Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award 2023

Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award 2023

Professor Helmut Schwarz, TU Berlin, Germany, is honored with the Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award and will give a lecture entitled „The Methane Challenge – A Cold Approach to a Hot Problem“. Helmut Schwarz is honored for his groundbreaking investigations of reaction mechanisms using mass spectrometric techniques. His work has significantly contributed to our understanding of fundamental processes in catalysis, organometallic bond activation and functionalization, and atmospheric chemistry. With his work, Helmut Schwarz has improved the understanding of catalytic processes and made important contributions to the development of tailor-made catalysts as well as to advancing the analytical capabilities of mass spectrometry.

Furthermore, Helmut Schwarz has dedicated himself to enhancing academic institutions in Germany and beyond. He has done so through his roles as co-founder of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vice-President of the German Science Foundation, and president of the Humboldt Foundation, among others.

In honor of Professor Gerhard Ertl, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2007 for his scientific contributions to the field of catalysis, the Gerhard Ertl Lecture is annually presented to an outstanding researcher.

You can watch the recording here:


Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award

In 2008, the three Berlin universities (Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität) and the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society established the Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award to commemorate Gerhard Ertl’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he received in 2007. The award honors outstanding researchers in the field of catalysis from the wider research environment of Gerhard Ertl. The BASF-sponsored award includes prize money, a one-week research stay at the participating Berlin institutions, and a festive keynote lecture.

The prize is awarded for the 16th time by a commission consisting of members of the Berlin universities (Joachim Sauer (HU Berlin), Matthias Drieß (TU Berlin), and Eckart Rühl (FU Berlin)) and the directors of the Fritz Haber Institute. Gerhard Ertl advises the commission on the selection of candidates.


Helmut Schwarz

Helmut Schwarz, born on August 6, 1943, studied chemistry at TU Berlin, Germany, and received his Ph.D. there in 1972. He completed his habilitation at TU Berlin in 1974 and was appointed Professor of Chemistry there in 1978. In addition to many other commitments, Schwarz served as President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany, from 2008 to 2017.

Among many other honors, Helmut Schwarz has received the Liebig Medal from the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, GDCh) in 1998, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2012, the Karl Ziegler Prize from the GDCh in 2015, the Leonardo da Vinci Award 2021 from the European Academy of Sciences, and numerous honorary doctorates.


Selected Publications



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