Hajo Freund of the Fritz Haber Institute has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis

hajo_freundWe are pleased to announce that Professor Hans Joachim Freund of the Fritz Haber Institute is the recipient of the 2015 Michel Boudart for the Advancement of Catalysis, sponsored by the Haldor Top-s√łe Company and administered jointly by the North American Catalysis Society and the European Fed-eration of Catalysis Societies. The Award will be presented at the 24th North American Meeting of the Catalysis Society (Pittsburgh, June 2015) and at Europacat XII (Kazan, Russia, August 2015).
This Award recognizes and encourages individual contributions to the elucidation of the mechanism and active sites involved in catalytic phenomena and to the development of new methods or concepts that advance the understanding and the practice of heterogeneous catalysis. It is meant to recognize individuals who bring together the rigor and the international impact that exemplified the accomplish-ments and the career of Professor Michel Boudart.
Professor Hajo Freund is being specifically recognized for his groundbreaking experimental advances in understanding elementary steps of reactions on catalytic surfaces and for his studies bridging relevant catalysis and surface reactions at single crystal surfaces through the use of novel model catalysts with well-controlled structural features. His research group has synthesized a broad range of relevant mate-rials, such as oxides of Al, Si, Ce, Ca, and V, useful as active materials or supports, with geometric and electronic structures, including surface defects, probed at the atomic level using tunneling and atomic force microscopy techniques. His work has established the state-of-the-art in new techniques and instrumentation and in the use of relevant model systems to establish mechanistic pathways and struc-tural and electronic requirements in heterogeneous catalysis. One example involves the first imple-mentation of electron spin resonance to single crystals, which has enabled the monitoring of the for-mation and reactions of radical species derived from adsorbates and metal nanoparticles on well-defined surfaces. His studies of supported metal nanoparticles (Pd, Au) have led to unprecedented insights into how supports influence the geometric and electronic properties and how dopants influ-ence the binding properties of such nanoparticles, even when dopants reside below support surfaces, through dopant-induced polarons that strongly influence oxygen activation. Recently, his group suc-cessfully prepared hexagonal SiO2 double layers, which allowed the first direct observation of the atomic structure of amorphous silica using tunneling and atomic force microscopy and the synthesis of a two-dimensional zeolite with bridging hydroxyl structures, such as those present in chabazite frame-works.
Enrique Iglesia
President, North American Catalysis Society
Johannes Lercher
President, European Federation of Catalysis Societies

che_faraday_medalProf. Michel Che, University of Paris VI: Pierre et Marie Curie was awarded the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry's Faraday Lectureship Prize, and received the Faraday medal in a ceremony in Cardiff.

As part of the award Prof. Michel Che was invited to give a series of lectures in the UK.

On Monday 26th January Professor Michel Che of the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6 & Institut Universitaire de France gave his 2014 Faraday Lecture at the School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, UK. The title of his lecture was "Relevance of Geochemistry to the Life of a Catalyst: When Fire Meets Water." After the lecture Professor Che was presented with his Faraday Medal by Professor Graham Hutchings, who is the current president of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

EFCATS-Young Researcher Award

The EFCATS Award aims to recognize individual contributions in the field of heterogeneous catalysis with emphasis on theoretical or experimental discovery and understanding of new catalysts and catalytic processes, synthesis and catalytic function of novel inorganic solids and complexes, mechanisms of reactions, deactivation phenomena.

The candidates for the award must have already shown the potential for research independence and evidence of maturity. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate a promising track-record of early achievements appropriate to their specific research field and career stage, including significant publications (as main author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals of catalysis field. They may also demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes etc.

Selection of the Award winner will be made by a committee of renowned scientists appointed by the President and vice-president of The European federation of Catalysis Societies. Selection shall be made on the basis of excellence. The award winner must not have turned 41, March 1st of the award year. Thus, nomination documents should indicate the date of birth of the nominee.

Nominations for the Award should prove the candidate’s excellence and will include:

  • A nomination letter, in which the merits of the candidate are described. The presentation letter should be prepared by the person proposing the candidate.
  • Up to two recommendation letters, and
  • the candidate’s CV (including date of birth) and the list of publications.


