Photo of Freideriki (Frida) Michailidou

Energy & sustainability

Freideriki (Frida) Michailidou

Researcher and lecturer at ETH Zurich in Switzerland

Dr Freideriki (Frida) Michailidou is a researcher and lecturer at ETH Zurich in Switzerland where she develops sustainable processes for creating fragrant materials by combining biotechnology with perfumery and consumer science.

Little more than 3,000 fragrance chemicals currently supply a growing multi-million dollar industry with products containing up to 300 distinct chemicals. Michailidou is advancing an eco-friendly biocatalysis technique that will allow scientists to harness renewable raw materials using less energy, shifting the paradigm towards sustainable production of high-value chemicals.

As part of her research, she led an expedition to Mount Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain, to collect volatile emissions from rare, protected plants growing at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. Using cutting-edge analytical technology, Michailidou identified the molecular structures contributing to the unique scents of these plants. She now focuses on advancing eco-friendly biocatalysis techniques to harness renewable raw materials to promote consumer safety while reducing the use of experimental animals.

A high demand for advanced chemical materials and a finite availability of natural resources compels the development of sustainable production technologies for high-value chemicals in fragrances. Michailidou’s research in sustainable fragrance creation has the potential to impact multiple industries including the food, pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and advanced materials industries.