Introducing the PhD students of CO2Refinery

Photo of Florian Müller

Florian was born in Judenburg, Austria. He grew up mostly in Burgenland, but also in Styria and for one year in Budapest. He graduated from a school with focus on natural sciences in 2012, and after finishing the mandatory military service, he enrolled at TU Wien.

During his process engineering education Florian came in contact with several topics related to CO2-capturing. His bachelor thesis investigated the absorption of CO2 by Selexol in cooperation with Borealis Polyolefine GmbH. For his master thesis, he compared different solid adsorbents for capturing CO2 from flue gas.

These experiences with processing of CO2 have led him to CO2Refinery, where he hopes to contribute his part in the global fight against climate change.

Contact Information

Phone: +43 1 58801 166370

Photo of Leisan

Leisan comes from the Russian region Bashkortostan near the Ural Mountains. After getting a BSc degree at Ufa Petroleum University, she moved to Austria to continue her education. Being sponsored by OMV, she pursued Petroleum engineering MSc studies at Montanuniversität Leoben.
After graduation, Leisan was seeking to find possibilities to gain experience and obtain another degree in a different sector. The choice fell on projects related to renewables and smart usage of energy. She found her research interest in CO2Refinery.
In her free time, Leisan enjoys to play chess and solve logic puzzles, explore beautiful parks and landscapes of Austria, and travel abroad.

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Portrait Julia Kalarus

Julia was born in Krakow, Poland, where she received a BSc degree in Material Science and Engineering at AGH University of Science and Technology. In 2021 she graduated from the Master's Programme Advanced Materials and Processes at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. In 2021 she joined the CO2Refinery Doctoral School and works in the Research Group for Sustainable Organic Chemistry and Catalysis, led by Professor Katharina Schröder, where she develops and evaluates catalytically active hollow-fiber membrane reactors.

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Photo of Ivo

Ivo did his Bachelor's degree in Biology with a focus on Cell and Molecular Biology at Wageningen University, and completed his master in Applied Biotechnology at Uppsala University in Sweden. During his master thesis, he did research in using an acetogenic bacterium for heterotrophic electro-fermentations at Chalmers University. Ever since, he has been fascinated by the unique features that acetogenic bacteria offer for fixation of CO2, CO and other one-carbon compounds into value-added chemicals. During his PhD project, he will explore the possibilities to genetically engineer these acetogenic strains for industrial applications to increase productivity and expand natural product spectra. He will also focus on developing continuous bioprocessing strategies for acetogenic utilisation of gaseous compounds for commodity production.

Contact Information

Phone: +43 1 58801 166463

Photo of Gustavo Alves

Gustavo Andrade Silva Alves comes from Brazil, where he obtained his BSc. in Engineering Physics at the Federal University of Sao Carlos and later his MSc. in Applied Physics at the University of Sao Paulo. Recently, he has been interested in exploring catalytic and photocatalytic processes that can be fundamental to the mitigation of environmental impact. In his current research, he seeks to investigate new catalyst materials and to understand how some of their structural features may promote specific surface reactions, such as the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to methanol.

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Portrait Roghayeh Shirvani

Roghayeh was born in Iran. She is fascinated by exploring the physiology of yeast in order to link fundamental knowledge to biotechnological applications, particularly using the metabolic engineering approach. In her PhD project within CO2Refinery, which she carries out in the Research group Synthetic Biology and Molecular Biotechnology, she aims to work on the development of the path from one carbon chemical to bioproducts using methylotrophic yeasts.

Roghayeh's first hobby in life is science! Being involved in some scientific projects followed by lab experiments is a pleasant occupation to her. When she has more leisure time, she enjoys reading books and watching movies in the genres of philosophy, science fiction, and poetry. She also has a special interest in Persian santur as a musical instrument.

Contact Information

Phone: +43 1 58801 166028

Photo of Alexander Bartik

Alexander Bartik grew up in a rural area in Upper Austria. After his HTL education, he decided to move to the big city and study chemical engineering at TU Wien, which he graduated from in 2018. Since then, he has dedicated his professional life to research – in particular biomass utilization and catalytic synthesis processes – and is now happy to be part of the CO2Refinery team!

When he is not in Vienna, he can be frequently found in the Innviertel, in Styria, or on top of a mountain. He also spends a fair share of his free time playing the drums in orchestras or bands. Furthermore, one of his favorite things to do is traveling different countries and just enjoying nature.

Contact Information

Phone: +43 1 58801 166855

Photo of Katharina

Katharina received her BSc degree in Chemistry from University of Vienna before completing her Master's programme at TU Wien, including a Master thesis carried out at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT). In January 2022, she commenced her PhD project on porous ceramic frameworks for CO2 conversion processes, carried out in the framework of the TU Wien Doctoral College. 

Contact Information

Phone: +43 1 58801 164351

Photo of Diana Dimande

Diana Dimande is a Mozambican young woman who spent the past 6 years in Portugal: 5 studying Chemical Engineering and a few months working for an IT company. During her masters, she did 2 exchange semesters: the first one in 2017, at LUT in Finland, where she did some courses and the second one in 2019 here at TU Wien, doing the research for her masters thesis. Two years later, she is back at TU Wien for the CO2Refinery Doctoral College. In the next years, she will be working on a model for the refinery and assessing the environmental impacts associated to it.

During her free time she enjoys game nights with friends, cooking, and collective sports (especially futsal – “indoors football”).

Contact Information

Phone: +43 1 58801 166255


Frank studied Biology (Bachelor) at the University of Vienna, where he obtained an understanding of biogeochemical processes like the carbon cycle. However, in a project week about microalgae he did a literature search about industrial applications of algae and got curious about economic feasibility of alternative fuels. Because his interests changed from biological phenomena to production of plant-based products, Frank studied in the master´s programme material and energetic utilization of renewable raw materials (NAWARO) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). His main research interests are biomass-based energy carriers and climate change mitigation.

In the spare time he likes to do different kinds of sports: running, cycling, fitness etc.

Contact Information

Phone: +43 1 58801 370367