Welf Bronger (1932 – 2012)

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  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 06 June 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: Welf Bronger (1932 – 2012)

Welf Bronger, Professor Emeritus Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen, Germany, and former Editor of Zeitschrift für Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie (ZAAC), passed away last week, a month before his 80th birthday. Bronger will be remembered for his work on the synthesis and structural determinations of ternary sulfides and selenides of main group and transition group metals. He also discovered low-spin iron(III) in sulfidic tetrahedral chains and a tetravalent platinum hydride.

Welf Bronger was born in Hamburg, Germany, and studied chemistry at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. In 1955, he enrolled at the University of Münster, Germany, where he gained his Ph.D. on platinum alloys with base metals in 1961. This work had applications for the BMA process – which produces hydrogen cyanide from methane and ammonia in presence of a platinum catalyst – of Degussa GmbH, now part of Evonik Industries, Essen, Gernany, and Bronger joined their research department on completing his Ph.D. In 1966, he completed his Habilitation and in 1969 he joined the Department of Inorganic Chemistry at RWTH Aachen.

He retired from RWTH Aachen in 1997, having served as the Dean of the Faculty from 1978–1979. He remained an active researcher after retirement, publishing often, and acting in an advisory capacity at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden, Germany. Upon retirement, he also took up the role of Editor of ZAAC alongside Werner Hanke and Kurt Dehnicke, formerly University of Marburg, Germany. He stepped down as Editor in 2006, but remained in contact with the editorial office, where he will be missed.

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