80th Birthday: Werner Hanke

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 14 April 2012
  • Source / Publisher: Zeitschrift für Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: 80th Birthday: Werner Hanke

Werner Hanke celebrates his 80th birthday on April 14, 2012. Hanke is a well-respected researcher in the field of transition metal-based catalysis using second and third row metals. He is also known for his work on the journal Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie (ZAAC) of which he was a member of the editorial team for 40 years.

Werner Hanke was born in Waldenburg/Schlesien, East Germany. Hanke completed his studies at the Goethe School, Schwerin, East Germany. He was not permitted to study chemistry initially due to the political situation in East Germany and his family’s bourgeois origins. Despite this, he managed to get hired as a laboratory technician by Günther Rienäcker, who encouraged him to study for his diploma under the young professor Brigitte Sarry. Hanke followed Sarry to Martin Luther University, Halle, East Germany, where he gained his diploma in 1957. After Sarry’s escape to West Germany, Hanke continued to work independently under H. Hunk, during which time he gained his doctorate. In 1969, he successfully completed his Habilitation under Rienäcker on the topic of the influence of electronic properties of phthalocyaninato metal complexes on their catalytic behavior.

Around this time, he was asked to assist Rienäcker in his role as the editor of ZAAC. In 1972, Hanke was appointed to Editorial Secretary and in 1990 he took over as Editor along with Welf Bronger, RWTH Aachen, Germany, and Kurt Dehnicke, formerly University of Marburg, Germany, until his retirement in 2008.

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