sponsored by BP):
Prof. Ulrich MUELLER

u.muellerEFCATS BP Applied Catalysis Award has nominated Prof. Ulrich Mueller as the 2013 recipient from a cadre of very talented and worthy nominees. With his international team of researchers he developed, implemented and started the fabrication of titanozeolite based catalysts supplying world-scale epoxidation plants to make propylene oxide from propylene and hydrogen peroxide. In emission control catalysis the synthesis of artificial chabazite was reinvestigated and established into a several hundred ton-scale zeolite manufacture.

c_hammondThe EFCATS Best PhD Thesis Award 2013 has been awarded ex aequo to Matteo Carganelo and Ceri Hammond. Ceri Hammond's thesis on the topic of methane partial oxidation to methanol demonstrated the application of a wide range of synthesis, analytical characterisation and mechanistic analysis to make real progress in an extremely difficult area. The work showed that low temperature activation of methane for partial oxidation can be made highly selective using a zeolite catalyst with hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant, in aqueous media. Ceri used a carefully designed set of experiments to identify the active site responsible for this remarkable reaction and to show how selectivity can be optimised through control of side reactions. The work has been published in top flight journals and already received considerable attention. The work was carried out at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute in the UK under the supervision of Prof. Graham Hutchings and sponsored through the Dow methane challenge project, as a "blue skies" research venture.


m_carganeloThe EFCATS Best PhD Thesis Award 2013 has been awarded ex aequo to Matteo Carganelo and Ceri Hammond. Carganelo's thesis focused on the topics of the development of innovative ways to prepare catalytic materials by assembly of precise building blocks into hierarchical structures. This study demonstrated the function and stability of the new materials. He contributed to the preparation of core-shell structures that he demonstrated to be versatile starting materials for catalysts for sustainable hydrogen production, generation of energy in fuel cells and the abatement of pollutants such as CO and CH4 with a focus on the stability of the systems. In addition, he demonstrated how precise nanocrystals can bridge the materials-pressute gap leading to model systems that can be tested under realistic reaction conditions to provide information about the mechanism of catalyzed reactions on ceria.

(sponsored by BASF):

j_perez-ramirezThe EFCATS Young Researcher's Award 2013 has been awarded to Prof. Javier PĂ©rez-RamĂ­rez from the ETH Zurich. This award recognizes Professor PĂ©rez-RamĂ­rez' seminal contributions to the field of heterogeneous catalysis. In particular, his groundbreaking work in the rational design of hierarchical zeolites for catalytic applications and the development of novel catalysts for chlorine production is acknowledged. Javier PĂ©rez-RamĂ­rez, born in 1974 in Benidorm, Spain, studied chemical engineering at the University of Alicante and earned his PhD degree at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in 2002. From 2002 to 2005, he worked in various positions at Norsk Hydro and Yara International, Norway. In 2005 he returned to academic research and at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), where he was appointed ICREA research professor at ICIQ in Tarragona, Spain. In 2010, he took the chair of Catalysis Engineering at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering of the ETH Zurich. Javier PĂ©rez-RamĂ­rez has received numerous awards including the Dow Energy Prize 2002, the KNCV Prijs 2003, and the Otto-Roelen medal 2012.


haldor-topsoeHaldor Topsøe, Danish founder of worldleading chemical engineering company Haldor Topsøe A/S passed away on May 19 of this year aged 99.

Early influences
Born on May 24, 1913, Haldor Topsøe was the  eldest son of Captain Flemming Topsøe and Hedvig Sofie. He grew up in Copenhagen during a time of social unrest, and his father's involvement in voluntary social work, covering vital services during general strikes, made a lifelong impression on him. Throughout his life he recognized the importance of overcoming the boundaries between social classes to enable people to work together.
During the 1930s, Haldor Topsøe studied physics under eminent physicist Niels Bohr and chemical engineering at the Technical University of Denmark where he developed his  life-long passion for scientific research. He graduated in 1936 and married his long-time fiancĂ©e, Inger.
But, rather than stay on and study for a doctorate, Haldor Topsøe agreed to join Aarhus Oliefabrik as a chemical engineer with the assurance that he would play a major role in developing the company's research center. After only three years, however, he left and started his own business.

