Members of the Alignment Group

This page introduces the Members of the Alignment Group. The Alignment group coordinates the technical RD&I matters of the Association.

The members of the Alignment Group consist of the Coordinator, the IRAG chairpersons (chairs and vice-chairs), the Chair of the Delegates Group, the liaison officer(s) and the Executive Director.

211010 Maria Boile

Maria Boile, Coordinator

Professor, and Director of the M.Sc. in Shipping at the University of Piraeus, Department of Maritime Studies ( and Head of Unit on Transport Economics and Environment, Maritime and Air Transport, at the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT), Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) (

Professor Boile has served in senior academic and research positions in Europe and the U.S. She holds a diploma in Civil (Transportation) Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, M.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, US, and Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, US. She has participated in over 70 sponsored research projects in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, as a principal investigator in over half of them.


211005 J. Lara

Jorge Miguel Lara López, Chair of IRAG Port & Logistics

R&D Project Manager at Fundación Valenciaport, Fundación Valenciaport (

Jorge Lara holds a Business Degree from the University of Valencia, an Official Postgraduate Master's Degree in Economic Internationalisation: Integration and International Trade from the Institute of International Economics of the University of Valencia and a Master's Degree in Port Management and Intermodal Transport from ICADE Business School. He also holds a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investments Projects – Principles and Sector Applications diploma from the Milan Summer School – Università Degli Studi di Milano and CSIL – IX edition. He began his professional career in the Power Electronics España company in 2001, collaborating as a purchasing manager in the R&D Department. In 2010 he works with the Institute of International Economics, belonging to the University of Valencia, and with the Fundación Valenciaport as a R&D assistant in projects related to Short Sea Shipping, Logistics and New Technologies applied to shipping. In 2012 he was freelance specialist in Maritime Transport, International Trade and ICT Systems.

In September 2014 he joins the Fundación Valenciaport as a member of the Innovation and port cluster Development team. Since 2014, he is mainly focused on sustainability topics, being involved in different projects related to alternative fuels, circular economy ICT and Sea Traffic Management, such as H2PORTS, EALING, LASTING, YEP-MED, STM, GAINN4MOS, Costa project (use of LNG in maritime transport), LOOP-Ports, B2MoS, MedNet, etc. He is expert in Cost Benefit Analysis, participating in different proposal for CEF (Connecting Europe Facilities) He has coordinated the first European Union Circular economy project in ports LOOP-Ports funded by EIT Climate-KIC during 2018-2020.


211014 Jorrit Harmsen 

Jorrit Harmsen, Vice-Chair of IRAG Port & Logistics

Senior researcher, sustainable logistics, TNO (

Jorrit Harmsen focusses on technical, operational and logistics measures to enhance the environmental performance of waterborne transport and port operations. Furthermore, he is co-leader of TNO’s sustainable shipping program, where he is responsible for the strategic development of TNO's research on sustainability in shipping. TNO’s portfolio combines research covering operational and bunkering safety, powertrain development, aftertreatment concepts, and development of sustainable fuels and accompanying scenarios. Jorrit holds a Master of Science in International Economics & Economic Geography from the University of Utrecht.


Henk Prins SMALL

Henk Prins, Chair of IRAG Ships & Shipping

Manager R&D, MARIN (

Henk is employed by Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN) as manager of the R&D department. MARIN is a world-renowned research institute on ship and offshore hydrodynamics, and nautical studies. It operates several large water basins for experiments, including a special basin for inland shipping.

Henk has been heavily involved in European research projects, and has led two large projects on ship propulsion. He chaired the European research association “Vessels for the Future”, bringing together all maritime stakeholders, such as yards, suppliers, research institutes, academia, and class societies. This association later merged to become the Waterborne Technology Platform, which Henk has chaired for four years. During these years he played a pivotal role in setting up a partnership with the European Commission for zero-emission waterborne transport, which was established in June 2021, securing continuous funding for innovation on the cutting edge of technology in the maritime sector.


220104 Grigoropoulos

Gregory Grigoropoulos, Vice-Chair of IRAG Ships & Shipping

Professor of Ship and Marine Hydrodynamics, National Technical University of Athens, (

Gregory joined the School of NAME at NTUA in 1992 as Adjunct Lecturer. He is a member and former Manager of the Laboratory for Ship & Marine Hydrodynamics LSMH of NTUA. He is specialized in: Applied Ship Hydrodynamics, Experimental Procedures and Measurements, Design of high speed craft and sailing yachts, Design and construction of fishing vessels, Computer Aided Design and Decision Support Systems for the Shipping Industry. 

