Steven Reekmans

Steven Reekmans

Work History

Work History
Oct 2007 - Present

Senior director, Polyolefin R&D

Borealis

Borealis is a leading polyolefin producer, generating $ 8 billion revenue by providing polyolefin based solutions for the automotive, advanced packaging and infrastructure markets.

  • Leading a large multidisciplinary group of 160 researchers and product developers, located in 3 European Innovation centres.
  • Responsible for catalyst research, process development, polymer design and compounding of plastics for automotive, infrastructure and advanced packaging markets.
  • Reorganized and implemented an organization fully focused on project work, and established portfolio management, resulting in a significant improvement in project delivery performance.
  • Rebuilt technical competence through strategic recruitment of over 40 people and specific onboarding programs.
  • Analyzed competitive technologies and developed with the Strategy team scenarios for acquisition and licensing, resulting in an acquisition.
  • Ensured return on the R&D investment through product launches creating an additional $ 250 million.
Feb 2005 - Sep 2007

Director, Innovation & Technology

Celanese

In 2005 Vinamul Polymers was acquired by Celanese, leading to a combined Emulsion Polymers’ business worth $ 1 billion.

  • Directed the European Technology department with over 80 scientists, engineers and technicians active in Technical Service, R&D, Product Stewardship (REACH), and Analytical characterization.
  • Developed a technology strategy and consolidated the Technology groups of Celanese and Vinamul into Global Centres of Excellence, resulting in a lower operational cost, a harmonized way of resolving issues (six sigma based), a much improved use of our resources and better knowledge sharing.
  • Introduced a common project management process and streamlined the project portfolio, resulting in a pipeline with 30% less projects, and a timely launch of the prioritized products. 
Oct 2001 - Jan 2005

Head of Technology & Business Development

Vinamul Polymers (ICI Europe)

Until acquired by Celanese, Vinamul Polymers was a $ 150 million business unit of National Starch & Chemical (part of ICI). Managed a 27 people strong, multicultural team, covering technical service, business development, product & process development, analytical characterization, and microbiology.

  • Managed a multicultural team covering technical service, business development, product & process development, analytical characterization, and microbiology.
  • Directed 4 business development plans for the use of emulsion polymers in the Adhesives, Decorative Coatings, Nonwovens and Glass Fibre industries to enable alignment of technology with business segment strategy, and clear priority setting in the project portfolio
  • Reorganized the R&D group following site closure, strengthened the critical technical skills, and delivered 20% of Vinamul’s 2003 profit through alternative raw material savings, operational efficiency enhancement, and new product introductions.
  • Customized and implemented a stage gate process for new product development, resulting in a structured, manageable forum for idea screening and project management.
Jan 2000 - Sep 2001

Business development manager, Agribusiness

Uniqema (ICI Americas)
  • Managed a Business Link Program between Uniqema and National Starch & Chemical, funded by the ICI Global Headquarters to exploit synergy with newly acquired companies. Led a team composed of members from different ICI Groups, functions and regions, with the objective to develop new business through novel technologies and/or new market entries. The project won the Uniqema 2001 award for ‘Best Teamwork’ and ‘Best Idea’.
Oct 1997 - Dec 1999

Marketing manager, Agriculture

Uniqema (ICI Europe)

Uniqema Crop Protection was a $ 45 million global business unit ICI, selling surfactants as formulation additives and biological efficacy enhancers to all the major agrochemical multinationals.

  • Developed a strategic marketing plan for our agricultural business unit for the EU and Americas region, moving with the industry & customers from a local to a global approach, resulting in a consistent service for the global key accounts.
Mar 1994 - Sep 1997

Technical manager, Crop Protection

ICI Europe
  • Provided technical support and promoted new products to all the major Agro customers, both in their European and American locations, and managed joined collaboration programs.
  • Designed the first extranet in ICI, providing a product recommender based on an expert system, resulting in enhanced customer loyalty and generating an outstanding e- tool for training.
  • Co-author of the book 'Chemistry and Technology of Agrochemical Formulations' edited by A Knowles (1998).

Education

Education
Sep 1992 - Jun 1993

Postgraduate

Sep 1987 - Jan 1993

PhD

Catholic University of Louvain

Funded by the National Foundation of Scientific Research (NFWO/CRNS). Received DSM Award for Innovative Research.

Sep 1983 - Jun 1987

Masters

Skills

Skills

change management

Reorganized and personally set up a Project Driven Organization to establish optimal focus on customer needs and timely project delivery

strategic thinking

Development of global marketing strategies and technology roadmaps.

project and portfolio management

Introduced a common project management process and tool,  and streamlined the project portfolio, resulting in a pipeline with 30% less projects, and a timely launch of the prioritized products.

people management

Leading a multidisciplinary group of 160 researchers and product developers, located in 3 European Innovation centers, with a $ 25 million annual budget. Recruited over 40 people to rebuild technical competence after site divestment. Developed competence development plans and a technical career ladder.

Interest

Marathon running

Summary

Internationally experienced senior leader with a track record of driving innovation and change in large organizations. Global experience in technology and business development in the Specialty Chemicals’ and Plastics´ industry. Strategic thinker with strong people management and networking skills, and with a proven ability to implement new ways of working and to create value through innovation.

Significant knowledge of best practices in research & development and professional portfolio management, technology acquisitions and JVs, setting up high performance organizations, harmonization of work flow processes, development of global marketing strategies and technology roadmaps.

Market experience in plastics for Automotive, Infrastructure (Wire and Cable, Pipe) and  Advanced Packaging (Film, Moulding) applications, synthetic polymers for Adhesives, Paints & Coatings, Nonwovens, Glass Fibre, Seed Coatings, Textiles and Paper applications, formulation additives for Agricultural and Cosmetic applications.