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UNC Clean Tech Speaker

Jan Westra

Jan Westra
Strategic Business Developer


Dr. Jan Westra works at Priva Head Quarters in The Netherlands as Strategic business developer, mainly for complex research and development projects at the cutting edge of horticulture and building technology. His focus areas are America and Europe.

Graduated at the TU Delft in 1985, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Refrigeration and Indoor Air control.

Subsequently did PhD research at the same department, culminating in a thesis in 1990 on the topic: Advanced Absorption Heat Transformer. A thermal device to transform to low grade heat without adding energy flows other than auxiliary power to high grade heat.

After TU Delft Jan Westra worked for more than five years at HE Consultants in Rotterdam, “technical installations in the build environment.” Most of his work involved recommendations for solving the problems with poorly performing HVAC installationa as well as designing systems for special applications (like museums) or in specific climate zones, such as the construction of the Dutch Embassy in Suriname at that time.

In 1996 Westra joined the Priva company. Partly for the development of equipment for water treatment for greenhouses, partly for directing research projects with universities and colleges. Examples: University of Ghent, KU Leuven, Wageningen UR, University of Twente and technical Universities.

Priva operates in two markets: horticulture and building management systems. In both fields he contributes in business development and researching new techniques in these fields.

Jan Westra is a specialist in the field of urban agriculture or urban farming, where the horticulture and building worlds come together. On behalf of Priva he is involved in many initiatives in this field worldwide. His other expertise is energy efficient buildings.