TECHNICAL SPECIALIST - BATTERIES
Parvin contributes her expertise to ensure the benefits of nickel in lithium-ion batteries are well understood. With extensive experience in the field of energy storage, she has made significant contributions to the area of solid electrolytes through her fundamental knowledge in inorganic material synthesis and its application to both Li-ion and Na-ion energy storage devices.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute, Parvin held a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) where she worked on energy storage material formulation and optimization particularly on solid-state batteries (SSB) and composite electrolyte materials. She also led the NRC portion of the collaborative project ‘AI driven design and development of SSB electrolytes for consumer electronics’.
Parvin holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Materials Science & Engineering and Chemical Engineering. She also completed a 3-year teaching program at the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence and has held various council positions in policy-making meetings at the Department and Faculty level at the University of Waterloo.
Parvin is based in the Nickel Institute’s Toronto office.
Dr. Hudson Bates
Hudson is responsible for steering the strategic direction of the Nickel Institute and the industry in promoting and supporting the use of nickel in appropriate applications. He has been President of the Nickel Institute since 2018.
He was formerly Executive Director, NiPERA Inc., joining in 1994. He is a specialist in reproductive toxicology. Previously, he managed toxicology laboratories at the U.S. FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research, Research the Triangle Institute (RTI) and Transgenic Sciences, Inc.
A US national, Hudson holds a Bachelors degree in biology from the State University of New York at Albany, a Masters in toxicology from the Albany Medical College of Union University and a PhD in toxicology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He became a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology in 1992. Hudson is based in the Nickel Institute’s Durham office.
MEMBER SERVICES & EXECUTIVE ASSISTANCE
Inge coordinates all aspects of the Nickel Institute’s governance meetings and is the Brussels Office Manager. She also provides support to the Nickel Institute Management Committee.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2011, Inge held the position of Executive Assistant at Toyota Motor Europe. She has considerable experience in all aspects of office administration, including managing travel and agendas as well as organising meetings and events.
A Belgian citizen, Inge has a degree in Secretarial Management, Business Translation and Interpreting (Dutch, English, Spanish) from the Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg (KHLim) Diepenbeek.
HUMAN HEALTH TOXICOLOGIST, NiPERA
Dr. Samuel Buxton
Sam manages research programmes on nickel genotoxicity and carcinogenicity within the NiPERA team and leads regulatory efforts on nickel cancer classifications. Sam authors regulatory position papers and collaborates with colleagues on other human health research programmes.
Prior to joining NiPERA in 2017, Sam was a postdoctoral research associate at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas and at Iowa State University, Iowa.
A naturalized US citizen from Ghana, Samuel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana, a PhD in Toxicology from Iowa State University, Iowa, USA and a PhD in Life and Health Sciences from François Rabelais University in Tours, France. Sam is a board certified Toxicologist and a member of the Society of Toxicology, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a member of the National Register of Italian Certified Toxicologists and a European Registered Toxicologist. Sam is based in the Durham office.
MANAGER, PUBLIC POLICY CHINA
David is responsible for developing, managing and executing the Nickel Institute’s Health and Environment Public Policy programme for China. The programme goal is to ensure that regulations relating to nickel and nickel compounds are based on sound scientific concepts and that appropriate guidelines are developed for metals.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2017, David accumulated a wealth of experience in public affairs at the Chinese operations of Oshkosh-JLG, DuPont Pioneer, Caterpillar, the National Energy Association and the State Administration of Work Safety China.
A Chinese citizen, David holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language with Business Administration, Economics & Trade from China Ocean University and a Master's degree in Law from Peking University. He is based in the Nickel Institute’s Beijing office.
MARKET DEVELOPMENT ANALYST
Parul’s main responsibilities are to support the Market Development programme, gather market statistics - including sectoral market research - and to provide coordination support to the Market Development team. She is based in the Brussels office.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2014, Parul held positions at the World Bank, the World Steel Association, and the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology.
A citizen of India, Parul holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics as well as an MBA in Economics and Management from Solvay Business School in Brussels.
MANAGER, MARKET DEVELOPMENT & TECHNICAL
Gary is responsible for market development projects and managing the Nickel Institute's consultants in North America from his base in Toronto. He provides technical nickel-related education and training internationally for various industries including the chemical, petrochemical, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, water and engineering sectors. Gary also provides metallurgical support to the organisation worldwide.
