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The Ecsite Team

Executive Director
Catherine Franche
Executive Director
Brussels
Belgium
I am the Executive Director of Ecsite. Under my leadership, the Ecsite Conference has grown to become the largest science engagement event in Europe and Ecsite has firmly established itself as a trend setting platform and as a key stakeholder on the European stage. Before I joined Ecsite in 2006, I was working for the Office de Coopération et d’Information Muséographiques (OCIM, France) as a Training coordinator. From 1992 to 1994, I was Professional development coordinator and then Executive director of the Société des Musées Québécois. I have also worked in architecture and art museums in Canada and managed cultural events such as jazz festivals. I hold an MBA in cultural management from HEC Montréal (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales).
Raquel da Cunha, Ecsite
Raquel da Cunha
Communications and Events Manager
Brussels
Belgium
My first Ecsite Conference was in Trento, Italy, and I will never forget this first encounter with science engagement family - bright, warm, familiar and so much fun! I'm Ecsite's Communications and Events Manager since January 2020 but I have been in Ecsite’s communications team since March 2015. Before Ecsite, I was a doctoral researcher in Neurobiology and I founded and organised Patients Meet Scientists, a platform to bring researchers and patients together.
Daphnie
Daphnie Daras
Administrative and Communications Assistant
I first joined Ecsite as a Communications Intern during my studies in Multilingual Communication and International Relations at ULB. Once I graduated, I had the opportunity to work at Ecsite as a Project Assistant. For 1.5 years I worked on three EU-funded projects: HEIRRI, ERC=Science², and EU-Citizen.Science. After this enriching project management experience, I am now Ecsite's Administrative and Communications Assistant.
Carmen Fenollosa
Carmen Fenollosa
Senior Project Manager
Brussels
Belgium
I am a senior Project Manager at Ecsite where I manage a number of project including ERC=Science2, FIT4FOOD and RETHINK. I also work in SISCODE and GRACE. Before joining Ecsite, I spent most of my professional career working in the cultural and creative industries field. More specifically I was the Managing Director of the Spanish Network of Independent Record Labels and the Independent Music Awards. I have a degree in Economics and hold a Master in Cultural institutions management.
Shane Heneghan
Acting Communications and Events Officer
Aleksandra Kowalska
Project Manager
Brussels
Belgium
Before joining the ECSITE team in 2020 I worked for over 8 years with the European projects and programmes aiming at building more inclusive, social and innovative Europe, in the public and social sectors. I hold two Master degrees, in History and Communication for Development. I am starting my journey of science engagement with the projects on open schooling (Schools as Living Labs, Make It Open), Sockets, RETHINK and the Space Group.
Cristina
Cristina Paca
Project Manager
As a Project Manager, I deliver Ecsite's commitments in EU-funded transnational projects. Currently, I am working with several members of our network in the projects NANO2ALL, FIT4FOOD2030 and spaceEU, while also providing support to the Ecsite thematic group on Space. Before joining Ecsite in March 2017, I was involved in a host of cultural initiatives, from organising student exchanges, to debating and public speaking, to working in library services. I hold a BA in Politics, Psychology and Sociology from the University of Cambridge (UK) and studied European and East Asian affairs in Belgium and Japan.
Lucie Steigleder
Lucie Steigleder
Project Manager
Brussels
Belgium
I am a project manager, currently working on two EU-funded projects: EU.Citizen-Science and SISCODE, after having been Administrative and Communications Assistant for one year. I joined Ecsite as a Communications Intern during my studies in Scientific Communication at the Université de Strasbourg (France). Before that, I had the chance to study bird behaviour in Australia for my MSc in Ecophysiology and Ethology from the same university.
Mariette Wennmacher
Administrative Executive
Brussels
Belgium
As Administrative Executive at Ecsite, I take care of our memberships and registrations for the Ecsite Conference. Before joining Ecsite in 2013, I was Information and Office Manager at the DaimlerChrysler Corporate Office in Brussels for 19 years and Secretary General of the European Metal Union for 5 years. I am an Alderwoman in my town's municipal council. Socially engaged, I love sharing my passion for knitting and hooking by organising workshops for charity purposes and am an ambassador at a hospital for the "hooked octopuses" project for premature babies. I speak seven languages: Luxemburgish, German, French, Dutch, English, Italian and Russian and am a graduated translator in French-Italian-Russian.
Andrew Whittington-Davis
Andrew Whittington-Davis
Project Manager
I’m Andrew, one of Ecsite’s Project and Communications Assistant. My role here is to support Ecsite in delivering their commitments with funded projects across the European Union. I am currently working on four projects – SISCODE, SySTEM 2020 and spaceEU and GRACE. Prior to moving to Brussels I completed an MSc in Science, Media and Communication at Cardiff University (UK), whilst working as a medical researcher and a science communicator at Techniquest Science Centre. My interests lie in bringing people closer to science, especially through the medium of film.
Helen Wilks
Communications & Events Officer
Brussels
Belgium
I joined Ecsite in January 2020 as Communications and Events Officer. Before joining Ecsite, I worked in an International School in the Admissions department, helping and supporting new families with their move to Belgium and providing a point of contact for them and before moving to Belgium, I worked in Animal Rescue, Retail Management and Communications. Prior to this I obtained my BA Honours degree in Modern European Languages (French, Italian and Spanish) at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and I now also speak Dutch. At Ecsite, I am Editor of the Spokes monthly magazine and I am involved in the Ecsite Annual Report.
Patricia Willems-Mawenu
Administration Manager
Belgium
I joined the Ecsite team in February 2020. As the Administration Manager, I oversee Ecsite's Administration pole, supporting on Strategy and Governance, Human Resources, Office Management and general Administration. Prior to joining Ecsite, I worked in a range of Administrative & HR positions in the private sector and NGO sphere, more recently with the European Food Information Council and the International Road Transport Union's EU Advocacy office in Brussels. I hold a Bachelor in Economics and a Masters in Business Communication.