Since 1995, the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion presents the "Frontiers Award" to an internationally outstanding and renowned scientist. The prize used to be awarded for excellent research work in the field of "Bioinorganic Chemistry". After the institute was renamed in 2012, the prize was and is still given for achievements in the research area of "Chemical Energy Conversion".
The awardee usually presents his/her work in a number of lectures and personal meetings and discussions to the scientific staff of the Mülheim Chemistry Campus. Prizewinners are nominated in a highly competitive procedure by the institute's staff council.
The Frontiers Award 2019 went to Prof. Dr. James Mayer, Charlotte Fitch Roberts Professor of Chemistry at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. The lecture series and award ceremony took place in January.
Prof. Dr. James Mayer completed his studies at Harvard University in 1978 before earning his PhD at the California Institute of Technology in 1982. After teaching chemistry at the University of Washington for many years, he moved to Yale University in 2014.
Mayer is a scientist whose interests include inorganic, material, bioinorganic, organometallic and physical organic chemistry. His main focus is on redox reactions, which include both bond formation and bond cleavage. Mayer is intensively engaged in coupled transfers of protons and electrons.
He has received many awards in his career, most recently he was awarded the ACS Award 2018 in Inorganic Chemistry. Prof. Mayer has contributed hundreds of research articles, book chapters and reviews to anthologies and journals and has lectured at universities and research institutions in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Prof. Mayer received the Frontiers Award for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of proton-coupled electron transfer reactions.
"Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer in Molecules: Six Degrees of Separation"
"Exploring Scaling Relationships in Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysis"
"Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer with Oxide Nanocrystals"
Award Lecture "Chemical and Electrical Energies: moving protons as well as electrons"
The Frontiers Award Ceremony 2018 took place from January 24th to 26th at the MPI CEC, and the award was given to Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter, Chair of Theoretical Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich.
Awardee: Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter
Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter received his doctorate in 1998 in Erlangen and has since then worked at numerous internationally renowned research institutions. His research focuses in particular on quantitative modelling of material properties and functionalities. He also frequently creates links to methods and concepts from the fields of physics, materials science and engineering. In addition, Prof. Reuter is active in various national and international committees, including the advisory board of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Munich. Prof. Reuter received the Frontiers Award for his outstanding achievements in describing chemical processes at interfaces with models. Taking into account the necessary complexity, he succeeded in obtaining sufficiently precise statements in order to establish a realistic relationship with real processes.
The Frontiers Award Ceremony 2016 took place from November 9th to 11th at the MPI CEC, and honored Prof. William Tolman, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities (USA).
Awardee: Prof. Dr. William Tolman
Since 2013 Tolman has served as Editor-in-chief of the renowned journal Inorganic Chemistry. His research encompasses synthetic bioinorganic and organometallic/polymer chemistry. His research group focuses on the fundamental structural and mechanistic understanding of metalloprotein active sites and the synthesis and characterization of metal complexes for use as catalysts for the polymerization of cyclic esters. Prof. Tolman serves on numerous national and international committees and received many awards for his research.
The Frontiers Award took place from March 3rd to 5th, 2015 at the MPI CEC. Prof. Eberhard Umbach was awarded the prize for his sedulous engagement within the sciences to promote the energy transition in Germany, and for his outstanding research work in the field of experimental surface physics.
Highlight of the program was Umbach's award lecture “Chemical Research for the ‚Energiewende‘: Luxury or Necessity?“. He discussed the possibilities, risks and progress of the chemical research work for the energy transition. The content of this lecture is summed up in our press release (in German only).
Awardee: Prof. Dr. Eberhard Umbach
Member of acatech Executive Board, Founding President of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) until 2013, former Vice President of the Helmholtz Association and coordinator of the research field energy
2019 Prof. Dr. James Mayer, Charlotte Fitch Roberts Professor of Chemistry an der Yale Universität in New Haven, Connecticut, USA
2018 Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter, Chair of Theoretical Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich
2016 Prof. William Tolman, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities (USA)
2015 Prof. Eberhard Umbach, Member of acatech Executive Board, Founding President of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) until 2013, former Vice President of the Helmholtz Association and coordinator of the research field energy.
2013 Prof. Gabriele Centi, Department of Electronic Engineering, Industrial Chemistry and Engineering, University of Messina and INSTM & ERIC, Italy.
2011 Prof. Dr. Sason Shaik, Lise Meitner-Minerva Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry (Israel)
2010 Prof. Dr. Bärbel Friedrich, Humboldt-Universität Berlin (Germany)
2009 Prof. John T. Groves, Princeton University (USA)
2008 Prof. Brian M. Hoffmann, Northwestern University (USA)
2006 Prof. Harry B. Gray, California Institute of Technology (USA)
2005 Prof. Lawrence Que, University of Minnesota (USA)
2004 Prof. Fraser A. Armstrong, Oxford University (UK)
2002 Prof. Leslie Dutton, Pennsylvania (USA)
2001 Prof. Edward Solomon, Stanford (USA)
2000 Prof. Frans de Schreyver, KU Leuven (Belgium)
1999 Prof. Richard Holmes, Harvard (USA)
1998 Prof. Nick Turro, Columbia U. (USA)
1997 Prof. Kenneth Raymond, Berkeley (USA)
1996 Prof. Richard Cogdell, Glasgow (UK)
1995 Prof. Stephen Lippard, MIT Cambrigde (USA)