Gary joined the Nickel Institute in 1999 as Technical Director. Previously, he worked with a major international stainless steel producer for 25 years.
A citizen of Canada, Gary holds a BEng. degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, is a registered professional engineer (Ontario) and has more than 40 years of experience working with stainless steels and nickel alloys.
Isaline de Baré
Isaline provides communications support across the Nickel Institute. She also manages the Nickel REACH Consortia communications, website, publications, meetings and events. In addition, Isaline is also the Nickel Institute’s in-house designer, responsible for visual identity and e-communications.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2009, Isaline worked as a communications and product manager in Luxembourg.
A Belgian citizen, Isaline holds a degree in Communication and Public Relations from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. She is based in Brussels.
REGULATORY AFFAIRS SPECIALIST
Pablo Rodríguez Domínguez
Pablo manages and coordinates the Nickel REACH Consortia activities, ensuring that the Consortia Members are updated on the EU nickel regulatory environment and REACH registration dossiers are regularly updated.
He joined the Nickel Institute in 2017 from the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki where he worked in the Substance Identification and Data Sharing unit as well as on regulatory chemistry affairs, including REACH and Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulations.
Pablo is a Spanish national and holds an MEng in Chemical Engineering, with a dual specialty in Process Controls and Chemical and Biochemical Processes. He is based in the Nickel Instiute’s Brussels office.
Shinji Esaki is head of the Nickel Institute's Tokyo office. He is responsible for Market Development and Health and Environment Public Policy in Japan. He is also responsible for liaising with Nickel Institute members in Japan.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2017, Shinji worked for the Sumitomo Metal Mining Company for more than 30 years.
A Japanese citizen, Shinji is a graduate of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering of the Graduate School of Science and Technology of Kumamoto University. He has extensive experience in the process and sales management of non ferrous metals.
PUBLIC POLICY COORDINATOR
Claude is Coordinator in the Nickel Institute’s Health and Environment Public Policy team. She is responsible for managing events, publishing Nickel Institute position papers, maintaining relationships with stakeholders and ensuring member engagement in the Health & Environment Public Policy team’s activities. In addition, she is the Nickel Institute’s webmaster and is responsible for media and regulatory monitoring.
Since joining the Nickel Institute in 2007, Claude has held the positions of Member Services Manager and Office Manager. Previously, she worked as a business travel agent.
Claude is a French citizen and studied biology at the University of Strasbourg in France. She is based in the Nickel Institute’s Brussels office.
SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGIST, NiPERA
Dr. Emily Garman
Emily is responsible for developing and overseeing research for assessing the environmental effects of nickel production and use. She also coordinates the environmental research programme for the Nickel REACH Consortia and assists with other global environmental regulatory initiatives.
Prior to joining NiPERA in 2008, Emily was an Environmental Consultant with DPRA. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and was on the Board of Directors for the Regional Chapter.
A US national, Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Environmental Engineering specialising in water resources from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University. She is a Certified Environmental Risk Assessor.
SENIOR HUMAN HEALTH TOXICOLOGIST, NiPERA
Dr. Kate Heim
Kate Heim leads the Nickel Institute’s communications, research and regulatory actions regarding Nickel Allergic Contact Dermatitis. Her responsibilities also include overseeing bioelution testing and supporting incorporation of this approach into regulatory frameworks. Additional regulatory scientific input for nickel substances in Korea REACH and the International Maritime Organisation is also part of her role.
Kate first joined NiPERA in 1996, leaving in 2006 to work for ARCADIS on REACH registration dossiers. She returned to NiPERA in 2011, overseeing the updating of the REACH registration dossiers and resuming her role as the dermal sensitisation expert.
A US national, Kate holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colorado College and has a PhD in Toxicology and Cell Biology from Duke University. She has been a board-certified toxicologist since 2000. She is based in Durham.
MANAGER, REGULATORY AFFAIRS, SOUTH EAST ASIA
Fabien is responsible for ensuring that developing regulations for nickel and nickel compounds in South East Asia are based on sound science and risk management. He represents the nickel sector with supra-governmental organisations in the region, national authorities and industry associations. He is based in Singapore.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2018, Fabien spent five years at Lisam Services Telegis in France, before moving to Singapore in 2015 as Regulatory Affairs and Business Consultant with Lisam Singapore Pte. At Lisam Fabien gained extensive experience as a consultant on regulatory monitoring and support for corporate clients, working on GHS, REACH and other regulatory topics.
Fabien is a French citizen. He has an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Ecole Supérieur de Chimie Organique et Minérale and a BSc from the Université de Cergy Pontoise, France.
Jessie Hilgoe has a broad background in accounting. She is responsible for processing accounting transactions, closing month-end books and generating month-end reports, improving accounting processes, and annual audits.
Jessie began at Nickel Institute in August 2018. Prior to that, she was an Audit Senior for a public accounting firm and prior to that she was an Accounting Supervisor for an engineering company. Jessie has her Masters in Accounting from North Carolina State University.
OPERATIONS SUPPORT SPECIALIST, NiPERA
Connie Lawson has extensive experience in operational support services and project management. She is responsible for organising and coordinating the Durham office operations and procedures to ensure they are efficient and effective. She provides office management, including liaison between staff and outsourced services, as well as overseeing the NiPERA sample repository and providing communications support.
Connie first worked at NiPERA from 1988-1997. She re-joined in 2009, after working for a global technology services company in the life sciences sector, where she implemented data validation services for pharmaceutical companies from project initiation to production rollout and management of day-to-day operations.
COMMUNICATIONS & EXECUTIVE ASSISTANCE
Christine is responsible for Communications and Executive Assistance in the Nickel Institute’s Beijing Office. She is responsible for efficient office operations and administration as well as finance and HR affairs. Christine also takes care of communication activities to Chinese stakeholders on the benefits of nickel and nickel-containing materials.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2008, Christine worked in several multinational corporations and foreign-invested companies including the Manpower Group, the Randstad Group and Boonty Beijing.
A Chinese citizen, Christine holds Bachelor degrees in Information and Information Systems Management and in Journalism from the Wuhan University in China.
HUMAN HEALTH TOXICOLOGIST, NiPERA
Dr. Tara Lyons-Darden
Tara is responsible for coordinating, managing and maintaining the classification and toxicity data in the Nickel REACH Consortia registration dossiers. She also manages several projects within the nickel nanoparticulate research programme.
Prior to joining NiPERA, Tara held two consecutive postdoctoral research fellowships that focused on prostate cancer research (Duke University) and the biological effects of neurotoxic agents (U.S. EPA). Following her postdoctoral research, Tara had the unique opportunity to work as a medical writer and editor for Education and Training Systems International and The Customer Link. In 2008, Tara joined NiPERA as the scientific technical writer and later expanded her scientific contribution by increased utilization of her educational and research background.
Tara holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Chemistry from North Carolina State University and has a PhD in Pathology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Board Certified Toxicologist (Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology). Tara is a US citizen, based in Durham.
DIRECTOR, MARKET DEVELOPMENT
Richard leads the Market Development team to promote the use of nickel in appropriate applications. Richard has represented the Nickel Institute since 2007. He has extensive knowledge of nickel and its applications and has helped establish and grow markets for nickel-containing products in diverse sectors, including concrete reinforcement, plumbing and civil engineering.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute, Richard was Executive Director of the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA).
An Australian citizen, Richard holds a BA from Monash University in Melbourne. He is based in Brisbane.
SENIOR MANAGER, REGULATORY AFFAIRS
Kai is responsible for global market access programmes, including emerging chemicals management systems and implementation of Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. In addition, he has overall responsibility for REACH within the Nickel Institute.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2014, Kai was an advisor in the legal department of the European Chemicals Agency where he worked on REACH implementation.
A German national, Kai holds a degree in Law from Trier University as well as postgraduate degrees in Law and International Affairs from Andrássy University in Budapest. He is based in the Nickel Institute’s Brussels office.
ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGIST, NiPERA
Dr. Elizabeth Traudt Middleton
Ellie works within environmental science program where she collaborates on the design, monitoring, and management of environmental toxicity studies. Ellie also facilitates the preparation of environmental risk assessments for submission to regulatory agencies and communication of environmental toxicity information on nickel and its compounds to relevant stakeholders.
