Speakers bioGRAPHY

Guri Melby
Minister of Education, Norway

Guri Melby is a Norwegian politician for the Liberal Party. She has served as the party leader and Minister of Education and Integration since 2020. From October 2013 to 2015 she served as the city commissioner for public transport and environmental affairs in Oslo. She is from Orkdal, Norway.



Themis ChristophidouDirector-General, Directorate General "Education, Youth, Sport and Culture" (EAC), European Commission

Themis Christophidou is the Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of theEuropean Commission, since March 2018. She is a civil engineer with 35 years of experience in private and public sector management. After having worked in the private sector for 15 years,

she joined the European Commission in 2001 and held various positions, including in the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, as Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and as Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.Themis Christophidou is an alumna of the civil engineering faculty of the Metsovio Polytechnic University of Athens, specialised in transport infrastructure and urban transport. Born in Famagusta, Cyprus, she is trilingual Greek, French, English.

Hans van der Loo EU STEM Ambassador, Chairman of a Thinktank Advisory Board, Former Vice-President of Shell International

Hans van der Loo is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Integrated Economic Research (IIER) and EU STEM Ambassador. He studied at Nyenrode Business School in Breukelen, ESCP in Paris, Oxford and Düsseldorf and at Sophia University in Tokyo. He has had a 30 year career working for McKinsey, Royal Dutch Shell and WBCSD. 

He is an advisor to the European Commission and is promoting STEM Education STEMcoalition.eu to strengthen sySTEMic thinking in society. 

He is Chairman of a Family Foundation and a non-executive director of a number of companies. He has lived in 9 countries and worked in some 50 countries all over the world. He has authored several articles and co-authored a book about 'Resilience'. He has been invited as speaker at international fora such as the Bilderberg Conference, the COP21 Paris, the European Business Summit, the World Economic Forum and he has lectured at various Universities. He has served 8 years as Styremedlem of A|S Norske Shell.


Wenche Rønning Associate Professor, Nord University

Associate Professor Wenche Rønning has nearly twenty years of experience in research project management. Her methodological expertise includes classroom video analysis and hierarchical focusing, both techniques central to this project. Thematically, she has studied teacher thinking, active learning, and immersive Place-Based Learning. Recently, her work has concentrated on linking teacher thinking and teacher practice through video observations and interviews.

Fredrik RuskEdD, Associate professor, Nord University

Fredrik Rusk is associate professor in pedagogy at Nord University, Norway. His research involves the employment of ethnomethodology, conversation analysis and interaction analysis with the use of diverse video recordings to investigate and better understand the social organization of classrooms. More generally, his research interests include learning in interaction, language learning, language use, multilingualism and social identity in interaction both in- and outside of the classroom/school. Recently he has been involved in several projects on learning in-and-through diverse screen-mediated interaction, such as smartphones, video conferences and video games.



Richard Lochhead Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science

Richard Lochhead MSP was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and 2003 via the North East regional list. During the second session of Parliament he stood down from his regional seat and was elected as constituency MSP for Moray in the by-election in April 2006. He was the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment from 2007 to 2016. Mr Lochhead lives with his wife Fiona and sons Angus and Fraser. In his spare time he is a keen cyclist.

Jean-Marc Fron Managing Director, Boeing France
Executive Owner of the Boeing Newton Europe projectJean-Marc Fron was named managing director of Boeing France in January 2017. Based in Paris, he’s responsible for coordinating all company business activities in France.Fron started his career in 1992 as an account executive at Edelman France. Then he spent three years in London, first with Eurostar and then with Welbeck Public Relations. In 1996, he joined GCI Moreau Lascombe, a public relations consultancy based in Brussels, where he worked on various accounts, including Boeing. 

He has been with Boeing since 2000. Fron holds a master’s degree in public relations, a business degree and an executive certificate in international management.


Bjarke Nielsen Project Manager, Newton Denmark University College Lillebælt

Bjarke Nielsen has been a part of University College Lillebælt (UCL) since January 2020, when UCL became the Newton Operational Partner (NOP) in Denmark. Bjarke started his career at LEGO in Billund, where he was a part of the team that createdLEGO MINDSTORMS and the FIRST LEGO League. He also joined the 1st Scandinavian FLL tournament in Bodø and has runned several FLL Tournaments. 

From 2005 to 2018 he was one of the creators of the Robotics Cluster around Odense, and in 2018 he reached out to the FIRST Scandinavia organisation with a mission to establish more Newton Rooms in Denmark.

Sofie Kongsbach Larsen, Newton Teacher and Project Manager at Newton Room Hvidovre, Denmark Sofie Kongsbach Larsen is a teacher at Risbjergskolen in Hvidovre, Denmark, where she teaches mathematics, biology and a combination of physics and chemistry. For three years she has been a part of the Newton Room; since the summer of 2020 as Project Manager.

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Dr Emma RobertsonProject Manager, Science Skills Academy 

Dr Emma Robertson is the Project Manager of the Science Skills Academy (SSA), a multi-partner project that is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with funding from the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal (CRD). Amongst other roles, Emma is responsible for the project management of the SSA’s CRD funding, establishing a network of Newton Rooms (STEM education rooms) in the Highland region, and supporting programme evaluation, sustainability and transition.

Emma has a degree in Biomedical Sciences from Edinburgh Napier University and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Aberdeen. After undertaking a number of post-doctoral research positions in international laboratories, Emma moved into STEM outreach, delivering and managing programmes for prestigious universities and organisations in the UK. Emma is motivated by a desire to inspire young people in the Highlands and Islands to pursue careers in STEM and fostering the next generation of scientists from the region.

Cathrine Instebø Head of Sponsorship, Equinor
Cathrine Instebø has broad experience within strategic and brand communication and is currently Head of Sponsorship in Equinor. Together with her team, she heads up Equinors talentprogram Heroes of tomorrow. 

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She has previously worked for design, marketing and communication agencies, as well as the Norwegian Broadcasting company (NRK).  Cathrine also has experience as a professional tennis player at an international level.


Jon Meisfjord CEO, Sisomar

Jon Meisfjord is CEO at Sisomar, a hatchery that’s producing and selling 9 million smolt each year.He has a bachelor in Aquaculture and have been working in Sisomar since 1995 and have experience from working with the whole chain in Aquaculture from broodstock, rogn production, hatchery, sea production and processing salmon at slaughterhouse.Since 2015 Sisomar har been a close collaborator with the local Newton-room in Sørfold. Providing both equipment and knowledge.