Bert Weckhuysen wins inaugural Chemistry Europe Award

Portretfoto Bert Weckhuysen

The very first Chemistry Europe Award will go to Prof. Bert Weckhuysen, who is being honored for outstanding achievements and leadership in the field of sustainable chemistry and catalysis research. The award is initiated by Chemistry Europe, an association of 16 chemical societies from 15 European countries, to recognize outstanding contributions to chemistry. The award ceremony will be held in August, during the 49th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress in The Hague, where Bert Weckhuysen will receive the award and give a lecture.

Bert Weckhuysen is a true pioneer and world-leading expert in the study of heterogeneous catalysts, Chemistry Europe writes in their press release about the award. The innovative character, the scientific depth, but also the broad impact of his work are remarkable. His research ranges from the development and use of operando spectroscopy and microscopy methods via the elucidation of reaction and deactivation mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysis to the high-level application of the acquired fundamental principles onto societally highly relevant applied areas.

The innovative character, the scientific depth, but also the broad impact of his work are remarkable.

Chemistry Europe

The organisation praises Weckhuysen for his significant contributions to the field of chemistry. Hardly anyone has influenced so many industrially highly relevant processes on such a high scientific level: Methanol-to-Hydrocarbons (MTH), Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC), Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (FTS), and the Sabatier process, to name just a few. At the same time, his work is pioneering emerging areas, such as catalytic biomass conversion with an emphasis on lignin, humin, and chitin, and more recently the electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 and the recycling of plastic waste.

Bert Weckhuysen

Bert Weckhuysen studied chemistry at Leuven University, Belgium, where he received his PhD under the supervision of Robert Schoonheydt in 1995. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Israel Wachs at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA, with Jack Lunsford at Texas A&M University College Station, USA, and at the Belgian National Science Foundation, thereby affiliated with Leuven University. He joined Utrecht University in 2000 as Professor at the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis Group, became Distinguished Professor at the Faculty of Science in 2012, and since 2018, he is Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University.

Weckhuysen has received numerous awards, such as the 2018 Robert B. Anderson Award, the 2017 Kozo Tanabe Prize for Acid-Base Catalysis, the 2013 Spinoza Award, the 2012 International Catalysis Award, the 2011 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis, and the 2009 Netherlands Catalysis and Chemistry Award. An exceptional honor was his 2015 Knighthood in the Order of the Dutch Lion.

Chemistry Europe Award

The Chemistry Europe Award recognizes outstanding contributions to chemistry. The award is presented every two years and focuses on a specific topic each time. The theme for 2023 is Chemistry for Sustainability, Energy, Materials, Environment. The award includes prize money of EUR 10,000 and a certificate. The Chemistry Europe award is open to both members and non-members of Chemistry Europe societies from all nations.

Founded in 1995, Chemistry Europe is an association of 16 chemical societies from 15 European countries, representing over 75,000 chemists. It publishes a family of high-quality scholarly chemistry journals, covering a very broad range of disciplines, and the science news magazine ChemistryViews. Wiley-VCH is their publisher. Chemistry Europe supports its members at every stage of their careers as they strive to solve the challenges that impact humankind. In all its work, Chemistry Europe values integrity, openness, diversity, cooperation, and freedom of thought.