H. Schwarz Awarded Order of Merit

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 09 February 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: H. Schwarz Awarded Order of Merit

Helmut Schwarz, Professor for Organic Chemistry, Technical University of Berlin, Germany, has been awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse (Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany). It is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation. It is the only German honor that may be awarded in all fields of endeavor, including for outstanding scientific achievements that generate new momentum or result in innovations and inventions with great potential.  The award is presented on February 9th by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) in Berlin. 

Helmut Schwarz studied chemistry at the Technical University of Berlin, where he gained his Doctorate and Habilitation. In 1978, he was appointed as the first professor of theory and practice of mass spectrometry at the TU Berlin and since 1983 he has been Professor of Organic Chemistry there. Schwarz was one of the founding members of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and was its Vice-President from 1998–2003. From 2001–2007 he was Vice President of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) and since January 2008 he has been President of the internationally active Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

His research centers on chemistry in the gas phase and combines experimental studies with theoretical methods. Recently, he has focused on selective bond activation in organic molecules by transition-metal species and the mapping of potential energy surfaces by locating and characterizing minima and transition states to elucidate observed reaction pathways and mechanisms.

He has published more than 900 scientific articles, is editor of several journals, and holds five honorary doctorates. He has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Blaise Pascal Medal in Chemistry from the European Academy of Sciences.

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