Thevenon Research Group

Group members

Dr. Arnaud Thevenon

Arnaud Thevenon-Kozub (Thevenon) received his Master’s degrees from EPFL in 2013. During his undergraduate studies, he worked with Prof. Gabor Laurenczy on the Ru-catalyzed decomposition of formic acid. He then completed his Master thesis in the group of Prof. Paula Diaconescu, at UCLA, on redox-active catalysts for the polymerization of cyclic lactones. Then, Arnaud moved to the University of Oxford, in the group of Prof. Charlotte Williams, where he obtained his PhD on the development of main group catalysts for the synthesis of oxygenated polymers. After completion of his PhD in 2018, Arnaud joined the group of Prof. Theodor Agapie at Caltech as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow. His research focused on the development of hybrid heterogeneous Cu electrodes for the electroconversion of CO2-to-fuels. At the end of 2020, he moved back to Europe to complete his Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship in the group of Prof. Stefan Mecking, at the University of Konstanz, where he worked on the development of catalysts for olefin polymerization. Since August 2021, Arnaud joined the Organic Chemistry and Catalysis group as a tenure track assistant professor.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Weizhe Zhang is 33 years old and was born in China. His PhD work was done in Leiden University, The Netherlands and it is about the development of innovative electrochemical cells (fuel cell & electrolyzers) with atomically thin 2D membranes. By functionalization of 2D membranes, graphene for example, the selective proton transport in a large flux was achieved and thus this opens new possibilities for more electrochemical systems. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Beihang University, China, majored in material science and engineering (polymer and composite direction) and biology and medical engineering (biological technology in renewable energy). Since 2023, he started his postdoc in the group dr. Arnaud Thevenon, in the direction of polymer oxidation for the recyclability and CO2 reduction. In this period, he will devote to build the electrochemical system based on not only the state-of-art electrocatalysts, membrane but also to explore reactions with more possibilities to be integrated in a cost-efficient electrochemical cell.

PhD Candidates

Maartje Otten (PhD Candidate) 27 years old and was born and raised in Breda in the south of The Netherlands. After obtaining her Bachelor of Applied Sciences from Avans Hogeschool Breda in 2018, she went to study in Utrecht where she obtained her master’s degree in Nanomaterials Science in the group of Prof. dr. Bert Klein Gebbink from Utrecht University in 2021. After having an amazing time during her master’s research at the Organic Chemistry & Catalysis group, she started as a PhD candidate within the same group under supervision of Prof. dr. Pieter Bruijnincx and dr. Arnaud Thevenon. Her research is focusing on recycling and upcycling of polyolefins through post polymerization functionalization with the help of homogeneous catalysis and explore possible new material properties. Outside of work, Maartje likes to play field hockey and squash with friends, watch Formula 1, go to museums and enjoys road/city trips.
Lars Killian (PhD Candidate) is 26 years old and was born and raised in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Utrecht University in 2019 with the distinction cum laude. Lars stayed at Utrecht University for his master’s degree in Nanomaterials Science, which he obtained cum laude in 2021 with a thesis in the group of dr. Danny Broere. After a short stay in the lab of dr. Dennis Hetterscheid at Leiden University, he then went on to start his PhD project in the group of dr. Arnaud Thevenon where his research focuses on the synthesis of novel catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of CO2. In his free time, Lars likes to go bouldering or play a game of Geoguessr.
Björn Grabbet (PhD candidate) is 31 years old, was born in Lübeck and grew up in Bad Schwartau, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. In 2012 he moved to Hamburg, Germany to work as a sound technician until in 2015 Björn decided to move to Bremen to study chemistry. He obtained his bachelor’s (2019) and master’s (2022) degree at the University Bremen, Germany in the Beckmann group, where he was working on the stabilization of subvalent and cationic group XIV organometallic compounds. Being grateful for all the experiences during his time in Bremen he switched to the Universiteit Utrecht and joined the Thevenon subgroup in 2022. Björn’s PhD thesis revolves around the design of homogenous catalysts that allow the incorporation of CO2 into growing polyolefin chains to increase the controllable recyclability of these polymers. When not in the lab, he pursues culinary research in his kitchen, produces music and likes to visit concerts and plays in theatres.

Master Students


Bachelor Students

Past Group Members

Master Students:Abdullah Taiem (2022), Floris Enthoven (2023), Mathijs Govaart (2023), Marije Hilberts (2024), Jeroen Hendriks (2024), Anne Olarte Loyo (2024)
Bachelor Students:Annemijn van Koten (2022), Daelin Peel-Smith (2023), Timo Hokke (2023), Annelise Matser (2024), Inèz Klein-Gebbink (2024)
Research Interns:Luke Adams (2024)