Petra Keijzer winner of the MCEC Poster Prize 2018

Petra Keijzer (UU) is this year’s winner of the MCEC Poster Prize, awarded at the Annual Meeting. Her poster, titled Fundamental study on the synthesis of supported silver catalysts using melt infiltration, was chosen by the poster prize committee: Sander Huisman (UT), Jan Philipp Hofmann (TU/e), and Jovana Zečević UU).

An interview with Petra can be found here: Petra Keijzer Poster Prize Winner 2018

The MCEC Annual Meeting 2018 was held in The Gallery, Enschede. The programme consisted of lectures by tenure trackers Sander Huisman and Freddy Rabouw (UU), and an invited evening lecture by Barry Fitzgerald (TU Delft) on The Secrets of Superhero Science.

Throughout the two-day meeting, 20-minute presentations on the progress of their scientific work were held by fourteen of our PhDs/PDs and another twenty-three PhDs presented a poster. The Annual Meeting was also a good moment to introduce four new PhDs Alejo Aguirre, Vamsi Spardan Arza, Maarten Bransen and Valerii Muravev.

The organization would like to thank all participants for their attendance and contribution.

4-5 April, 2018


DPI grant for Florian Meirer and Bert Weckhuysen

The Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) in its DPI 2.0 Call for Proposals has granted Bert Weckhuysen, Florian Meirer and Elena Groppo (University of Turin) a joint research program entitled Multi-scale investigation of silica-supported ethylene polymerization catalysts during the early stages of the reaction.

The project aims to research polymerization catalysts in the early stages of the genesis of active sites and polymer formation by a multi-scale characterization approach under reaction conditions. The goal is to link the macroscopic physical and chemical properties with nanoscopic chemical properties.

4 April, 2018

Emiel Hensen and Bert Weckhuysen receive grant for ‘Chemergy’ research

The Alliance Fund between Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology has awarded Bert Weckhuysen and Emiel Hensen 2 M euros for setting up a Virtual Research Institute (VRI) that integrates relevant expertise of both institutes.

The VRI has the ambition to become a leading institute in the field of energy technologies relevant to a fossil-free, low-carbon society. The focus will be on the further development of electrochemical energy conversion processes, with two interlinked research lines, namely inorganic electrochemistry and biomass-based electrochemistry. The VRI plans to strengthen the local MSc education programmes by offering a ‘Chemergy’ specialisation programme.

4 April, 2018

Volker Hessel to University of Adelaide

Volker Hessel (TU/e) has been appointed to the role of Deputy Dean Research and Level E academic in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Read the full press release here.

18 March, 2018

Pieter Bruijnincx appointed Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Catalysis

Pieter Bruijnincx has been appointed to the post of Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Catalysis at the Department of Chemistry (Utrecht University). This new Chair will bridge research into homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis for turning renewable feedstock, such as biomass, CO2 and waste streams into chemical building blocks. MCEC would like to congratulate Bruijnincx on his appointment!

Read more on the website of Utrecht University >

14 March 2018

Cofund grant awarded to MCEC

MCEC has been granted a Cofund grant by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund program; a grant from the European Research Council which is designed to stimulate excellence in researchers’ training, mobility and career development.

Students can obtain a joint PhD degree from two of MCEC’s participating universities.The grant, with a value of 1.7 million euros, will be deployed to attract and involve more international students to and in our research center.

Read the press release by Utrecht University here.

15 March 2018


Several MCEC community members have contributed to the programme of NCCC XIX in Noordwijkerhout (5-7 March). The 19th edition of the Netherlands’ Catalysis and Chemistry Conference (NCCC) combines a number of national symposia in the field of chemistry and catalysis. MCEC provided a dedicated session, chaired by Florian Meirer and Jan Philipp Hofmann. Robin Broos, Ahmed Ismail, Christa van Oversteeg, Roderigh Rohling, Evgeny Uslamin and Anne-Eva Nieuwelink were speakers on this event. You can read more about the programme, and find the abstracts of the lectures, here.

5-7 March, 2018

Full term funding for MCEC

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), who is responsible for the funding for the MCEC research program, has decided to allocate funding for MCEC until 2024.

This decision is a result of the hard work of all our MCEC Members, PhDs and PDs. A heartfelt thank you to all of them!

On behalf of the MCEC Management Team

20 December 2017

Symposium ‘Fuelling the Future’

MCEC organized its first outreach symposium, on catalysis and sustainability, last 14 December in the Academy Hall in Utrecht. The first half of the day consisted of a Minisymposium meant for the MCEC Community and invited third parties, and provided in-depth lectures by Ib Chorkendoff (Technical University of Denmark), Regina Palkovits (RWTH Aachen University), and Karsten Reuter (Technical University of Munich).

Click on the pictures for an enlargement

The afternoon was aimed at a broader audience and open to anyone who was interested. Throughout the day, around one hundred guests were present for lectures by Ib Chorkendoff, Regina Palkovits, Peter-Paul Verbeek (University of Twente) and Ewald Breunesse (Manager Energy Transitions at Shell, who replaced Marjan van Loon who unfortunately was unable to attend). Cartoonist Paul Schenk summarized the event in drawings. The topics and views presented, the presence of some protestors, as well as the interesting and very in-depth questions from the audience, made for a lively discussion round that continued well into the closing round of drinks.

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The speakers were interviewed by three of our MCEC PhDs. Their articles will be published in February 2018 via our internal newsletter, as well as on (If you’d like to stay updated, please register for our newsletter.)

MCEC would like to thank everyone who attended for a great afternoon!


14 December 2017

Pictures by Lennart Weber and MCEC Office

MCEC Strategic Meeting 2017

Last 5 and 6 December, the MCEC Strategic Meeting was held in Veldhoven (the Netherlands). Discussion sessions of the project clusters were an integral part to the programme.

On the first day, Tuesday the 5th, all PhDs and Postdocs started their cluster session with a short presentation of their project. This provided a good overall insight into the progress of the various projects, its results, and short and long term goals. PhDs and Postdocs were invited to bring their own topics (e.g. certain challenges or desired collaborations) into the subsequent cluster discussion. The day was closed with dinner and drinks.

The second day, Wednesday the 6th, consisted of two parallel sessions: the PhD Community participated in a workshop about scientific integrity while the MCEC MT and MCEC Members held the Strategic Meeting.

“Dealing with scientific misconduct: a part of an editor’s day-to-day work”, was the title of Dr. Francesca Novara’s lecture for MCEC’s PhD Community. In it, Francesca Novara, Senior Associate Editor at Chemistry – A European Journal spoke about the responsibilities of authors, referees and editors in publishing.

Prof. Bert Theunissen (Utrecht University) presented our community with “Dilemma’s of the Scientist”, a game in which the participants had to make a choice in various interesting, awkward and/or suspicious, but lifelike situations.

During the Strategic Meeting, the process and results of the midterm evaluation were discussed and the members were informed about the possible research themes and other second phase plans that lie ahead.

MCEC would herewith like to thank the whole MCEC Community for their input, insights and overall contribution to this meeting.


6 December 2017