Member Spotlight: Meet Hans Christian Holm

Member Spotlight is a regular INFORM magazine column that features members who play critical roles in AOCS.

Hans Christian Holm and his wife Ninna
Hans Christian Holm and his wife, Ninna, are pictured in July 2020 during a seven-day, 1,075-kilometer (670-mile) charity bike ride around Denmark ( Their team collected 100,000 euros for critically ill children through their efforts.
Fast Facts
Name Hans Christian Holm
Joined AOCS 1999
Education M.Sci. from Danish Technical University, followed by a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Copenhagen Business School
Job title Science manager
Employer Novozymes A/S (Denmark)
Current AOCS involvement Session chair and presenter, past vice chair of the Processing Division, and member-at-large of the Biotechnology Division


My favorite part of my job is…

My favorite part of my job is challenging the status quo. In meetings with customers and partners, the idea that “the customer is always right” is often pure nonsense. I really love the challenge of understanding why the customer expresses a certain desire and find that it is often possible to do much better after merging/sparring over our respective competencies.

Is there an achievement or contribution you are most proud of? Why?

Professionally, three major achievements come to mind. First, in 2005, ADM and Novozymes received a US Green Chemistry Challenge Award. Then, in 2008, I was awarded the Euro Fed Lipid Technology Award. Both awards were given for the use of enzymes to create margarine and shortening free of trans fatty acids. Finally, as president of Euro Fed Lipid (2018–2019) I had the pleasure of seeing restructuring efforts result in sustainable economics for our federation. Such achievements are always the result of the work of a great team, and it is the teamwork I appreciate.

What event, person, or life experience has had the most influence on the direction of your life?

Watching my four kids grow has been so rewarding. My wife Ninna and I are as far from being a soccer mom/soccer dad as you can get, but we still managed to induce proper values and inspire them to pursue proper developmental paths. In fact, our oldest son became a medical doctor in 2020; our oldest daughter received a master’s degree in chemical engineering; our next son began studying biotechnology at Danish Technical University; and our youngest daughter decided to become a pediatrician. (University is still four years in the future for her. It is free of charge in Denmark; we just pay a lot of taxes.)


How do you relax after a hard day of work?

I enjoy listening to books—mostly thrillers—but because our house is an old brick house from 1891, quite some house repair is needed. Really relaxing involves taking the kids to a soccer match or watching “Sunday Night Football.” (I have a hard time being a Giants fan.)

What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?

Cooking for a large group of people (100+ people from infants to grandparents who spend a week every year in the small Kingdom of Elleore— I once grilled 75 pheasants and then prepared a stew by mixing the meat with 12 bottles of port wine and 20 liters of cream, with some veggies and rice on the side.

What skill would you like to master?

I would love to master patience, but I never had enough patience to get there.

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