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Why we embarked on this journey

Why would a bunch of Dutch scientists and entrepreneurs care about the Arctic? Sure, the Dutch have shown an interest in the Arctic before, but the exploration of its natural resources throughout our history, and oil drilling, were not in the best interests of the Arctic…

In The Netherlands, we care a lot about ice, since we love to skate on our lakes and canals during the winter period. Unfortunately, due to global warming, natural ice is becoming increasingly rare and (speed) ice skating is now mostly done in indoor ice stadiums. But when the temperature does drop below the freezing point, a fierce competition starts over who can organize the first ice skating competition on ‘natural’ ice. To accelerate natural ice generation, so-called ‘ijsmeesters’ pour layers of water on the ice, which will thicken and strengthen it after these layers freeze.

The principle of ice thickening can be applied to parts of the Arctic ice sheet to enable the ice to survive the summer months. Ice thickening has been proposed as a bridging solution to save the Arctic ice from disappearing before, but the feasibility of doing this at scale has remained a question mark. We think we are well positioned to tackle this problem as we can leverage the extensive knowledge and experience of the Dutch water management ecosystem, our world-class technical universities, and some of the world’s largest dredging and offshore companies. 

To make a real impact, we will have to thicken an ice area the size of the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), in a smart way. We will work together with local communities and help them maintain their home. It will also require large investments. We believe that the only way to attract these funds is by founding a social, impact-driven enterprise. Investing in us should be just as attractive as investing in any other commercial company. Therefore, we are not a non-profit organization, but an impact-driven startup. We strive to create an environmental reward for the planet while building a business model to attract investors.

Our team

We are a team of founders, scientists, and experts, united to help tackle climate change.

Fonger, a serial cleantech entrepreneur, started Arctic Reflections to regenerate Arctic sea ice, restore its natural solar reflectivity, and slow global warming.

He has over 15 years of experience in the energy sector, focusing on building new business models and growth. Previously, he was a McKinsey consultant, head of the Eneco Smart Energy Lab, CEO of Brainbay, and co-founded Blockheating, a scale-up, to recycle data center energy.

Fonger holds a PhD in Mathematical Physics from Oxford University and an MSc in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Amsterdam. In his spare time, Fonger enjoys alpine ski touring and cycling.

Dr. Fonger Ypma

CEO and Founder


Tom joined forces with Fonger to co-found Arctic Reflections and tackle climate change.

As an independent contractor, he has 20 years of experience with tech innovations and product development. Tom has co-founded multiple start-ups, including Olisto, an app that connects IOT products. Previously, he has held product management and innovation roles at Vodafone, TomTom, and Eneco.

Tom holds an MSc in Business Administration from the Rotterdam School of Management and a CEMS Master’s in International Management. When not working to restore the Arctic, Tom can be found sailing.

Tom Meijeraan

COO and Founder

Soroosh brings extensive technical skills and practical experience to our team.

Previously, he had a tenure position at C-CORE, a top harsh-environment engineering firm, where field trips to sub-arctic ice fields solidified his operational design skills. He has a decade of mechanical design experience using CAD tools and finite element modeling.

Dual degrees in naval architectural engineering underscore his extensive naval design and maritime operations knowledge. Soroosh holds a PhD in ice mechanics from Memorial University, where he worked as a Research Assistant for a decade. In his spare time, he can be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

Dr. Soroosh Afzali

Lead Engineer


Cody is investigating the (thermo-)dynamics of thickened sea ice, developing our ice growth model, and calculating the maximum water flow rate water over ice and through the snow.

After his BSc in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute, Cody graduated from the EWEM program with an MSc in Offshore and Dredging Engineering from TU Delft, and an MSc in Wind Energy Technology from NTNU.

As a PhD candidate at TU Delft, he studied the ice mechanics involved in the ice-induced vibrations of offshore wind turbines. Following this theme, Cody developed new techniques to investigate saline ice microstructure and mechanics as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Aalto University.

In his spare time, Cody enjoys cycling and reading.

Dr. Cody Owen

Researcher


Anton is developing our marketing communications and contacting investors. Having seen coral bleaching around the world, he hopes to help tackle climate change and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.