Prior to joining NiPERA in 2019, Ellie was an Ecological Risk Assessor with Jacobs Engineering Group where she worked on projects on behalf of both governmental bodies and private sector industries, gaining expertise in U.S. EPA environmental regulations. She is an active member of both the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and the American Chemistry Society (ACS) and has co-authored several peer-reviewed journal papers.
Ellie holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Metropolitan State University of Denver, a Masters in Geochemistry from Colorado School of Mines, and a PhD in Geochemistry specializing in aquatic toxicology from Colorado School of Mines. Ellie is a US citizen and is based in the Durham office.
SENIOR MANAGER, PUBLIC POLICY
Dr. Mark Mistry
Mark is responsible for public policy and life cycle management issues in the Health and Environment Public Policy team. He is based in Brussels. He monitors regulatory developments likely to impact the nickel industry and identifies opportunities to contribute to the academic and scientific debate on life cycle assessment and the benefits of using and recycling nickel. He is moreover involved into the development of global sustainability standards.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2008, Mark worked as REACH Coordinator at Aurubis, the integrated copper group and copper recycler and as Environmental Manager at Eurometaux, the European non-ferrous metals association.
As German citizen, Mark holds a degree in Economic Geology and has a PhD in Mining Engineering both from Aachen RWTH Technical University (Germany).
GLOBAL TECHNICAL INQUIRY SERVICE COORDINATOR
Geir manages the Nickel Institute’s Technical Inquiry Service and provides metallurgical support to the Nickel Institute worldwide. He is a professional engineer, registered in Ontario, Canada and is based in Toronto.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2014, Geir held the position of Senior Materials Engineer with a global engineering company and also worked for 17 years with a major international stainless steel producer.
A Canadian national, Geir holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Metallurgical Engineering from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGER
Phil delivers IT support across the Nickel Institute, ensuring that the IT services are efficient, effective and capable of adapting to changing needs and demands. He enables collaborative working between all Nickel Institute locations.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2014, Phil had provided external IT consultancy to NiPERA since 1997. Previously, he worked for SRA International as a Senior Systems Engineer and served in the US Navy as a Radioman.
A US national, Phil is a Microsoft Certificated Systems Engineer, a Microsoft Certified Professional, a SANS Global Information Assurance Certificated Security Professional and an Oracle Certified Associate and holds CompTIA A Plus, CompTIA Security Plus certification. He is based in Durham and is part of the Shared Services team.
Dr. Adriana Oller
Adriana Oller is NiPERA’s Toxicologist Emeritus. She took on this role in 2021 having previously served as Executive Director, NiPERA Inc.
She joined NiPERA in 1994 as a human health toxicologist, and is a leading authority on the mutagenicity and carcinogenicity effects of nickel. She regularly participates in expert panels worldwide.
Prior to joining NiPERA, Adriana undertook post-doctoral research at both the Lineberger Cancer Research Center and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in North Carolina.
Originally from Argentina, Adriana holds a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from Buenos Aires University and has a Ph.D. in Genetic Toxicology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Adriana has authored a number of peer-reviewed papers on nickel toxicology. She is based in Durham.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANCE & COMMUNICATIONS, MARKET DEVELOPMENT
Shannon provides support to the Nickel Institute’s Market Development group and is also part of the communications team. Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2018, Shannon gained diverse project support, executive assistance, office management and communications experience in the oil and gas, mining and construction sectors as well as consumer goods and investment. Her previous companies include Aussie Enviro Excavations, Ltd; Rio Tinto; Queensland Investment Corporation and Fosters Group Ltd.
Shannon is an Australian citizen and has a BA from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
GENERAL COUNSEL & CORPORATE SECRETARY
Linda is the Nickel Institute’s General Counsel & Corporate Secretary. She is responsible for managing the Governance of the Nickel Institute, acting as Compliance and Privacy Officer as well as delivering legal advice and services.
Linda joined the Nickel Institute in 2018. She has extensive experience gained both in the not-for-profit and private sectors. She was latterly Vice President & General Counsel of the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCFTA) and their charitable foundation. Prior to joining the CCTFA in 2003, Linda established her own corporate/commercial law practice. The early part of her career was spent at The Body Shop, Canada where she was Vice President Legal, HR & Corporate Affairs.
