Dr. Erik Kiekens

You could call me an “old-school chemist”.  My first lab was in the basement of my parents’ home, when I was 12 years old, and I have always been knee-deep in chemistry since.  After receiving my PhD from the University of Leuven in 1987, in the field of organic synthesis, I started working in the chemical industry in Belgium.  In my restless search for new challenges and adventures I switched jobs many times and became an independent consultant in 2010.  Along the way, I also obtained a Postgraduaat Bedrijfskunde (Fundamentals in Management), also from Leuven.

Typical assignments during my career included R&D, innovation, process improvement, production management, plant management, QC, QA, QHSE and M&A. I co-founded , a company that specializes in pharmaceutical waste-water treatment.  For more details, please have a look at my LinkedIn page.

This introduction is not complete without mentioning that I am a dedicated father, a happy husband and a keen ocean sailor!


When creative chemistry is needed, in combination with the experience and wisdom that comes with years of hard work, I may be the key you are looking for.  Just a few days or longer term commitment, all is possible.


Innovation projects

Innovation is fun, and it helps when you have been involved in such diverse fields as aerosol formulation, analytical chemistry, cleaners, color chemistry, epoxy coatings, lubricants, photography, polyurethanes, printing inks, synthetic organic chemistry, sulfuric acid, silicones, waste-water treatment, sulfur chemistry, chemical safety and anti-fouling coatings for ships. It’s amazing how many synergies exist, and that increases the effectiveness and the fun of creative thinking.  I am particularly proud of the climate-projects I am currently involved in.



As a potential buyer you may want an independent opinion on the chemistry and technical aspects of your target company (not financial).  I have finished several such projects and found them very exciting.  The buyers were very grateful for my general opinion, the tips & tricks and the practical view on such aspects as chemical safety, cost of waste, potential quality problems… And I could not help adding some innovation ideas as well.  This was so much fun, I look forward to the next M&A project.


Process improvement

Many industrial chemical processes have been running since the seventies without much change.  At the time, not much attention was paid to energy consumption, yield and waste.  Today the scene has totally changed and you will want to address safety and environmental concerns as well as profitability.  I love to take a creative look at the process, and combine old-fashioned chemistry with modern concepts, using modern materials and technology, to avoid waste (in the broader sense).



I am very proud to have an advisory role in the by-products recycling projects of Solvakem.

For the last 25 years, Solvakem has added value to approximately 15.000 tons of chemical by-products per year. That’s 15.000 tons of materials annually that aren’t incinerated or dumped in landfill. Our aim is always to favour ‘higher’ forms of waste management on Lansink’s Ladder so we can ensure that fewer limited resources are used and that the carbon footprint is reduced considerably.

Interim Management

I am no longer available as an interim manager, although I am grateful for my experience as Plant Manager, Production Manager, QHSE Manager, Innovation Manager (all in chemistry-related environments).

Website and design proudly created by Gianni