George VEKINIS was born in Athens, Greece and has a BSc (Hons) in Experimental and Theoretical Physics and a PhD in Physics, both from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and an MBA (core) from the Open University, UK. His PhD Thesis was supervised by Prof FRN Nabarro, FRS and Prof S. Luyckx and dealt with WC-Co. He is fluent in English and Greek and a member of the UK Institute of Linguists and the Materials Research Society.
He has worked in Research and Development since 1980 in industry (Boart International Ltd, S. Africa 1980-1981, SEDES Ceramics Industry, Greece 1992-1994), Universities (Witwatersrand, S. Africa, 1981-1984, Cambridge, UK 1987-1990) and Research Centres (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), S. Africa, 1984-1987).
He has lectured Physics and Materials Engineering at Undergraduate and Post-graduate level at the U. Witwatersrand, S. Africa, U. Cambridge, UK, National Technical U. of Athens and the Aristotelian U. of Thessaloniki, Greece and has supervised over 20 students for their Diploma dissertation, 7 students for MPhil thesis and 4 students for PhD thesis at the above Universities as well as Coventry U. UK where he has been External Higher Degree Supervisor. He has also been a visiting Professor at Cambridge U. UK, Technion U. Israel and to the Aristotelian U. Thessaloniki, Greece.
His research interests have covered a number of areas and included composite and bio-ceramics, ceramics for micro-electronics, advanced structural ceramics, composites with ceramic polymer and metal matrices, failure and toughening mechanisms of hard materials, microwave heating, diamond synthesis, wear and erosion of hard materials, micromechanics, engineered ceramic-metal interfaces, SiC/SiC for the Fusion reactor, heterogeneous catalysts, advanced oxide refractories, combustion synthesis (SHS), ultra-high pressure processing, hybrid materials for thermomechanical protection of spacecraft and others. He has filed six patents on microwave treatment of ceramics, treatment of wastes and space technologies. He has more than 50 refereed publications, about 100 conference presentations and has presented numerous talks, seminars and colloquia, many of them by invitation, throughout the world. His recent research interests and RD projects are:
Combustion synthesis (SHS regime) of inorganic catalysts and refractories
Composite SiC-based ceramics (fibrous, particulate) and their properties
Thermomechanical protective systems for spacecraft (ESA/ESTEC 2008, EC/Space RastasSpear 2010-2013, EC/Space HYDRA 2012-2015)
New thermal spraying method CAFSY for hard intermetallic coatings NiAl (ELMHTEK< 2013)
Ultra high temperature materials for rocket combustion chambers (EC/Space Pulcher 2013-2015)
New recession sensor for thermal protection systems of spacecraft (ESA/ESTEC 2014)
IRENA: "The International Re-Entry demoNstration Action" (H2020/Space, 2015-2016)
Microwave processing of industrial materials and wastes
Since 1984 Dr George Vekinis has been a Technology Consultant in the advanced ceramics and cermets sectors in S. Africa, UK and Greece. During 1985-1987 he was a member of the Task Force for Technology Transfer at CSIR, S. Africa. Since 1998 he is a Senior Innovation Management Consultant for the European Commission, offering Technology Exploitation Strategy Workshops (EC projects PROFATIP, ESS and ESIC) as well as Impact Assessments and Project Risk Analyses. He was an Expert Evaluator of RD proposals under FP5 and FP6. Between 1999 and 2008 he was a Senior Evaluator and Impact Assessor of completed RD projects (EC projects EVIMP1 and EVIMP2) having evaluated nearly 100 completed RD projects in FP3, FP4 and FP5. He also prepared 6 Sectoral Technology Studies and part of the Evaluation Methodologies for EVIMP1 (FP3+4) and EVIMP2 (FP5, "The Vekinis Report" on "Weak exploitation of 568 completed FP5 projects"). His Innovation Management work (mentoring and coaching, TT seminars and worskhops) has involved numerous projects, SMEs and Institurions dealing with technologies for Health and Safety, nanotechnologies, new materials for microelectronics, land transport technologies, aerospace technologies, industrial manufacturing and with new materials and technologies for mobile telecommunications including microwave. He was also a Senior Evaluator for the EC project “SMEpact” dealing with Impact Assessment of FP5 and FP6 projects on SMEs and Senior expert for Technology transfer under H2020.
From 2003 to 2006 he was the Rapporteur and deputy Chairman of the “Materials and Technologies Working Group” within the Greek National project “Hellenic Technology Foresight - 2021”. In 2005 he founded and is the President of the “Advanced Industrial Technologies SA” (A.I.T. SA) spin-off company designing industrial microwave processing systems. In 2014 he authored the book "Technology Transfer in Practice: from Invention to Innovation". A second book "The Researcher Entrepreneur. Best practices for successful technological entrepreneurship" is to be published in Spring 2015. In 2014 he was elected President of the Hellenic Society for Science and Technology of Condensed Matter (HSSTCM).