Linda has a B.A. in Communications & Visual Arts from the University of Windsor, Ontario and a Law degree from the University of Western Ontario. She also has an Advanced Executive Program Certificate in Human Resources Management, from the University of Toronto. She was admitted to the Bar in 1994 and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario; the Canadian Bar Association; the Canadian Society of Association Executives and the Human Resources Professional Association.
DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS & MEMBER SERVICES
Clare heads up communications across the Nickel Institute. She is responsible for ensuring that the importance of nickel and nickel-containing materials is widely recognised and that Nickel Institute Members are kept up-to-date on Nickel Institute activities.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2013, Clare held corporate communications roles in blue chip companies and industry associations. In addition to her communications experience, she has considerable knowledge of change management, marketing, events, crisis management and CSR communications.
A dual British and Belgian citizen, Clare holds a degree in Business Studies from the University of Edinburgh. She is based in the Nickel Institute’s Brussels office.
PRINCIPAL, US PUBLIC POLICY
Christian Richter is the US Public Policy Principal and is based in Washington DC. He is responsible for leading the Nickel Institute’s public policy outreach in the United States.
Christian has more than 25 years experience in US public policy.
A US citizen, Christian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science and a Masters in Policy Analysis/Public Policy.
PROJECT MANAGER – BATTERIES
Ken Rudisuela is Project Manager – Batteries. He leads the Nickel Institute’s project to ensure the benefits of nickel in lithium-ion batteries are well understood. He leads a cross-functional battery team.
Ken brings to the Nickel Institute over 35 years of experience in the advanced battery and ultracapacitor industries where he has been involved in research and development, product development and design, manufacturing, and commercialization of battery technologies. His international career has spanned in advanced portable energy systems, lithium-ion polymer batteries, ultracapacitors and research and development in senior roles in Canada, Ukraine, Germany and the US.
Ken joined the Nickel Institute in 2019 and is based in Toronto. He is a Canadian citizen and a graduate in Applied Science from the University of Waterloo, Canada.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NiPERA
Dr. Chris Schlekat
Chris leads NiPERA Inc’s team of environmental and human health toxicologists as well as support staff. He is responsible for the strategic research direction of the science arm of the Nickel Institute, as well as guiding the research, regulatory and communications activities of six doctoral level staff. Prior to being appointed Executive Director, NiPERA in 2021, Chris was Senior Environmental Toxicologist and Deputy Executive Director, responsible for ensuring that regulations pertaining to nickel and nickel substances in the environment are based on current scientific knowledge. Chris also represents NiPERA in global regulatory processes, with specific emphasis on bioavailability-based risk-assessment approaches for nickel in water, sediment, and soil.
Before joining NiPERA in 2003, Chris was manager of Environmental and Health Sciences for Rio Tinto Borax in California. He serves on the editorial board of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
A US citizen, Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, a Masters in Marine Biology and a Doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences. He is a Board-Certified Toxicologist and is based in Durham.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Gerry is responsible for Shared Services, which includes all financial-related activities of the Institute, Human Resources and IT.
Before taking up his current role in 2015, Gerry was Financial Officer for NiPERA Inc. His association with NiPERA started in 1999. He has expertise in strategic planning, internal controls, budgeting and forecasting models.
A US national, Gerry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting (cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University. He is also both a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He is based in the Nickel Institute’s Durham office.
MANAGER, MARKET DEVELOPMENT SOUTH EAST ASIA
Jürg Schweizer is Market Development Manager, South East Asia for the Nickel Institute and is based in Singapore. He is responsible for Market Development activities in Asian markets outside Japan and China, executing projects, developing opportunities and managing partner relations in the region.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2018, Jürg worked for Thyssen Edelstahl and then for Benteler, where he undertook, for the past 25 years, a number of special assignments in Singapore and the Asian Pacific Region including establishing organisations and joint ventures.
A Swiss national, Jürg studied Marketing, Economics and Commerce in Switzerland
MANAGING DIRECTOR CHINA
Dr. Philip Song
Philip heads the Nickel Institute’s Beijing office and is responsible for leading Market Development work in China.
Philip joined the Nickel Institute in 2016 from Carpenter Technology, where he held the position of Technical Manager/Metallurgist, Asia. Previous roles include General Manager at Shanghai Weldstone and China Manager at Bohler Welding Austria.
