New members of the Blonk Consultants team

Blonk Consultants recently welcomed three new colleagues. We are delighted that Mike van Paassen, Paulina Gual and Pieter van de Vijver have joined our team as consultants. Besides that, Maria de Vries joins us as a visiting researcher.

Mike, Paulina, Pieter and Maria introduce themselves to you below.

Mike van Paassen


Mike van Paassen is no stranger to Blonk Consultants. He worked on his final year research project on LCA of capital goods with us in 2016. It was the ideal study for a grower’s son with a background in chemical technology and industrial ecology. In October 2016 he began work with us as a consultant.

‘After my Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Technology I decided to study for a Master’s in Industrial Ecology at TU Delft and Leiden University. It seemed to be the ideal thing to do, to combine my knowledge of manufacturing and processing industries with sustainability science as my contribution to working for a greener world. Having grown up in the Westland greenhouse horticulture area, I am very familiar with agricultural processes, which are often at the heart of the work of Blonk Consultants. In my free time I play football and am a fanatic board gamer. I also read a lot about sustainability, history and politics, and I’m trying to see as much of the European continent as possible.’

Paulina Gual


Paulina Gual joined our team as a consultant in January 2017.

‘I was born and raised in Mexico City. I have a degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with a minor in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. I worked for some years in fuel trading and logistics, which eventually made me realise how desperately we need to adjust our lifestyles to reduce our environmental impact. I then decided to resign and study again so I could pursue a career in sustainability. I’ve been living in the Netherlands for a little more than two years now and have graduated from an MSc in Industrial Ecology from TU Delft and Leiden University. I now look forward to giving shape to sustainability at Blonk Consultants! The best thing about living in the Netherlands is cycling everywhere, which in Mexico City can be a bit of an extreme sport. My favourite thing to do in my free time is dancing. I’ve done everything from ballet to street dance, and I once even danced professionally for a theatre company.’

Pieter van de Vijver


Pieter van de Vijver joined our team as a consultant in January 2017.

‘Out of pure curiosity and love for complexity I studied physics and neuroscience. After that I worked in software development, trying to help people to understand and operate complex systems by devising a simplified interface. My journey seemed like a perfect fit with Blonk’s data-driven modelling approach to understanding the intricacies of often complex agricultural systems and the way they impact the environment and society. To offset all the complexities, I love kitesurfing, cooking (sustainable food of course!) and vegging out on Netflix. I’m looking forward to working together towards a sustainable future!’

Maria de Vries

Visiting researcher

Maria de Vries has been working as a guest researcher with Blonk Consultants since the end of 2016. She is doing research for us, but is not based at our offices.

‘The goal of my work for Blonk Consultants is to incorporate soil factors into the calculations of agricultural nitrogen emissions, because nutrient losses depend upon the type of soil. Being able to make more accurate estimates of nitrogen emissions will help to identify ways of improving nutrient retention and therefore increase nutrient efficiency. After finishing my biology studies I looked increasingly at ways to apply my biological knowledge to sustainability in the agricultural sector. My PhD was on the contributions made by microorganisms to the nutrient cycle in arable soils. I am glad that I can now gain more practical experience by doing this project with Blonk Consultants.’