Professor Johannes Lercher named the 2011 Burwell Lecturer

I am pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Johannes A. Lercher of the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Munich is the recip­i­ent of the 2011 Robert Bur­well Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, spon­sored by John­son Matthey and admin­is­tered by The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. It is to be award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in odd-num­bered years. The award con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­i­um of $5,000. The plaque will be pre­sent­ed dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 2011 North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Society.An addi­tion­al $4,500 is avail­able to cov­er trav­el­ling expens­es in North Amer­i­ca. Pro­fes­sor Lercher will present lec­tures at the local catal­y­sis clubs and soci­eties dur­ing the two-year peri­od cov­ered by this award.

The Robert Bur­well Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis is giv­en in recog­ni­tion of sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to one or more areas in the field of catal­y­sis with empha­sis on dis­cov­ery and under­stand­ing of cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na, cat­alyt­ic reac­tion mech­a­nisms and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and descrip­tion of cat­alyt­ic sites and species.

Pro­fes­sor Lercher is being rec­og­nized for his ground-break­ing con­tri­bu­tions to our under­stand­ing of the inter­ac­tions and trans­for­ma­tions of mol­e­cules on sol­id cat­a­lysts through ele­gant com­bi­na­tions of physic­o­chem­i­cal and kinet­ic analy­ses. His stud­ies of the ele­men­tary in mol­e­c­u­lar trans­port through porous media and the result­ing insights into the design of solids to manip­u­late these steps have led to a suc­cess­ful syn­the­sis of hier­ar­chic mate­ri­als able to dis­crim­i­nate mol­e­cules on the basis of the vol­ume defined by their rota­tion in the gas space. His stud­ies of the into the struc­ture and ther­mo­dy­nam­ic prop­er­ties of hydro­car­bons adsorbed with­in zeo­lite voids and on polar sur­faces led to effi­cient cat­a­lysts for the selec­tive acti­va­tion of organ­ic mol­e­cules. The con­cepts and learn­ings devel­oped have stim­u­lat­ed sig­nif­i­cant exper­i­men­tal and the­o­ret­i­cal stud­ies in these areas and the devel­op­ment of nov­el cat­alyt­ic chemistries for alka­ne acti­va­tion. These chemistries include the func­tion­al­iza­tion of methane to methyl chlo­ride on chlo­ride sur­faces, the oxida­tive dehy­dro­gena­tion of ethane to ethene on sup­port­ed molten chlo­rides, the sta­ble and selec­tive alky­la­tion of isobu­tane with lin­ear butenes on acidic zeo­lites, and the acti­va­tion and crack­ing of branched alka­nes by zeo­lites con­tain­ing acces­si­ble lan­thanum cations at ambi­ent tem­per­a­tures.
Enrique Igle­sia

Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety