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Aitor Sánchez graduated in Chemical Engineering from the University of Basque Country in 2020. During his BSc he worked as collaborator in the Chemical Engineering research group in Energy Efficiency and Environment, in the analysis of the behavior of TIO2 as a radical generating agent of advanced oxidation processes based on UV and O3.

He carried out his bachelor final project developing a ceramic ultrafiltration system for the conditioning and disinfection of industrial waters of low/medium pollutant load in Likuid Nanotek S.L.

His current research is focused on the study of the applicability of a membrane fouling and water quality detection.


Post-Doctoral - Researcher

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Iliane Rafaniello holds a degree in chemistry and a Master in Applied Chemistry and Polymers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), with specialization in membrane processes for water treatment and production.

Her research has laid the foundations for the development of the technological basis of SURPHASE, from lab-scale to the market, and generously supported by the European Research Council (ERC).


(NBS Group/Surphase)

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Jon Arrizabalaga graduated in Chemistry with International Intensification Citation at the University of the Basque Country in 2020. He carried out his bachelor final project in Sanofi (Frankfurt, Germany) in the medicinal chemistry department.

In 2021 he obtained a master’s degree in polymer science at the same university and completed the master’s thesis within the Nanobioseparation research group of POLYMAT institute, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Schäfer and Dr. Iliane Rafaniello.

During his master´s final project, Jon explored the practical limitations of two different surface-sensitive techniques such as quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring and multiparametric surface plasmon resonance to elucidate membrane phenomena.

In October 2020 he joined SURPHASE (a spin-off company from the University of the Basque Country and POLYMAT) as a lab technician. One year later, he started an industrial Ph. D in the company with the collaboration of the UPV/EHU and POLYMAT. His current research is focused on testing different membrane materials in order to extend the technology of SURPHASE into different industrial fields such as pharmaceutical, agro-food, textile, and oil & gas.

San José


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Leire San José earned her BSc in Chemistry from the University of the Basque Country. During her studies, she spent six months at The University of Texas at Austin (USA). She earned her MSc in Forensic Science from the University of Strathclyde (UK), obtaining the specialization in Forensic Chemistry.


She has worked as a postgraduate researcher at Tyndall National Institute (Ireland) and QPS GmbH (Austria).

Leire joined the Nanohybrids and Interactive Polymers group in the Institute of Polymer Science and Technology (ICTP-CSIC) in Madrid in 2020, where she focused on the research of fluorescent ZnO quantum dots coupled with RAFT multifunctionalized polymers.

Since 2023, she works in the Nanobioseparations research group of POLYMAT studying molecular interactions on diverse interfaces.


Ikerbasque Research Professor

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Thomas earned his BSc from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg and MSc in Chemical Engineering with focus on Bioreactor Technology from the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (Germany). He obtained his PhD in 2002 from Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) on mass transfer phenomena in membrane separation processes. He has worked as a postgraduate and postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), IBET/Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), Università degli Studi di Siena and Università di Pisa (Italy), as well as Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain). Since October 2010, he is Ikerbasque Research Professor at POLYMAT – University of the Basque Country.