Press release ¤ Information de presse
The DECHEMA Prize 2014 of the Max Buchner Research Foundation is being jointly awarded to two prominent catalytic scientists: Dr. Karl Mayrhofer, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPI for Iron Research), Düsseldorf, receives the Prize for his seminal work on the analysis and development of corrosion-resistant electrocatalysts for energy conversion systems, Dr. Frank Hollmann, Delft University of Technology, for his outstanding research on the development of green, light- and electricity-driven enzymatic redox processes in organic synthesis. The DECHEMA Prize of the Max Buchner Research Foundation, which comes with total prize money of 20,000 euros, will be presented during a special colloquium on 28 November in Frankfurt am Main.
For the first time in 22 years, once again two outstanding young scientists will share the prize. Both work in the field of catalysis: Mayrhofer is involved with metallic catalysts for electron transfer, for instance in hydrogen generation or in fuel cells, while Hollmann applies enyzmes as biotechnological electron carriers. What both scientists have in common is their involvement, from the fundamentals through to industrial application, in processes that are essential for future technologies in terms of the energy supply and sustainable production.
Dr. Karl Mayrhofer has been Head of the Electrocatalysis Group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE) in Düsseldorf since 2010. After studying chemistry at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology), he spent three years in the USA at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, where he completed his PhD thesis. From 2006 to 2009 he worked as a post-doc research fellow at TU München (Munich University of Technology), before switching to MPIE in Düsseldorf. In the course of his scientific career he has focused on diverse aspects of electrocatalysts, from the development of novel testing methods, to the investigation of the interdependence of particle size and catalyst performance, through to the long-term stability of electrocatalysts.
Dr. Frank Hollmann is a member of the Department of Biotechnology at TU Delft. He studied chemistry at the University of Bonn, then continued work on his thesis at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), where he obtained his PhD in 2004. He subsequently worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (MPI for Coal Research) in Mülheim and then as Research Manager Biotechnology at Degussa in Essen for two-and-a half years. He returned to academia in 2008 as Assistant Professor at TU Delft.
Frank Hollmann has successfully developed the electroenzymatic application of various enzymes, such as phenyl monooxygenase and flavin-dependent epoxygenases. His particular focus is on synthetic pathways of high industrial relevance, using a combination of biocatalytic and chemical steps.