Mijndert van der Spek studied Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management at Delft University of Technology with a specialisation in Chemical Engineering. He then worked at Royal Dutch Shell for three years in supply chain optimisation and polyols production technology. He continued his career with a doctoral study at Utrecht University, where he focused on process modelling of CO2 capture plants, including solvents, membranes and oxyfuel options, and their integration with CO2 host plants. He further specialised in economic analysis of CCUS technologies and systems and in method development for uncertainty analysis of such systems. His PhD was part of the project EDDiCCUT, with NTNU and Sintef (former Tel-Tek) as research partners, and Gassnova, Norske Shell, Uniper and Bharat petroleum as funding/industrial partners. He initiated collaborations with Procedé and with Politecnico di Milano, where he both stayed for guest researcherships. Mijndert pursued at postdoc at ETH in Zurich, working with Marco Mazzotti in the Separation Processes Lab, where he collaborated on the EU ACT project ELEGANCY, worked on research in the Swiss Competence Centre on Energy Research (SCCER) and initiated research into sorbent based direct air capture (in loose collaboration with DAC company Climeworks).
Per 1 July 2019, Mijndert has been appointed Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University. His research there will continue with sorbent based direct air capture, focusing especially on the characterisation and role of humidity on CO2 adsorbtion and the enhancing or competing role that water can play. He will also continue his work on energy system analysis, especially techno-economic and environmental analysis of CCS, CCU and Negative emission technologies.