Petra Caessens is an experienced manager with a demonstrated history working in an academic surrounding as well as private industry. The interplay of various actors in the field of science, research, government and industry is a recurring aspect in her professional career.
Petra currently is Director Operations of the Plant Sciences Group, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and holds this position since 2019. She joined WUR in 2010 where she took on the new position Manager Shared Research Facilities, focused on investing in advanced research equipment and facilities and making these facilities also accessible for external organisations (public, private, small and large). From 2013 until 2019 she combined this with the role of Manager Wageningen Campus Development where she was responsible for building and growing the innovation ecosystem on Wageningen Campus with (R&D departments of) organisations.
In 1999 she joined DMV-International, a B2B company of Campina (now FrieslandCampina), where she held a number of project leader and management positions in R&D and was responsible for the relocation of R&D and Marketing from Veghel to Wageningen in 2006. Her last position was R&D manager of the business unit Nutritionals, situated in the Netherlands and the US.
In 2007 she moved together with her husband and 2 children to Brisbane, Australia, where she initially continued working for DMV-International. From 2008 until 2010 she worked for Innovation ExChange Australia (IXC International) as Senior Intermediary. IXC International supports clients from various sectors (life-sciences, natural resources, logistics and social sector) to find strategic connections for open innovation and thereby accelerates the innovation process of its clients.
Petra holds a PhD in Food Science from Wageningen University and lives in the Netherlands.