Previously, he worked at the Australian Clean Energy Council, leading awareness campaigns for renewable energy. Military training from the RAF and flying exercises have developed his leadership and problem-solving.

He will soon graduate from Durham University with a BA in Business and Management with Placement Year. A keen sportsman, Anton enjoys playing tennis and hockey.

 

Anton Torres

Marketing and Fundraising

Our Advisors


Shaun is the Director of the Cambridge Centre of Climate Repair.

Shaun studied Engineering at Cambridge, undertook his PhD in geothermal energy and then joined the Faculty at Stanford University as a Geothermal Program manager.

He spent 5 years in strategy consulting and then a year in Business Development with MathWorks before moving into Low Energy Buildings research in Cambridge. This led to him founding and leading spin-out company Breathing Buildings, where he led projects on some of the world’s most iconic buildings.

During this time he also supported the Department for Education revising various Building Bulletins for Air Quality, Ventilation and Acoustics. He was then appointed Director of The Royal Institution and is now Director of the Centre for Climate Repair and Director of Research for Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was a member of the SAGE Environmental Modelling Group, as well as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Events Research Programme Science Board, and continues to serve on the World Health Organisation High-Level Expert Group on COVID-19.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014 and was awarded an OBE in 2021.

Dr. Shaun Fitzgerald FREng OBE

Scientific Advisor


Adam is an experienced VC and Angel investor, mentor, and entrepreneur, with 20 years of sector experience in cleantech & ocean technology companies.

Adam has helped to start more than 20 companies in the cleantech space. Most recently, Adam was the Special Advisor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Currently, Adam as an Angel Investor is a Partner in the Blue Angels investment group (ocean technology), an affiliate member of Launchpad Ventures, and an Emeritus Partner of the Clean Energy Venture Group. Adam is an Advisor to the PropellerVC fund (ocean tech).

Adam mentors and judges at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, CleanTech Open, & MassChallenge.

Adam de Sola Pool

BlueInvest Advisor


Hayo is an Assistant Professor at TU Delft in ice structure interaction.

He holds MSc and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from TU Delft. His PhD research on ice-induced vibrations was conducted part-time at NTNU as part of the SAMCoT project.

Hayo is a member of the board of studies of the Master Offshore and Dredging Engineering at TU Delft and a member of both the IAHR Ice Research and Engineering Committee and the International Committee of the Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions (POAC) community.

Dr. Hayo Hendrikse

Scientific Advisor


Laura currently works as a Researcher at TU Delft. She won a seed fund grant from the TU Delf Climate Action Programme, which she used to model the effects of thickened ice to help design the pumping process for our Svalbard field test in April 2024.

 

Laura is the author of The Implementation of Arctic Ice Management (2022) and co-authored the Assessment of Regional Arctic Ice Management with a Focus on Solar Radiation Management (2023) with Fonger and Hayo.

She holds an MSc in Offshore and Dredging Engineering from TU Delft, specializing in floating and bottom-founded offshore structures.

 

Laura van Dijke

Researcher


Tobias founded and leads the Physical Modeling team at Meta, as a Senior Research Scientist Manager. His team has created large-scale maps of the world’s forests, data center digital twins, low-carbon concrete, and a dataset to estimate the embodied carbon of data center hardware.
Tobias holds an MSc and a PhD in Physics from the University of Amsterdam. As a Postdoctoral Researcher at Harvard University, he investigated quantum optics for use in quantum communication.

To date, he has 24 scientific publications and holds four patents in the US.

Dr. Tobias Tiecke

Technical Advisor


Geoff is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Manchester, specializing in glaciology for almost 20 years.

He has a PhD from the University of Oxford, held a post-doctoral position at University College London, and has been a faculty member at the University of Manchester for over a decade.

He recently led the UK’s `Lost Meteorites of Antarctica’ program, in which he oversaw the return of over 120 meteorites from an unexplored region of Antarctica and published on e.g. Albedo of snow and ice (very relevant for us).

Geoff is also a Director of the biodiversity project Sunart Fields.

Dr. Geoff Evatt

Scientific Advisor

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