His scientific and educational work encompasses: 90 publications in Intl. Journals and peer-reviewed Conferences, 300 technical reports of the LSMH of NTUA for the industry, participation in more than 50 National and International projects, and membership of the 30th ITTC Quality Control Group and more than 20 NATO/STO Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Panel RTGs. 


220314 Christer Wik

Christer Wik, Ad-interim Chair of IRAG Ships & Shipping

General Manager Test Services, Wärtsilä Marine Power Solutions (

Christer is currently working as General Manager, Test Services in Wärtsilä Marine Power Solutions, heading a team handling all measurements, data management and expert support for the testing organisation. He has an MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology 1997, an MBA from Helsinki School of Economics 2004 and a Graduate Certificate in Maritime and Logistics Management from Australian Maritime College 2015. He started his career as Research Engineer at Wärtsilä in Vaasa, Finland in 1997 and has since then had several managerial positions within Wärtsilä’s R&D departments in France, Finland, and Italy. Tasks have among others included being Project Manager for the development of engine technologies fulfilling future IMO Tier III rules, leading Wärtsilä’s 4-stroke performance organization, working as Task Manager and planning the EC-financed HERCULES project, as well as developing the research funding setup and university cooperation. Christer has lately been leading the establishment of a successful research consortia within the combustion engine development area in Finland (ERI – Engine Research Initiative) and has also been responsible for Vaasa engine test laboratory and its development as well as for planning and build-up of lab activities in Wärtsilä’s Smart Technology Hub.


180923 Emilio F Campana

Emilio Campana, Chair of IRAG Blue Growth

Head of Engineering, ICT, Energy and Transport Department, Italian National Research Council (

Emilio Campana has been researcher at the IBM European Center for Scientific and Engineering Computing (IBM-ESEC), and successively joined the National Towing Tank (INSEAN), being the INSEAN Director between 2010 and 2017. During his research activities, he has been Principal Investigator of EDA (European Defense Agency) and ONR (Office of Naval Research, US NAVY) projects. 

Emilio is the Italian national represenative in the JPI Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans, the European platform for the harmonization of marine and maritime national reserach programs, and in the NATO Science and Technology Board, the highest scientific board of NATO. He is also the coordinator of the Scientific Committee of the National Technology Cluster of the Blue Growth, a national alliance promoted by the governement.



220801 N. P. Ventikos 2019

Nikolaos P. Ventikos, Vice-Chair of IRAG Blue Growth

Associate Professor in the Laboratory for Maritime Transport, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) (

Dr Nikolaos P. Ventikos is an Associate Professor in the Laboratory for Maritime Transport of the Division of Ship Design and Maritime Transport at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece. He is currently Head of the Naval Engineering Specialisation Committee of the Technical Chamber of Greece. He holds a diploma from the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of NTUA and a PhD from NTUA in the scientific areas of ship generated oil pollution, risk analysis/assessment and marine safety. Dr Ventikos’ expertise is in marine safety; risk engineering; environmental engineering (oil marine pollution and confrontation methods/techniques); human factors/engineering; risk based design; human centered design; resilience engineering; salvage engineering; blue growth; (blue) skills development; systems engineering; port operations; maritime sustainability; and statistical modelling.


220914 Carlos Soares

Carlos Guedes Soares, Chair Implementation Review Group

Distinguished Professor of the Engineering Faculty, University of Lisbon, and Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Marine Technology and Ocean Engineering

Carlos Guedes Soares is a Distinguished Professor of the Engineering Faculty (Instituto Superior Técnico) of the University of Lisbon and Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Marine Technology and Ocean Engineering (CENTEC), which is a research centre of the University of Lisbon that is rated as “Excellent” and funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. He concluded his postgraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA in 1976, and at the Norwegian Institute of Technology of the University of Trondheim, in 1984 and has since then been at the University of Lisbon (Technical University of Lisbon until 2013). He has supervised more than 75 PhD students and has co-authored more than 900 journal papers and several more in Conferences. He has been Chair or Co-Chair of various conferences in the series of OMAE, ESREL, IMAM, ISSC, ICCGS, MARSTRUCT, MARTECH and RENEW Conferences. He is a Fellow of SNAME, RINA, IMarEST, ASME, Ordem dos Engenheiros, Member of ASCE, AGU and SRA and a Member of the Portuguese Academy of Engineering.

