Press release ¤ Information de presse

Feb 06, 2024


Der Jochen Block-Preis 2024 der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Katalyse geht an Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tanja Franken, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. 

© Georg Pöhlein

Jochen Block Award 2024 for Tanja Franken, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg

The Jochen Block Prize 2024 of the German Catalysis Society (GeCatS) goes to Jun.-Prof. Tanja Franken, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. It recognizes her outstanding contributions to the research and further development of catalyst systems for the sustainable synthesis of fuels and basic chemicals. The Jochen Block Award honours the achievements of young scientists and is endowed with 3,000 euros. It is sponsored by Clariant and will be presented at the 57. Jahrestreffen Deutscher Katalytiker (May 13th -15th,2004) in Weimar/Germany.

Tanja Franken's research focuses on the development of highly efficient catalysts based on mixed metal oxides, such as spinels and perovskites. In her approaches, she utilizes the crystalline structure of these mixed metal oxides to generate and maintain the highest dispersions of the active species. Of particular interest is the use of non-precious metals to obtain low-cost catalysts. These catalysts are used in various applications such as exhaust gas catalysis, CO2 conversion to fuels, selective oxidation or electrochemical water splitting to produce H2. In general, the scientific knowledge gain is based on the establishment of structure-activity relationships through the combination of catalyst synthesis and testing, as well as extensive ex- and in situ analysis of the materials, which form a foundation for further understanding-based catalyst development. The current focus is on the dynamics of the mixed metal surfaces during the reaction.

Tanja Franken, born in 1986, studied chemistry at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany and received her B.Sc. in 2009 and her M.Sc. in 2012. In 2016, she completed her doctorate there at the Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry. She then continued her research at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur, Switzerland. In 2019, she moved to the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) - in Villigen, Switzerland, as a postdoctoral researcher. Since 2020, Tanja Franken has been Assistant Professor (W1) with Tenure Track and Head of the Group “Catalytic and Electrocatalytic Systems and Processes” at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany. 

Jochen Block Award

The Jochen Block Award of the German Catalysis Society is awarded at irregular intervals. Since 2024 it is sponsored by Clariant. The award is granted to research projects and developments by young scientists in the field of catalysis, who have not yet been appointed to a full professorship and who have stimulated the field of catalysis in a special way through fundamental and original investigations. 

German Catalysis Society

The German Catalysis Society (GeCatS) is the platform for the entire German catalysis community in the area of research and application. Currently it has about 1,100 members from industry and academia. GeCatS promotes the scientific and technical dialogue between industry, universities, non-university research institutes and research policy institutions and represents the interests of the catalysis community on a national and international level. The German Catalysis Society is supported by DECHEMA, VDI-GVC, GDCh, DGMK und DBG.


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