Our team

Matthias Krause

Head Nanocomposite Materials at HZDR

Diploma in Chemistry and PhD in Physical Chemistry, research on low-dimensional nanostructures since 1997, current main activities on nanocomposites, new energy materials, and in situ analysis.
Dr. Krause is responsible of WP1 within Friends2 Project and Friends2 coordinator.

Adrianus Indrat Aria

Lecturer in SENTi at Cranfield University

PhD in Aeronautics. Research interests include synthesis and integration of low-dimensional nanomaterials, surface and interface engineering for bulk properties manipulation, and ultrathin dielectric and refractory films and coatings. Has a track record of over 10 years in CVD/ALD nanomaterial synthesis and a wide range of nanomaterial characterisation techniques. He is responsible for the delivery of WP2 and WP4 within Friends2 project.

Ibon Azkona

R&D Director at Metal Estalki

Degree in Physics, specialized in Optics and Matter Structure, and PhD in Physics in Materials Science, specialized in ceramic materials. He joined Metal Estalki during its inception to lead its R&D activities and has been working in that position for the last 13 years.
Dr. Azcona is responsible of the activities done at Metal Estalki within Friends2 Project.

Ivan Fernandez Martinez

Co-founder and managing director of Nano4Energy

PhD in Physics from Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid, part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). From his 12 years in the scientific sector Dr. Ivan Fernandez has gained a high experience in thin film deposition and its physics and has become one of the world leaders within HiPIMS technology. Ivan will be responsible from Nano4Energy for the up-scaling of the coating technology developed during the Friends2 project.

Elena Guillén

Scientist at Profactor

Degree in Environmental Science, PhD in Physical Chemistry, she has broad experience in the development of new materials for thermosolar and photovoltaic applications. She is currently responsible for Plasma Technology at Profactor.

Sibylle Gemming


Diploma in Chemstry, PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from TU München, Habilitation and Full Professorship for Scale-bridging Modeling at TU Chemnitz, current main activities on transport phenomena in nano-materials under the influence of defects and external fields. Within Friends2 Sibylle is member of the chief executive board.
Dr. Gemming is responsible of WP3 within Friends2 Project.

José Luís Endrino

Full Professor and Head of Institute of SENTi at Cranfield University

Full Professor and Head of Surface Engineering and Nanotechnology Institute at Cranfield University, has a track record of over 15 years in manufacturing of PVD coatings in solar energy applications, biomedical coatings, and in industrial scale-up.
Prof. Endrino is responsible of WP2 and WP5 within Friends2 Project.

Carola Franzen

EU relations officer for HZDR

Diploma in Mineralogy and PhD in Environmental Chemistry. Currently, she is working as EU relations officer for the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf, responsible for the guidance of scientist involved in EU projects.
Within the friends2 project Dr. Franzen is assisting the coordinator.

Qi Zhang

Senior Lecturer in SENTI at Cranfield University

Bachelor in electrochemistry, Master in Materials science and PhD in sol-gel chemistry. Now a senior lecturer of Surface Engineering and Nanotechnology Institute at Cranfield University. He has a track record of over 20 years in functional materials, in the forms of nanomaterials and coatings. His current research activities include ceramic functional materials, surface engineering for corrosion protection, fouling prevention.

Zhaorong Huang

Senior Research Fellow in SENTI at Cranfield University

Ph.D in condensed matter physics. Specialised in functional materials and microstructural characterisation. Current activities include metal nanowires for transparent conductive electrode, electrochemical promotion of catalysis, piezoelectric actuators and pyroelectric materials. Zhaorong Huang has published over 100 refereed journal and conference papers.

Ambiörn Wennberg

Associate and business director of Nano4Energy

Master of Science and Engineering from The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Master thesis in Advanced Material physics in PLD of ZnO. Ambiörn is a PMP and has a profound industrial manufacturing experience from his time as a metallurgist in the heavy equipment manufacturing industry.

