Tom Breugelmans started his career as an assistant in 2004 at Artesis Hogeschool Antwerp and obtained a PhD in engineering science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in 2010. Afterwards he became a post-doctoral researcher at the VUB. He is currently a full professor at the University of Antwerp and since September 2020 he also assumes the mandate of dean of the Faculty of Applied Engineering. He is spokesperson of the research group ELCAT (Applied Electrochemistry and Catalysis). Currently, he is author of more than 100 peer-reviewed A1 publications and (co-)promotor of multiple national and international research projects, some of which as the lead promotor.
His main expertise is related to the electrochemistry and development of electrochemical processes suitable for industrial applications. This encompasses three interconnected lines of research: electrochemical synthesis, electrocatalysis and electrochemical reactor engineering. Among major applications are the design of new catalytic materials for electrodes in electrolyzers and fuel cells and “Power-to-X”, i.e., using electricity to sustainable production of chemicals. The main goal there is to facilitate the use of electrochemistry in large-scale industrial processes and as such achieve industrial electrification, in a green and sustainable way and as such ultimately replace the traditional chemical processes.
He is a member of the Center of Excellence “Catalysis for Sustainable Organic Chemistry (CASCH)” at the University of Antwerp – one of 15 Centers of Excellence that was established in 2020 following an independent evaluation by a panel of international experts. In addition, he is also a member of the CAPTURE network, whose main goal is to accelerate radical technological innovations within the framework of a sustainable chemical industry.