A Chinese national, Philip holds a PhD in Materials Science from the China Iron and Steel Research Institute and a Masters in Materials Science and Engineering from Xi’an Jiantong University as well bachelor degrees in Physics from the Beijing University of Science & Technology and in Computer Science, University of Windsor in Canada.
DIRECTOR, HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC POLICY
Dr. Veronique Steukers
Veronique is responsible for ensuring that global regulation and legislation on nickel and nickel compounds is science-based, justified and takes account of the socio-economic importance and the life cycle perspective of nickel. She leads the Nickel Institute’s Health and Environment Public Policy team and is based in Brussels.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2012, Veronique was Advocacy Director in the Corporate Sustainability Department of Albemarle. She has more than 20 years experience in regulatory and government affairs as well as advocacy in the corporate metal and chemicals sector.
Veronique holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Exeter. She currently chairs the EHS and REACH Steering Committee of Eurometaux, the European non-ferrous metals association.
HUMAN HEALTH TOXICOLOGIST, NiPERA
Dr. Mike Taylor
Mike is responsible for overseeing research to fill data gaps in the risk assessment and human health effects associated with exposure to nickel and nickel compounds.
Prior to joining NiPERA in 2013, Mike was senior toxicologist for Afton Chemical Corporation, where he was responsible for identifying potential regulatory and risk assessment gaps regarding the human health effects of inorganic manganese.
A US citizen, Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a PhD in Toxicology, both from West Virginia University. He also conducted post-doctoral research on the health effects of metal-containing dusts and fumes for the National Research Council. He has been a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology since 2009. He is based in Durham.
MANAGER, PUBLIC POLICY
Marco Vallini is responsible for identifying, assessing and reporting on global regulatory and public policy issues, particularly in relation to EHS, product safety and chemicals management. He also works across the Nickel Institute and NiPERA in developing and implementing relevant industry positions. He is based in Brussels.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2011, Marco held EU public affairs positions in a number of European trade associations. He also worked for a Member of the European Parliament.
An Italian citizen, Marco holds a Masters degree (Laurea) in Political Science from the University of Milan.
MANAGER, MARKET DEVELOPMENT EUROPE
Benoît Van Hecke
Benoît is responsible for managing relations with Market Development partners, running projects and exploring opportunities in the European market to promote the use of nickel in appropriate applications.
Before joining the Nickel Institute in 2018, Benoît held a number of roles at stainless steel manufacturer Aperam, most recently as Head of Projects Sales for capital goods.
A Belgian citizen, Benoît speaks six European languages and holds a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from KU Leuven as well as a postgraduate Business Management degree from the University of Hasselt. He is based in the Nickel Institute’s Brussels office.
MANAGER, SHARED SERVICES
Jeroen Vanhecke is the Shared Services manager at the Nickel Institute office in Brussels. In addition to his accounting and HR functions, he is responsible for the financial management of the Nickel REACH Consortium as well as data-sharing support and organisational support.
He joined the Nickel Institute in 2006 and has an economic background.
Steven Verpaele is the Industrial Hygienist at the Nickel Institute within the Health & Environment Public Policy team. He is responsible for feasibility and cost-benefit analyses in developing occupational exposure limits and for strategic input to nickel exposure scenarios in the REACH files.
Prior to joining the Nickel Institute in 2017, Steven worked at MENSURA, Belgium’s largest external occupational health service, where he spent over ten years executing and managing industrial hygiene projects.
A Belgian citizen, Steven graduated (cum laude) in Chemistry from Hogeschool Ghent, holds a BSc and an MSc in Environmental Chemistry from the Open University and studied Occupational Hygiene at the University of Leuven. He is also founder of the Belgian Centre for Occupational Hygiene, a non-profit organisation focused on research and laboratory services for industry. Steven serves on the Board of the Occupational Hygiene Training Association. He is based in the Nickel Institute’s Brussels office.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANCE & COMMUNICATIONS
Cindy (Yao) Wang
Cindy (Yao) Wang joined the Nickel Institute in 2021 in the role of Executive Assistance and Communications.
Cindy is fluent in Chinese, English and Japanese. Prior to joining the Nickel Institute she used her organization and language skills as a freelancer and provided events organization support to the Nickel Institute. Her previous experience was as a senior buyer, team leader and manager of a French apparel company in Shanghai.
Cindy is a Chinese citizen and is based in the Nickel Institute’s Tokyo office.