Prof. Guedes Soares has a wide experience of research projects resulting from being involved in over 70 European projects. He also has a large managerial experience resulting from having coordinated 9 European projects, and being the technical coordinator of 5 others, in addition to coordinating about 15 smaller scale national projects out of the more than 50 in which he has participated.


220921 Salvador Furio

Salvador Furió, Liaison Officer Technology Platform ALICE

Salvador Furió Pruñonosa, Innovation & Port Cluster Development Director, Fundación Valenciaport (

Salvador Furió holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and a Master of Science in Ports Management and Intermodal Transport from the Comillas University (ICADE). After six years of experience as Project Director at LOGISTA, the leading logistics operator in Spain, he joined the Valenciaport Foundation in 2004 as Director of Logistics and Intermodality. Since then, he has participated in and directed numerous consulting, research and cooperation projects at national, European and international levels, always related to container logistics, maritime, railway and intermodal transport, trade facilitation, planning and design of logistics platforms, or energy efficiency and environmental management. In 2019 he took on a new responsibility in the Valenciaport Foundation as Director of Innovation and Port Cluster Development, coordinating the technical areas of digital transformation, sustainability, port logistics, safety and security, port-city integration and market intelligence. In addition, he collaborates regularly teaching in different master's programs at the Universities of Valencia and Castellón and participates in national and international congresses of transport and logistics. Currently, he is a member of the Executive Group of the ALICE European Technology Platform, chairing the working group about Hubs, Corridors and Synchromodality. 


220921 Elena Ciappi 

Elena Ciappi, Liaison Officer EU Mission: Restore Our Oceans and Waters

Senior Researcher, Institute of Marine Engineering, National Research Council of Italy (

Elena Ciappi is senior researcher at the Institute of Marine Engineering of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-INM). She received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 1999 from the university of Rome “Sapienza”. She has been doing research in the field of safety and sustainability of marine vehicles and offshore structures. She is involved in science-to-policy activities related to the Sustainable Blue Economy through participation in EC funded projects, national and international committees and working groups. She is principal investigator of research projects and testing activities founded by the European Community, the European Defense Agency, the Office of Naval Research, Italian Ministries and by maritime industries.


220327 StefanoDeledda IFE

Stefano Deledda, Liaison Officer Clean Hydrogen Partnership

Senior Scientist, Department for Hydrogen Technology, IFE (

Stefano Deledda holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Sassari in Italy and a PhD in Chemistry from the Dresden Technical University. He has more than 20 years’ experience in research on the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier, with special emphasis on the development of metal hydrides for the solid-state storage of hydrogen. At IFE since 2005, he has actively contributed to the planning and execution of national, Nordic and EU research projects on hydrogen storage and its integration with fuel cell systems. Since 2019, his research activities have focused on the implementation of hydrogen technologies for end-users in the waterborne transport sector.


220608 Erdeniz Erol

Erdeniz Erol, Liaison Officer Partnership for an Industrial Battery Value Chain

R&D Manager, Elkon (

Erdeniz Erol, R&D Manager at Elkon (Turkey), holds a Bachelor Degree Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Middle East Technical University. In addition, Mr. Erol holds a Master Degree in Computational Science and Engineering (Piri Reis University) and is currently a Ph. D. candidate in Maritime Transportation Engineering at the Istanbul Technical University. He has got experiences in defence & avionics and energy sectors before he started in the maritime sector 8 years ago. For the last 7 years he is leading Elkon Marine Electric Technologies R&D Center aiming to find solutions for new challenges in ship electrification and decarbonisation projects.  


230310 Piia Karjalainen

Piia Karjalainen, Chair Member States Reference Group

Piia Karjalainen is Head of Maritime Affairs at Wärtsilä Voyage. In her current role, she is monitoring and influencing the evolving regulatory framework for automated and connected maritime and managing the R&D project portfolio of this domain. As a part of Wärtsilä, Voyage is building a digital ecosystem for commercial shipping where all vessels are technologically smart, safer and energy efficient.

Karjalainen has almost 20 years of experience from various positions from transport administration and industry, with a focus on strategies, ITS, digitalisation, regulation, disruption and public-private-partnerships. She has previously worked as Secretary-General of the MaaS Alliance, Policy Advisor at the European Parliament and Senior Adviser at the Finnish Ministry of Transport & Communications. Her educational background is in Economics. Currently she is living and working in Helsinki, Finland. Karjalainen is a member of the Board of Itärata Oy (East Railway Ltd).