; degree: Bachelor and Master of Science
  • 2004 – 08.2007: Carpentry Hubert Scharlau GmbH, Rosendahl; vocational training: Carpenter

Bettina Meyer, Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, Braunschweig (D)

Since 1984: Chemical-technical assistant at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI), Braunschweig, Department "Chemical Technology and Environmental Research", then headed by Prof. Dr. Rainer Marutzky
Since 1992: Project manager in the chemical department of the accredited testing laboratory for material testing (since 2003: department "Quality Testing and Assessment | Quality Assessment (QA)" headed by Mr. Harald Schwab), head of formaldehyde testing laboratory, responsible for material testing with regard to formaldehyde, research as well as certification and monitoring.
Since 2017: Group leader formaldehyde testing laboratory

Participation in various committees and implementation of research projects for the (further) development of ISO and EN standards

Dr. Peter Nilges, APOS GmbH, Wedel (D)

  • Peter Nilges studied chemistry in Münster and graduated in 2009.
  • From 2009 to 2013 he worked as a research assistant at the University of Braunschweig. During this time he received his PhD in the field of electroorganic synthesis and process analysis.
  • After working briefly in the R&D department of a wind turbine operator, he has been with APOS GmbH since 2014
  • Initially working there as a calibration developer and since 2018 he has been responsible for the development of new applications for spectroscopic measuring systems for process control and quality assurance.

Emma Pates, Metalube Ltd., Manchester (UK)

  • Master’s degree in Chemistry obtained from University of Liverpool.
  • 5 years’ experience within the lubricant industry – initially working as a Research and Development Chemist as part of the metal rolling team in Houghton.
  • Transitioned into Metalube Ltd in October 2021 as a Senior Development Chemist, focusing heavily on the development of lubricants for high temperatures applications – in particular the wood panel press industry.

Christoph Pöhler M. Sc., Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, Braunschweig (D)

  • Bachelor degree in industrial engineering (Technical university Braunschweig) followed by a master degree in civil engineering (Technical university Braunschweig)
  • Since 2019 Researcher at Fraunhofer-Institute for Wood Research in the field of composite materials
  • Since 2019 Doctoral student at Technical university Braunschweig
  • 2016 – 2017 Research assistant at Institute for geomechanics and geotechnics, Technical university Braunschweig
  • 2015 Assistant at W. Markgraf GmbH & Co. KG
  • 2014 Intern at Bilfinger construction

Prof. Dr. Tunga Salthammer, Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, Braunschweig (D)

  • Diploma in Chemistry (TU Braunschweig), Dr. rer. nat. in Physical Chemistry
  • Employee of Fraunhofer WKI since 1990
  • Head of Department 1996 - 2021
  • Managing Director 2010, Deputy Director since 2011
  • Professor of Indoor Hygiene, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences 2003 – 2009
  • Adjunct Professor, Queensland University of Technology since 2007
  • Habilitation in Environmental Chemistry, TU Braunschweig, 2008
  • Professor of Environmental Chemistry, TU Braunschweig, since 2012

Yves Marc Schade, stela Laxhuber Drying, Massing (D)

  • University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim;
    Wood technology engineering (1996-2000)
  • Technical University Munich (TUM); Master of Science Sustainable Resource Management (2003-2005)
  • nearly 20 years’ experience in the field of industrial drying systems, specialized in biomass & timber drying and sustainable usage of renewable energy more than 12 years working for stelas’ product management of industrial drying systems

Dr. Goran Schmidt, AFRY Management Consulting (D)

  • Holds M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Wood, Forest & Environmental Sciences from University of Hamburg and Federal Brazilian universities
  • Followed by a doctorate on industrialization of bamboo composites together with Fraunhofer WKI and GIZ in 2020
  • Worked >3 years as a project coordinator at the Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries (Thünen) establishing a recycling research cooperation with South Africa

Prof. Dr. Heiko Thömen, Wood Composite Simulations LLC (CH)

  • Master (Diplom) in Wood Science and Technology (Univ. of Hamburg),
    PhD (Oregon State University, USA)
  • From 2000 - 2010: University of Hamburg as Assistant Professor
  • since 2010 until today: Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH)
    • Professor for Wood-Based Composites
    • Head of research unit "Composites and Furniture"
    • since 2015: Co-President of the Swiss Wood Innovation Network S-WIN
    • until 2020: Head of master program "MSc. Wood Technology"
  • since 2020: Wood Composite Simulations LLC (a BFH Spin-off) Founder and CEO

Dr. David Türp, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen (D)

  • Diploma in Chemistry from RWTH in Aachen
  • Doctorate in Chemistry at Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz
  • Research & Development, Polycondensates, BASF SE (since 2011)
  • New Business Development Amino Resins, BASF SE (since 2017)
  • Project Leader “Sustainable Wood Binder”, BASF SE (since 2020)


Gregor Bernardy, Siempelkamp Logistics & Service GmbH, Krefeld (D)

  • Diploma in Mathematics at RWTH Aachen
  • Since 1994 working at Siempelkamp Group in MES & Industrial IT development
  • 1994 – 2004 ATR Industrie-Elektronik GmbH; Software Developer, Project Manager
  • 2004 – 2018 Siempelkamp Maschinen- & Anlagenbau GmbH; Head of Industrial IT
  • Since 2018 Siempelkamp Logistics & Service GmbH; Head of MES & Industrial IT

Dr. Christian Schrautzer, Pfleiderer Deutschland GmbH (D)

  • Diploma in Polymer Chemistry at the Technical University in Darmstadt
  • Doctorate in Polymer Chemistry at Deutsches Kunststoff Institut (today`s Fraunhofer lbf)
  • Since 2012 working at Pfleiderer Deutschland GmbH in product development
    • 2012 – 2014 Project Manager
    • 2015 – 2018 Head of chemical and technical development
    • Since 2019 Head of Innovation