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Catharina James PhD, MBA, MSc, FRSA

Dr Catharina James is an entrepreneur, start-up coach and established innovation expert.


Lead by Catharina, DRCJ Consulting works in a number of industries. We are best known for materials engineering, focussing on nanomaterials and particularly 2D materials. Example projects focussed on ink and sensor development for electronics and semiconductor industries.

We help clients create value from waste and with circular process design. Our particular interest lies in generating renewable energy from industrial processes and in waste management.


Catharina’s entrepreneurial experience spans commercialisation of ground-breaking technologies, product|ion standardisation and innovation road mapping.

Identifying projects and securing private and public funding lead her to successfully manage 10+ projects (budgets up to $1M, on target). She employed her technology expertise most recently to develop a pioneering, $150M circular economy plant for an emerging economy.

She successfully built and managed teams, growing her venture from the founding team to 25 at her exit.

She has been coaching 30+ start-ups on business model, IP strategy and fund-raising for those selected to the highly prestigious Accelerate program of Cambridge Judge Business School.


She most recently completed an Executive MBA (Finance, Data Analysis) and has a background in chemistry (MSc) and materials science (PhD, University of Cambridge).


Catharina’s role in previous ventures earned her the title of “The First Lady of Graphene” [The Telegraph] and one of the eight “Business leaders to watch” in 2015 by UK media. She was name a Face of a Vibrant Economy [Grant Thornton] and her work was recognised globally by media and in museum exhibitions.

She has been awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in recognition of her role in the design of novel manufacturing systems.

Selected publications and patents

Ultra-pure single wall carbon nanotube fibres continuously spun without promoter

The role of carbon precursor on carbon nanotube chirality in floating catalyst chemical vapour deposition

Lipid nanoscaffolds in carbon nanotube arrays

Conductive inks of graphitic nanoparticles from a sustainable carbon feedstock

Field emission from laser cut CNT fibers and films

Method, System and Injection Subsystem for Producing Nanotubes

Heater elements, heat exchangers and heater element arrays

Apparatus and method for plasma synthesis of graphitic products including graphene

Carbon nanotube / graphene composites

Apparatus and method for plasma synthesis of graphitic products including graphene

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