Nomination documents should be submitted in one PDF file to the President/Secretary of EFCATS before March 20, 2015

Applied Catalysis Award

Selection of the Award winner will be made by a committee of renowned scientists including a majority of current or previous industrial scientists appointed by the President and vice-president of The European federation of Catalysis Societies from names suggested by members of the EFCATS board. Committee members who are current or recent employees of the company of any nominee shall abstain from voting on that proposal. Selection shall be made on the basis of excellence scientific novelty, technical achievements in development and scale-up, interdisciplinary teamwork between scientists and engineers, with emphasis on actual or potential commercial application.

Nominations for the Award should prove the candidate’s excellence and will include:

  • A nomination letter, in which the merits of the candidate(s) are indicated (pre-pared by the person proposing the candidate(s)),
  • Description of the achievements of the candidate(s) confirmed by the company applying the new contribution within a supporting letter and
  • A detailed CV of the candidate(s).

Nomination documents should be submitted in one PDF file to the President/Secretary of EFCATS before March 20, 2015.


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Helmut Knözinger (1935-2014)

Helmut Knözinger passed away at his home in Munich on January 12, 2014. The catalysis community lost a contributor of outstanding science, and also a leader in various organizations, editor, and valued collaboration partner.

Kn√∂zinger studied Physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t M√ľnchen. The subject of his dissertation, which was supervised by Georg-Maria Schwab, was the catalytic decomposition of methyl formate. He accomplished the Habilitation (1967) with a thesis on the dehydration of ethanol on alumina, a material that would later be the subject of his most cited article. Kn√∂zinger held various academic positions at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t M√ľnchen, with an interlude as a guest professor at the Universidad Central de Caracas, Venezuela (1968/69), before he became Professor (1980). He remained at his alma mater until his retirement in 2000, after which he continued as a researcher and editor.

Kn√∂zinger’s research covered many different areas of catalysis, and he excelled at developing and applying spectroscopic methods for the characterization of catalysts. He made significant contributions to the characterization of acid-base properties of oxidic materials, by analyzing OH groups with IR spectroscopy, by extensively using carbon monoxide as a probe, and by evaluating much needed probe molecules for basic surface properties. He was also interested in supported oxides, which he characterized by Raman, UV-vis, and photoelectron spectroscopy. To explore the mechanism of dispersion of oxides on oxides, he engaged in a long-lasting collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching. As a result, thin film model catalysts were developed and investigated by surface science techniques such as ion scattering and Auger electron spectroscopy.

Helmut Kn√∂zinger’s work was recognized with national and international awards including the Ciapetta Lectureship, the Ipatieff Lectureship, the Max-Planck Research Award, the Prix Gay Lussac Humboldt Prize, and the Alwin Mittasch Medal of Dechema. He was an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Academia Europaea, and honorary professor of Nankai University, Tianjin, China.

Helmut Kn√∂zinger was a member of chemical and catalysis societies, among them EUROCAT and EFCATS, and helped organize national and international conferences on catalysis. He also acted as president of the International Association of Catalysis Societies. Together with Gerhard Ertl and Jens Weitkamp (and later Ferdi Sch√ľth), Helmut Kn√∂zinger formed the team of editors of the highly successful Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis. He also edited Advances in Catalysis together with Bruce Gates for more than a decade.

While Knözinger remained rooted in Munich throughout his career, he cultivated collaborations and exchange. He was an avid traveler and held guest professorships in Caracas, Xianmen, Evanston, Amsterdam, and Paris. Researchers from around the world visited his laboratory, often to use his specially designed apparatus. Visitors were welcomed into the group and treated with Bavarian hospitality.

As an advisor, he was a role model with respect to reliability and self-discipline. His interest in everybody’s research was manifest in his daily afternoon rounds through the labs. His mentoring was gentle, and he promoted independent thinking. A significant number of students graduated with a doctoral degree under his guidance. Helmut Kn√∂zinger had been a gifted athlete in his youth and was a mountain enthusiast; he instigated regular group outings ‚Äď hiking in summer and skiing in winter. He was also a talented photographer, and the images displayed in his office spoke of his skill, of his travels around the world, and his eye as an observer.

Helmut Kn√∂zinger’s presence and his views will be missed.

Friederike Jentoft



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