About Us

The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. The Ocean Cleanup’s goal is to fuel the world’s fight against oceanic plastic pollution, by initiating the largest cleanup in history.

Boyan Slat is The Ocean Cleanup’s founder who, while diving in Greece at age 16 became frustrated by coming across more plastic bags than fish. He then wondered: "Why can't we clean this up?"


While still in secondary school, he decided to dedicate half a year of research to understand plastic pollution and the problems associated with cleaning it up. This ultimately led to the passive cleanup concept, which he presented at a TEDx conference in 2012.

To be able to show the concept he envisioned is technically feasible and financially viable, Boyan Slat paused his life as a first-year Aerospace Engineering student, to focus all his time to developing  it. Together with a team of 100 people, The Ocean Cleanup  commenced on an extensive feasibility study.

On June 3rd 2014, The Ocean Cleanup presented the 530-page feasibility study report (authored by 70 scientists and engineers), which indicated the concept is indeed a feasible method to clean almost half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 10 years.

In the pilot phase, The Ocean Cleanup will now work towards a large-scale and operational pilot in 3-4 years’ time. To get the funding needed to start the pilot phase, The Ocean Cleanup raised over 2 million dollars through crowd funding.

In 2012, The Ocean Cleanup Array was awarded Best Technical Design at the Delft University of Technology. Boyan Slat has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50), and was awarded the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award in 2014.

Our Team

At The Ocean Cleanup we work with a team of approximately 100 committed people, performing research in the fields of engineering, physical oceanography, ecology, finance, maritime law, processing and recycling.


Boyan Slat
Founder & President

Ir. Frans Ratelband MSc

Femke Hoes
Treasurer & Bookkeeper


Boyan Slat
Founder & President

Femke Hoes
Head of Office

Jan de Sonneville PhD
Lead engineer

Feasibility study coordinators

Bernd van Dijk MSc
Financials coordinator

Julia Reisser MSc
Lead oceanographer

Ir. Leonid Pavlov MSc
CFD & CM coordinator

Nicholas P. Katsepontes BA LLB LLM
Maritime & Environmental law coordinator

Norbert Fraunholcz PhD
Processing & Recycling coordinator

Robbert Zuijderwijk BSc
Ecology coordinator

Researchers, Authors and Editors

Adam Walters
Legal researcher

Agnes Ardiyanti PhD
Feasibility study editor

Alexander Rau BSc
Computational modeller

Bonnie Monteleone MSc
Feasibility study co-author

Bruno Sainte-Rose PhD
2D CFD  modelling expert

David Kauzlaric PhD
Expert 3D CFD modelling

Edd Hornsby
Feasibility study editor

Elena Pallares
Physical Oceanographer

Elizabeth Ooi BSc ACA
Feasibility study editor

Erik van Vliet
Workshop assistant

Evelien Bolle MSc
Carbon footprint analyst

Freddy Vlot
Workshop assistant

Gabrielle S. Prendergast PhD
Biofouling Expert

Goli Habibi-Kenari MSc
Feasibility Study Editor &
Communications officer

Hester Jansen
Feasibility study editor

Holly Campbell J.D. LLM PhD
Legal researcher

Hyke Brugman BSc
Intern Physical testing

Jaime López PhD
Physical oceanographer

Jan Schoemaker
Technical assistant

Jill Randolph B.A.
Legal Researcher

Jochem A. Jonkman MSc
Plastic sample analyst 

Johanna Buurman
Feasibility study editor

John Geil
Legal researcher

Joost de Haan BSc
Offshore engineer

Jort Hammer MSc

Katie Schmidt

Kauê Pelegrini
Polymers expert

Kelly Marie Osborn MSc
Feasibility Study Editor

Marijn Dekker MSc
Marine Engineer

Mark van Dijk MSc
Ecology Coordinator

Marleen Roelofs PhD
Plankton Biologist

Maximilian Michels
Computational modeller

Michiel van der Spek
Feasibility study editor

Moritz Schmid MSc
Plankton ecologist

Mukul Kumar
Feasibility study editor

Nandini Sivasubramanian

Nathan Walworth MSc

Nick Howard
Legal researcher

Niklas Wehkamp MSc
3D CFD modelling expert

Paula Walker Esq. PMP
Legal researcher

Pauline Horng BSc

Pierre-Louis Christiane MSc
Financial impact analyst

Raphael Klein BSc
Coordinator boom engineering

Rebecca Rushton BSc
Legal researcher

Richard Hildreth
Frank Nash Professor of Law
Legal researcher

Richard Martini
Offshore engineering advisor

Sebastiaan van Rossum BSc
Intern Hydraulic Engineering

Sebastiaan van Schie BSc

Sergio Castellanos BSc
Prototyping engineer

Sjoerd Drenkelford BSc
Intern Transport and Logistics

Stephan Koch MSc
Computational modeller

Tadzio Holtrop BSc

Tim Landgraf PhD
Computational modeller

Wart Luscuere
Field researcher

Wouter Jansen BSc
Intern computational modelling

Communications and Office

Alison O'Keeffe
Social media coordinator

Annemieke Boon
Communications Officer

Emmanuel Osiga
Communications Officer

Fadia Al Abbar
Communications Officer

Florian Dirkse
Internal communication & events

Francesco Ferrari
Communications Officer

Gerard Neil

Hans Husson
Communications Officer

Hans van Piggelen MSc
Webmaster & Communications Officer

Ianthe Dickhoff
Communications officer

Ioannis Katseris
Communications Officer

Jacob Janssen
Communications Officer

James Lokas
Communications Officer

Joost Niepoth
Lead communications officer

Joram Falkenburg
Communications officer

Kees Kindt
Online payment advisor

Manissa Ruffles
Speaking coordinator

Marchien Bel
Videography, Photo coordinator

Marloes Loos
Communications officer

Pieter Stalenhoef
Communications officer & HR

René Coppens
Webmaster & Communications officer

Rob Gargett PhD
Editor & Proofreader

Sandra Quirijns
Communications officer

Stefanos Malandrakis
Merchandise coordinator

Stella Diamant MSc
Communications Officer & Ecologist

Tim Verbeek
Communications Officer

Zaheer Zafer
Communications Officer

Finance and Funding

Arthur van de Graaf
Crowdfunding coordinator

Dario Grassini CPA


Martin Krüger LLM
Legal coordinator

Pauline Phoa LLM
Legal coordinator


Steven Bink
IT coordinator


Layla Groeneweg BBA
HR coordinator