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Prof. Leitner

WLeitner.JPGLehrstuhl für Technische Chemie und Petrolchemie
Institut für Technische Chemie und Makromolekulare Chemie (ITMC)
RWTH Aachen
Worringerweg 1
52074 Aachen

Tel. +49-241 80 264 80
Fax +49-241 80 221 77

E-mail: leitner@itmc.rwth-aachen.de

Educational and professional experience

since 12/2002 External Scientific Member of the Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim/Ruhr
since 02/2002 Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry (Successor to. Prof. W. Keim) and Director of the Institute of Technical and Macromolekular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen
04/2000 - 02/2002 Acting Chair of "Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry" at RWTH Aachen
01/1998 - 02/2002 Head of the Technical Laboratories at the Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim/Ruhr
06/1995 - 01/1998 Group leader at the Department of "Organic Synthesis" (Director: Prof. M. T. Reetz) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim/Ruhr.
05/1995 Habilitation (Dr. rer. nat. habil.) in Inorganic Chemistry and appointment as Privatdozent (lecturer) at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (Thesis: Catalytic Hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide to Formic Acid)
08/1992 - 05/1995 Research associate at the Max-Planck-Working Group "CO2-Chemistry" (Director: Prof. E. Dinjus) at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
01/1991 - 08/1992 Liebig Fellow of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie at the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Regensburg
01/1990 - 12/1990 Postdoctoral Studies at the Dyson Perrins Laboratory for Organic Chemistry, University of Oxford, UK, with Prof. J. M. Brown
12/1987 - 12/1989 PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) with Prof. H. Brunner, Institute for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Regensburg (Thesis: Enantioselective Catalytic Transferhydrogenation using Formates)
10/1982 - 12/1987 Studying Chemistry at the University of Regensburg (Dipl.-Chem.-Univ.)

Research interests

  • Green Chemistry through sustainable catalytic processes
  • Mechanisms and structure/activity-relationships in organometallic catalysis
  • New chemical transformations and new raw materials for energy carriers and chemical products
  • Supercritical fluids and other advanced fluids as benign reaction media for catalysis
  • Multiphase catalysis and catalyst immobilization for continuous-flow molecular catalysis


  • > 230 contributions to peer-reviewed international journals and edited monographs
  • Co-Editor of the books Chemical Synthesis Using Supercritical Fluids (Wiley/VCH 1999, ISBN 3-527-29605-0) Multiphase Homogeneous Catalysis (Wiley/VCH 2005, ISBN 3-527-30721-4) and Green Solvents (Wiley/VCH 2011, ISBN 978-3527315741)
  • Several patents and patent applications in the field of catalytic chemical synthesis and/or the application of supercritical fluids
  • More than 100 invited lectures at international conferences and research institutions


Fellowships, Scientific Recognition and Awards

2014 European Sustainable Chemistry Award of the European Science Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS), together with Prof. Jürgen Klankermayer (RWTH Aachen)
2013 Visiting Lecturer for Promotion of Chemistry, National Science Foundation Taiwan
2011 Honorary Member of the Ethiopian Chemical Society
2010 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
2009 Wöhler Award of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker
2008 CATSA Eminent Visitor Award of the South Africander Catalysis Society
2005 Guest Professorship at the Universitè de Bourgogne, Dijon, France
2003 Griess Lecture of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2001 Otto-Roelen-Medal of DECHEMA
2000 2nd International Messer Innovation-Award
11/1999 Nozaki Lecture, Univ. Osaka, Japan
01/1999 Visiting Scientist at the National Institute for Chemicals and Materials Research in Tsukuba, Japan
1998 Carl-Zerbe-Award of the Deutsche Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Erdöl, Erdgas und Kohle (DMGK)
1998 Bennigsen-Foerder-Award of Nordrhein-Westfalen
1997 Angewandte-Chemie-Award for best lecture at the Chemiedozententagung
1997 Gerhard-Hess-Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
1991 - 1992 Liebig-Fellowship of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI)
1990 Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Stiftung Volkswagenwerk
1990 Award for Best PhD Thesis in Sciences of Energieversorgung Ostbayern AG
1990 Studienabschluss-Stipendium of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI)
1987 - 1989 Promotions-Stipendium of the Government of Bavaria
1982 - 1987 Hundhammer-Stipendium of the Government of Bavaria

Other professional activities

  • Member of the Strategy Council of RWTH Aachen University (since 2009)
  • Scientific Director of CAT, the joint Catalytic Center of RWTH Aachen, Bayer Material Science and Bayer Technology Services (since 2007)
  • Member of the Scientific Management Board of the Cluster of Excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels form Biomass” at RWTH Aachen (since 2007)
  • Co-Chairman of the DFG Graduiertenkolleg “Biocatalysis in Non-Conventional Reaction Media (BioNoCo)” at RWTH Aachen (since 2005)
  • Scientific Editor of the RSC journal “Green Chemistry” (since 2004; IF 2009: 5.84)
  • Member of the International Advisory Board of “Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis” (since 2005)
  • Member of the Board of DECHEMA (from 2011)
  • Chairman of the Catalysis Section of DECHEMA (2006-2008)
  • Chairman of the German Catalysis Society GeCats (2011-2013)
  • Member of the Board of the Petrochemical Division of DGMK (2005-2011)
  • Member of the Scientific Council of DGMK (for period 2015-2018)
  • Member of the Board of the Section “Sustainable Chemistry” of GDCh (since 2006)