prof. dr. ir. B.M. (Bert) Weckhuysen
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Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis

Professor Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis

Distinguished Professor of the Faculty of Science


Bert Weckhuysen at TEDxBinnenhof 2014:

Strategic themes / Focus areas
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Curriculum vitae

Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (45) received his master degree in chemical and agricultural engineering with greatest distinction from Leuven University (Belgium) in 1991. After obtaining his PhD from Leuven University with honours (highest degree) in 1995 under the supervision of Prof. Robert Schoonheydt, he has worked as a postdoc with Prof. Israel Wachs at Lehigh University (USA) and with Prof. Jack Lunsford at Texas A&M University (USA). From 1997 until 2000 he was a research fellow of the Belgian National Science Foundation. He has been a visiting scientist at Hokkaido University (Japan), Amsterdam University (The Netherlands), Manchester University (United Kingdom) and Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel). Weckhuysen is since October 1 2000 full professor inorganic chemistry and catalysis at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). He has also been visiting professor at Leuven University in the period 2000-2005 and at Stanford University in 2012. Weckhuysen has been appointed as the first Distinguished Professor of the Faculty of Science at Utrecht University as of September 2012.

Weckhuysen authored or co-authored around 340 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals with an average number of citations per paper of about 32 and a Hirsch index of 57. Furthermore, Weckhuysen is the author of 21 conference proceedings publications, 16 national journal publications, 21 book chapters and 8 patents/patent applications. Furthermore, he is the (co-) editor of three books. He serves/served on the editorial board of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, ChemCatChem, Vibrational Spectroscopy, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Journal of Applied Chemistry, Applied Catalysis A: General, Topics in Catalysis, Catalysis Letters, Chemical Society Reviews and Catalysis Today. He obtained prestigious VICI-CW NWO and TOP CW NWO grants from the Netherlands Science Foundation for his research work in 2002, 2006 and 2011, respectively. In 2012 he has been awarded an Advanced ERC grant. He also has received several research awards, including the 2006 Gold Medal from the Royal Dutch Chemical Society (KNCV), the 2007 DECHEMA Award from The Max Buchner Research Foundation (Germany), the 2009 Netherlands Catalysis and Chemistry Award from the KNCV Catalysis Section and the Netherlands Organization of Catalysis Industries, the Eminent Visitor Award 2009 of the Catalysis Society of South Africa (CATSA), the 2011 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis of the North American Catalysis Society (NACS), the International Catalysis Award 2012 of the International Association of Catalysis Societies (IACS), the 2013 Vladimir N. Ipatieff Lectureship in Catalysis of the Northwestern University, the 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry Bourke Award and the 2013 Spinoza Award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Weckhuysen has been the scientific director of the Dutch Research School for Catalysis (NIOK) (2003-2013) and is currently directing the Smartmix research program CATCHBIO on Biomass Catalysis funded by the Dutch government and chemical industries (since 2007), of which he has been one of the initiators. Weckhuysen is also an alumnus elected member of the Young Academy (DJA) of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), elected member of the Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation (NATI), elected member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW), elected member of the European Academy of Science, elected member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). Weckhuysen serves on many boards and panels for national and international research.  



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The complete publicationlist can be found at the personal webpage of Bert Weckhuysen.

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  • Development and use of in-situ spectroscopic methods applied on heterogeneous catalysts during catalyst preparation and real operation in order to develop structure-activity relationships and expert systems for catalytic processes. Systems of interest are supported metal and metal oxide catalysts, zeolites as well as lanthanide and alkaline earth metal oxides. The main emphasis is on combined space and time-resolved in-situ UV-Vis, Raman, IR, fluorescence and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Catalytic reactions under study are alkane, methane and methanol activation, chlorinated hydrocarbons re-arrangements and (selective) oxidation reactions, such as propene epoxidation and CO oxidation.
  • Catalytic conversion of biomass to fuels and bulk chemicals, more specifically the valorization of polyols, e.g. glycerol and sugars, via telomerization, hydrogenolysis and etherification, valorization of lignin and related phenolics and the conversion of C5- and C6-sugars. Development of in-situ spectroscopic methods for monitoring biomass conversion processes in the liquid phase (i.e., water at relatively high temperatures and pressures).
  • Synthesis of ordered (micro-) porous materials with catalytic potential. The focus is on the fundamental understanding of the principles governing the assembly processes of porous oxides and the development of spectroscopic tools to evaluate the synthesis parameters.
  • The molecular design of transition metal ion complexes in inorganic hosts for catalyst and sensor applications. Enzymes, the most effective catalysts in nature, are the inspiration source for this research. Catalytic reactions of interest are NO decomposition, methane activation and selective oxidation reactions.

More information can be found at the research page of Bert Weckhuysen.

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Additional functions and activities

This page is only available in Dutch.

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Full name
prof. dr. ir. B.M. Weckhuysen Contact details
David de Wiedgebouw

Universiteitsweg 99
Room 4.82
The Netherlands

Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 4328
Phone number (department) +31 30 253 7400
Fax +31 30 251 1027
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Last updated 17.03.2015