Daan van Rooijen graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering from Delft University of Technology in 1991. He went on to work for two manufacturers of cooling units, where he contributed a number of innovations in ecodesign. He started his own design company, KIEM, in 1992, which was the first engineering firm in the Netherlands to specialise in ecodesign. One of his first clients was the Rathenau Instituut, a leading research institution. KIEM co-authored the Ecodesign manual with this institute, which was adopted both by the United Nations Development Program and the European Commission. In addition, the company also developed ecodesign and bio-based materials for several major companies including Electrolux, DAF Trucks and Volvo, as well as for small and medium-sized enterprises.

In 1995 Van Rooijen set up the Netherlands’ first large-scale biocomposite project: BIOLICHT. He took on this project together with partners Wageningen University, Delft University of Technology, Wientjes Emmen, and FOWCA/Cintec. Their objective was to develop lightweight body work and parts for trailer construction manufactured from natural-fibre-reinforced composite. He worked on a variety of ecodesign projects and on the development of three innovative biocomposite production processes.

In 2012, he joined the faculty of Stenden Polymore Research & Education (PRE) as an Associate Lecturer in Biocomposites. In this role, Van Rooijen researches material properties, new production processes and applications of various types of biocomposites. His objective is to convince local manufacturers and students of the myriad design and construction possibilities of a new generation of building materials.