Prof. Dr. Akissa Bahri

Professor Emeritus, National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia

Prof. Akissa Bahri is a researcher in the fields of water resources development and management, agricultural use of marginal waters and biosolids, and their impacts on the environment. She is Professor Emeritus of the National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia (INAT).

Besides her academic career, she was Advisor to the Chief of Government of Tunisia, the Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia, as well as the Secretary of State for Water Resources in the government of Tunisia.

She also served in different roles at the African Water Facility, the African Development Bank, the International Water Management Institute, and at the National Research Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Water and Forestry in Tunisia.

Prof. Bahri holds an Agricultural Engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie de Toulouse (France), a Doctor of Engineering degree from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, and a Ph.D. degree in Water Resources Engineering from Lund University (Sweden).

Dr. Alexander David

Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG

As Director Corporate Social Responsibility at the Lidl Foundation for eight years, Dr. Alexander David has been working in the retail sector where he develops and implements sustainability strategies and products.

Prior to that, he gained experience in the development of chemical products and in the Testing, Inspection and Certification industry (TIC) for consumer goods and mineral oils testing.

Dr. Alexander David is a chemist by training and has a doctorate in biophysics.

Dr. Christoph Mayer

Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Since 2004, Dr. Christoph Mayer has been a researcher at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in the field of Earth measurement and glaciology.

Prior to that, he worked at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), a research and advisory institution within the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities and at the Institute for Meteorology and Geophysics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

He conducted his doctoral and postdoctoral research in Germany at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven and completed his doctorate at the University of Bremen.

Dr. Christoph Mayer is a member of the International Glaciological Society, the European Geoscience Union, the German Society of Polar Research and Managing Director of the German association for Comparative High Altitude Research (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für vergleichende Hochgebirgsforschung e.V.).

Dr. Eva Riesenhuber


Dr. Eva Riesenhuber has been Head of Siemens AG’s global activities in the area of sustainability since 2022. In this role, she combines her passion for the topics of society and the environment with her extensive knowledge of business, finance, and law. Her vision is to drive further progress and transparency in Siemens’ contributions to climate action, alleviating pressure on biodiversity as well as the technology company’s impact on society.

She works together with the Siemens businesses to develop new solutions and business models for reducing emissions and increasing resource efficiency.

Dr. Eva Riesenhuber has many years of experience in finance and business development. She has worked as a finance lawyer at leading law firms in New York. At Siemens, she has served in such roles as Senior Vice President in the area of mergers and acquisitions, CFO and general partner at Next47, and, most recently, as Head of Investor Relations.

She holds a Master of Law from the University of Nanterre, Paris, and the New York University of Law. She did her Ph.D. in International Public Law at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

H.H. Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein

Sinter Metal Technologies

H.H. Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein is currently CEO of Sinter Metal Technologies and President of Advance Manufacturing Alliance.

As a research and development company, Sinter Metal is a global supplier and manufacturer of powder metallurgy (P/M) and ceramic parts based in Turkey. Sinter Metal composed of 11 powder metal companies, manufactures various parts used in climate technologies, electric motors, office equipment, hydraulics, automotive, houseware, electrical power units, construction, work machinery, and other branches of the industry.

H.H. Princess Tilsim of Liechtenstein is an engineer in Advanced Materials with an undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence (USA) and a Master of Science from Columbia University, New York.

Her fields of research range from hybrid 3D technologies, and hydrogen to new-generation batteries.

Hui Zhang

Vice President NIO Europe

Hui Zhang is Vice President NIO Europe. He heads the European office (including UK) of the global electric car startup from Shanghai.

After studying in Beijing, Pforzheim and Utah, Hui Zhang initially worked at VOITH AG in purchasing and supply chain management in China and Germany. Subsequent working for KIEKERT AG as Vice General Manager and Lotus as General Manager, he was responsible for Business Group Industry and Healthcare China at Leoni AG as Member of the China Board. Due to his many years of intercultural experience, both in the German and Chinese markets, Hui Zhang has profound industry knowledge in the areas of company management, sales, purchasing and supply chain management. He now oversees NIO Europe with offices in Munich and Oxford where, in addition to design, the focus areas are Supply Chain Management and Advanced Engineering.

Prof. Dr. George Smoot

Center for Cosmological Physics, University of California, Berkeley

Prof. Smoot received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He switched to cosmology and moved to the University of California Berkeley in 1971 where he worked with the 1968 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Luis W. Alvarez at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

Smoot’s group research focuses on the early universe using the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) and other astrophysical sources. The group has been observing our galaxy and the cosmic background radiation, a remnant from the beginning of our Universe. Projects include ground-based radio-telescope observations, balloon-borne instrumentation, and satellite experiments. The most famous of these is COBE (the NASA COsmic Background Explorer satellite).

Prof. Smoot is an author of more than 200 science papers and is also co-author of the popularized scientific book Wrinkles in Time (Harper, 1994) which elucidates cosmology and the COBE discovery.

He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer with Prof. John C. Mather (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) which led to the “discovery of the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation”.

Dr. Martin Leitl

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station

After having served in three Antarctic scientific expeditions, Dr. Martin Leitl joined the International Polar Foundation for his first out of four field missions at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station in the Antarctic summer season 2019/2020.

His qualifications as a certified mountain guide of the IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations), a helicopter emergency physician (Air Glaciers Switzerland), and a specialist in general internal medicine allow him to be a polyvalent member of the station core team and to give the necessary support and guidance to international research teams in this harsh environment.

Before his dedication to Antarctica, he gained polar experience on Greenland and Spitzbergen. As a medical doctor, he also worked in humanitarian missions in war fields and epidemics.

Nicolas Van Hoecke

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station

Nicolas Van Hoecke joined the International Polar Foundation (IPF) in July 2021 as Managing Director. Together with IPF’s founder, Alain Hubert, he manages the overall operations of the Foundation. At present, he focuses on the development of the Foundation’s new strategies and projects and on the seamless execution of operations and logistics for the upcoming season at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station, the world’s sole Zero Emission station.

Prior to his tenure at the IPF, Nicolas Van Hoecke held various executive positions at multinational companies such as Toyota Motor Europe, Samsung Europe, and Delhaize Group, and lived in Europe and Asia. He accompanied start-ups in developing technologies in the field of sustainability and co-founded Ai-BODDIE, a start-up specialized in data and Artificial Intelligence.