From academia to industry
At first, the situation looked far from promising. On April 9, 1940 Haldor Topsøe and his young family were preparing to leave for the US , when Germany began its occupation of Denmark. Suddenly, he had to reconsider his future.
Realizing he could no longer expect to get a good position at a Danish university, he decided to take his wife's advice and use his knowledge of chemical engineering to start up his own private company. His intention was to earn enough money to enable him and his colleagues to pursue their passion for establishing a theoretical, scientific basis for making advances in industrial processes. Inger approved of his plan and said that it should be a good place to work, to which he added, "and to have worked."

Haldor Topsøe founded Haldor Topsøe A/S in the belief that his company's research would bring the benefits of chemical engineering, particularly catalysis, to businesses worldwide. Today, more than 70 years later, Haldor Topsøe A/S has a global presence encompassing 10 countries on four continents and employs 2,500 people - and catalysis is involved in 90 percent of the world's chemical processes, and 60 percent of all industrial production.

Passion for science
Asked about his company's early achievements, Haldor Topsøe has stated that his team was able to "bring a lot more science into the industry." It was these post-war experiences of combining fundamental scientific research with the needs of industry that informed his search for the people who could take the results of research, develop useful products and bring them to market. Having managed to create "a good place to work," he was able to attract talented, dedicated scientists and engineers, and the company's first products, using catalysis to speed up the production of sulfuric acid, came to market in 1944.

September 1-6 2013

XIth European Congress on Catalysis

20 years of European Catalysis... and beyond

Lyon, France

Francois-Gault-Lectureship 2013 awarded to Johannes Lercher

Lercher_klProfessor Johannes Lercher has been named the recipient of the 2013 Francois Gault Lectureship Award, Europe's highest honor in catalysis. Lercher is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Technische Universität München in Munich, Germany and Director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Institute for Integrated Catalysis, USA. The award is given in recognition of his ground-breaking contributions to the understanding of the interactions and transformations of molecules on solid catalysts through elegant combinations of physicochemical and kinetic analyses. His work includes research on catalyzed reactions involving fossil fuels and alternative feedstocks such as biomass.

The award is bestowed by EFCATS, European Federation of Catalysis Societies from 25 European countries.

The François Gault Lectureship Award is given every two years to a distinguished scientist in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. Lercher will present several plenary lectures across Europe between the two biennial EUROPACAT meetings held in Lyon in September 2013 and in Kazan in September 2015.

The François Gault Lectureship has previously been awarded to Sir John Meurig Thomas (UK), Gerhard Ertl (Germany), Henrik Topsøe (Denmark), Avelino Corma (Spain), Michel Che (France), Graham Hutchings (UK), Robbie Burch (UK), Rutger van Santen (Netherlands) and Enrique Iglesia (USA).

How to give successful oral and poster presentations

Follow this link for a concise treatise by Prof. Hans Niemantsverdriet on how to make the best of your presentations, get your audience interested and get your message across.

This page has been the most visited page on the EFCATS website and has received high ratings for its superb content and practical down-to-earth approach.

ACENET ERA-NET - Europe strengthens catalysis

The ACENET (Applied Catalysis European NETwork) ERA-NET network unites twelve ministries and research management and funding organisations from ten EU Member States to bring coherence and foster cooperation between national research programmes and policies on applied catalysis.Its activities have:

  • integrated processes between the national research-funding organisations, as a result of sharing good practice and infrastructure
  • increased efficiency in research by promoting interdisciplinary knowledge-sharing
  • provided a framework for the education and qualification of young scientists following an inventory of real and genuine training needs

Further information can be found in:


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Section on catalysis meetings

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last update on 10.07.2013


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