Álvaro Méndez Fernández

Project engineer at Nano4Energy

Degree in Chemistry, specialized in Fundamentals of Chemistry. Has experience in various fields like analysis and reactivity. Developed his degree project about π-coordinated organic structures for application in transistors and O-LEDs. Project engineer at Nano4Energy mainly focused on upscaling of lab coatings by sputtering. Will have a central role in the Friends2 project from Nano4Energy.

Daniel Janke

PhD Student at HZDR

Materials science degree at the University of Technology in Aachen and MSc at the Institute for Surface Modification in Leipzig with the topic: “Investigation of the properties of polycrystalline gallium nitride films prepared by ion beam assisted deposition on flexible polyimide substrates”. Since April 2015 he has worked as PhD student at the Institute for Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, on the in-situ characterization of microstructural evolution of thin sputtered films.

Frank Lungwitz

PhD Student at HZDR

Diploma in Physics at Chemnitz University of Technology (2013). Currently preparing his PhD thesis and working on solar selective coatings for solar thermal applications at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. Main activities are deposition and optical, electrical and structural characterization of transparent conductive oxides (TCOs).

Erik Schumann

PhD Student at HZDR

Master degree in Physics. Master thesis on the development of a laser based Zinc oxide treatment for the systematic variation of electro-optical properties. Current main topic for the PhD thesis are the fabrication and characterization of silicon/ silicon dioxide nanocomposite materials and laser functionalization of thin film materials for solar thermal and photovoltaic applications.

Sandra Muñoz Piña

Industrial PhD Researcher at Nano4Energy and Complutense University of Madrid

Degree in Chemistry. MSc in Materials Engineering from Montpellier University specialized in thin films and porous materials. Currently preparing her Industrial PhD project on porous coatings with antireflective and omnidirectional properties for industrial optical applications. Current activities include synthesis of porous thin films by using of Magnetron Sputtering with Glancing Angle Deposition (GLAD), supported with simulation of finite elements and numerical calculation and simulations of Montecarlo.

Sarah Yasir

PhD Student at Cranfield University

MPhil in Physics with topic “nonlinearities in plastic materials”. Working towards EngD on protective coatings for thermal energy storage containers for solar thermal applications at Cranfield University. Main activities involve designing, depositing and characterizing the corrosion resistive coatings on stainless steel materials.


Azucena Bello Fernández


Industrial Engineer, PMP and Master in Energy Engineering, she is currently finishing her Master in Science and Technology of New Materials. Azucena has more than 4 years of experience in Materials Research within Abengoa, especially in Surface Functionalization, area in which she is Project Responsible. Within Friends2 project, she will perform the evaluation of candidate materials for solar surfaces.

Ramón Escobar

Senior Researcher at Abengoa Research

Dr. Escobar holds an advanced degree in Physics and a PhD in Materials Science. He currently works as Head of the Materials Science area at the Solar Thermal Energy Department of Abengoa Research.
Dr. Escobar is the coordinator of Friends2 Project.

Irene Heras Pérez

PhD student at Abengoa Research

Degree in Civil engineering and master in Science and technology of new materials. She is currently developing her thesis on advanced materials for photo thermal solar energy, with the new PhD program of Abengoa Research. Mrs Heras has experience in simulation and characterization of optical thin films, and different PVD deposition techniques

Maria Lopez Herraiz

R&D Technician at Abengoa Research

Chemical Engineer and European Master in Materials for the energy storage and conversion. Experience in characterization of materials for energy storage. Currently working in the materials department developing materials for thermosolar applications. She will carry out experiments of testing and characterization of materials with suitable properties for the new durable solar surfaces.

Irma Mantilla

Project Manager on Grants Department at Abengoa Research

She studied Business Administration and Humanities in Germany and Canada. Currently, she is project manager within the Grants Department at Abengoa Research, responsible for the administrative and financial management of AR´s projects within the field of solar energy.
Mrs. Mantilla is the responsible of WP6 within Friends2 Project.

Gonzalo Rincón Llorente

Technician/Researcher at Abengoa Research

Degree in Chemistry, PhD in Chemistry. He has broad experience in organic synthesis and characterization of organic and organometallic materials, electrochemistry and thin film transistor characterisation. At the moment he is an active member of the Materials lab in Abengoa Research where he works in aerospace and thermosolar projects.