Sandra Stelma – IBD Board Trustee and Process Capacity Agility and Futures Manager at Diageo

Sandra is an expert in beer production and Research and Development in brewing and distilling. With an international background and extensive experience in different brewing cultures and insights, Sandra provides a wide view to create a global community of professionals who wish to excel in their careers with the technical knowledge that the IBD provides.

Sandra sits on the IBD Board since 2020 bringing her international expertise and contacts to open new European markets. She has been part of the European Brewing Convention Executive Team since 2015.

Sandra has been working in the brewing industry for almost three decades, working both in R&D and Production, prominently focusing on beer and more recently expanding into spirits.

Sandra started her career at the SAB Ltd. Beer Division (R&D) in South Africa. After obtaining her PhD, she moved to production in Alrode Brewery. She later joined the technical team based in Switzerland to support the network of breweries across Europe and later became Brewing Manager in Grolsch Brewery in the Netherlands. In 2015, she joined Diageo as a Head of Science and Brand Technical Innovation, and moved to Dublin, providing technical support to all the Diageo brewing operations across Ireland and Africa.

Since October 2021, Sandra is Process Capacity Agility and Futures Manager with a stronger R&D focus and a much wider scope - covering all Diageo categories: Beer, Scotch, Tequila and other distilled spirits. This includes technical support for process improvement, capacity release and future focus to achieve the 2030 sustainability goals.

Born in the Netherlands and growing up in South Africa, Sandra holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology and a Master in Biochemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and a PhD from Stellenbosch University. She obtained the IBD Diploma in Brewing in 2008 winning the JS Ford award for achieving the highest marks for all three Diploma Module exams in one sitting.

In her free time, Sandra loves hiking and motorbiking, ideally combined. The bike gets her to the more remote spots in all weather. She might not have a car, but she has 4 wheels - 2 in Ireland and 2 in the Netherlands- that’s where her family is based and where she flips readily from driving on the left and then on the right!!