Changes in Presidency

Changes in Presidency

Author: ChemistryViews


Effective January 1, the following people will become presidents of their respective societies:

  • Dr. Thomas Geelhaar, Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, will become president of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh; German Chemical Society) for a two-year term. He succeeds Professor Barbara Albert, University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Geelhaar plans to improve cooperation between industry and academia and work towards better acceptance of chemistry in society through increased scientific communication.

Thomas Geelhaar, born 1957, studied chemistry at the University of Mainz, Germany, from 1975 to 1981 and received his Ph.D. in 1983 in physical chemistry. In 1984, he began his career at Merck as a laboratory manager in liquid crystal research. Since then he has held several leadership positions in the Liquid Crystals Division. Today Geelhaar is Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer Chemicals, and the spokesperson for chemistry research at Merck.

Image © GDCh


  • Professor Rafiqul Gani, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Kongens Lyngby, Denmark, will become president of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) for a two-year term. He succeeds Professor Richard Darton, University of Oxford, UK.

Gani plans to raise the visibility of the Federation and strengthen relationships between chemical engineers in Europe.

Rafiqul Gani gained his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, in 1975 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Imperial College, London, UK. His Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Crude oil characterization and distillation dynamics”, and the research was carried out under the supervision of Professor R.W.H. Sargent.

He was a senior researcher at PLAPIQUI, Bahía Blanca, Argentina, from 1980–1985 and a visiting researcher at DTU-Chemical Engineering at DTU in 1985/86. In 2000, he was appointed a full Professor in Systems Design there. Currently he is the head of the Computer-Aided Process-Product Engineering Centre (CAPEC).


  • Professor Jan John, Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic, will become president of the Česká Společnost Chemická (ČSCH; Czech Chemical Society).

Jan John, born 1953, obtained his Ing. in 1977 and his Ph.D. in 1983 from the Czech Technical University. In 1985, he obtained the Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Development post-doctoral fellowship, which he undertook at the Universities of Oslo and Trondheim, Norway. After working a Senior Research Officer at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia, he returned to Czech Technical University in 1990, where he took the position of Senior Research Officer in the Department of Nuclear Chemistry, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering. Since then he has held various positions at this university; he was Head of the Centre for Radiochemistry and Radiation Chemistry from 2003 until 2010 and became a Full Professor in 2005. Currently he is Head of Department of Nuclear Chemistry, a position he has held since 2010.


  • Professor Raffaele Riccio, University of Salerno, Italy, will become president of the Societá Chimica Italiana (SCI; Italian Chemical Society) for a three year term. He succeeds Professor Vincenzo Barone, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy.

Raffaele Riccio studied chemistry at the University of Naples, Italy, where he obtained his Ph.D for research on bioorganic and natural product chemistry performed under the supervision of Professor Luigi Minale. He held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Molecules of Biological Interest (MIB CNR), Arco Felice, Italy, (1973-1976), the University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, (1976-1977), and Columbia University, New York, USA, (1981). He then returned to Italy, where he was appointed as a researcher at MIB CNR. From 1987 until 1994 he was an Associated Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Naples. Since 1994, he has been a Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Italy. He is currently Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy.



Leave a Reply

Kindly review our community guidelines before leaving a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *