CSCT academic awarded German Catalysis Society prize for his innovative work on molecular catalysis
The Jochen Block-Prize is awarded by the German Catalysis Society to young investigators for original and impactful developments in catalysis.
Dr Ulrich Hintermair has been awarded the 2021 Jochen Block-Prize in recognition of his contributions to developing new methods for studying molecular catalysts in real-time to understand their functioning and behaviour.
Dr Hintermair joined the Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies as a Whorrod Research Fellow in 2013 and currently holds a Royal Society Research Fellowship. In 2016 he founded Bath’s Dynamic Reaction Monitoring (DReaM) Facility, which he leads as Scientific Director. His research addresses the real-time study of molecular catalysts in solution to understand their behaviour and functioning under operating conditions. This is especially important when applied at an industrial scale and it has been a challenge in the past.
By combining flow reactor setups with various analytical techniques, Dr Hintermair and his team have developed a system to study the mechanisms of molecular catalysis non-invasively in real time using high-resolution FlowNMR spectroscopy. Combining chemistry, analytical science and engineering, this system was originally devised to investigate homogeneous catalysts with transition metal complexes, but has recently been extended to include organo-photoredox catalysis and radical polymerisations.
Professor Matthew Davidson, CSCT Director and DReaM Facility Co-Director, said: “Uli’s groundbreaking research on reaction monitoring has important implications for fundamental catalytic science and is vital for developing intelligent process analytical technologies for sustainable manufacturing. The award of the Jochen Block-Preis – first time given to a UK-based researcher – is worthy recognition and a fantastic achievement for Uli. Warmest congratulations from all his colleagues in the CSCT.”
Professor Andrew Burrows, Chemistry Head of Department, said: “I’m delighted for Uli to receive this prize. It is a great recognition of the work that he has put in to develop the dynamic reaction modelling suite, which has become a world-leading research facility.”
Following his award, Dr Hintermair will deliver a prize lecture on 19 March 2021 during the German Catalysis Society Annual Meeting, with the award ceremony taking place at a later time.