Organization | Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Scientific Director)

Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Scientific Director)

Utrecht University

Professor Bert Weckhuysen is Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University (the Netherlands).

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Bert Weckhuysen received his master degree in chemical and agricultural engineering with greatest distinction from Leuven University (Belgium) in 1991. After obtaining his PhD degree from Leuven University with honours (highest degree) in 1995 under the supervision of Prof. Robert Schoonheydt, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Israel Wachs at Lehigh University (USA) and with Prof. Jack Lunsford at Texas A&M University (USA). From 1997 until 2000 he was a research fellow of the Belgian National Science Foundation affiliated with Leuven University. Weckhuysen is since October 1 2000 Full Professor at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Weckhuysen has been appointed as first Distinguished Professor of the Faculty of Science at Utrecht University as of September 2012. Since January 2018 he has been promoted to Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University. He was a visiting professor at Leuven University (2000-2005) and has done a sabbatical at Stanford University (USA) in 2012. He is currently a visiting professor at Stanford University & SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (2013-to date) and at University College London (UK, 2014-to date).
Weckhuysen authored or co-authored ~ 500 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals with an average number of citations per paper of ~ 42 and a Hirsch index of 79. Weckhuysen is the author of ~ 20 conference proceedings publications, ~ 30 other journal publications and editorial material, ~ 30 book chapters, 3 granted patents and 8 patent applications. Furthermore, he is the (co-) editor of three books. He serves/served on the editorial and/or advisory boards of Applied Catalysis A: General, Catalysis Letters, Catalysis Today, Chem, Chemical Society Reviews, ChemCatChem, ChemPhysChem, Faraday Discussions, Journal of Applied Chemistry, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Topics in Catalysis, Vibrational Spectroscopy, Angewandte Chemie and the Journal of Catalysis.
He obtained prestigious VICI (2002), TOP (2006 and 2011) and Gravitation (2013) grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2012 he has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Weckhuysen has received several research awards, including the 2006 Royal Dutch Chemical Society Gold Medal, the 2007 DECHEMA Award from The Max Buchner Research Foundation, the 2009 Netherlands Catalysis and Chemistry Award, the Eminent Visitor Award 2009 of the Catalysis Society of South Africa, the 2011 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis of the North American Catalysis Society, the International Catalysis Award 2012 of the International Association of Catalysis Societies, the 2013 Vladimir N. Ipatieff Lectureship in Catalysis from Northwestern University, the 2013 John Bourke Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the 2013 Spinoza Award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the 2017 Kozo Tanabe Prize in Acid-Base Catalysis from the International Acid-Base Group, the 2017 Xing Da Lectureship of Peking University and the 2018 Robert B. Anderson Award from the Canadian Catalysis Society. In 2015 he has been appointed Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In 2018 he received a Certificate for Achievements of the Christoffel Plantin fund for his contributions to the prestige and appeal of Belgium in foreign countries from the Belgian Ambassador in the Netherlands.
Weckhuysen was the scientific director of the Dutch Research School for Catalysis (NIOK) in the period 2003-2013 and of a Smartmix research program Biomass Catalysis funded by the Dutch government and chemical industries (CatchBio; 2007-2016; ~29 M€; Currently, he directs a Gravitation research program on Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversions (MCEC; 2013-2023; ~32 M€; funded by the Dutch government as well as the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC; 2016-2026; 11 M€/year, with a joint investment by government, businesses and universities. He was (one of) the main initiator(s) of these large research program initiatives.

Weckhuysen is an elected member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts (KVAB), the Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation (NATI), the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW), and the European Academy of Science; an alumnus elected member of the Young Academy (DJA, 2005-2010) of the KNAW; and a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) and ChemPubSoc Europe. Weckhuysen serves on many boards and panels for national and international research.

The research group of Bert Weckhuysen has been active for many years in the design, synthesis, characterization and application of catalytic solids for the conversion of fossil (crude oil & natural gas) and renewable (biomass, waste and CO2) feedstock into transportation fuels, chemicals and materials. He is internationally renowned for the development of in-situ spectroscopy and microscopy for studying catalytic solids under realistic conditions. This approach has provided unique insights in the working and deactivation mechanisms of catalytic processes, as well as in the internal architecture of functional materials.