Employee Testimonial

Meet Diana Santangelo, Researcher

Diana Santangelo is a researcher at our Research, Development and Innovation department. She focuses on the development and improvement of paint systems for vehicle repair.

  • Researcher
  • At Business Area Vehicle Refinishes
  • Works in Coatings Manufacturing Excellence in Sassenheim

"My work presents an added value for many different people"

After studying Chemical Engineering in Venezuela at the Universidad de Los Andes, Diana completed her Master's at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. During her internship, she was working in the AkzoNobel Research and Technology Centre, focusing on the development of nanoparticles for several uses, such as in coatings and polishing materials.

Diana is currently working at the Research and Development department of Vehicle Refinishes in Sassenheim, the Netherlands. She does research on new products and improves existing products used in the repair of cars, buses, and trucks.


She also develops coatings for new plastic parts of the original manufacture, like new bumpers and side-view mirrors. She explains, “Someone from Marketing will ask us, ‘we want to market a product with these features, can you develop it?’ My job is to think of a way to achieve those features; what ingredients are needed and which application methods yield the best results.”


Her work also includes the scale-up from lab testing to the actual factory production, and means working with production, engineers, and color specialists in Sassenheim. She also has regular contact with both research and production colleagues stationed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the US.


Diana is currently working on the development of pigmented products which should have stable color and should not sink to the bottom when mixed. Her work presents an added value for many different people in the chain of production, from AkzoNobel, all the way to body shops and car owners.


Diana says, “If I add an ingredient that stabilizes the paint or achieves better gloss results, or makes the product more environmentally sustainable, a lot of people all around the world reap the benefits.”