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Plenary Speakers

Johannes Lercher, Technical University of Munich (Germany).

Johannes Lercher studied Chemistry at the Technische Universität Wien, graduating in 1978. He completed doctoral studies with Prof. Heinrich Noller in 1980. 1982, he spent at Yale University working with Prof. Gary Haller. After returning to the TU Wien he was Assistant and Associate Professor up to 1993. During the following five years (1993-1998) he was Professor of Chemical Technology at the University of Twente, Netherlands. In 1998 he was appointed as Professor of Chemistry at the Technische Universität München as. Since 2011 he is also the Director of the Institute of Integrated Catalysis and Battelle Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

    Prof. Lercher’s research addresses fundamental aspects of catalysts and catalyzed reactions that enable catalysis to lower the carbon footprint via radically new approaches to synthesize energy carriers and chemical intermediates. Aiming to catalyze chemical conversions at significantly lower reaction temperatures and with higher selectivity than currently possible, the steric and chemical environment of sites and as a consequence the excess chemical potentials along a reaction path are used as guiding principle to synthesize novel catalysts
Professor Jürgen Caro
1970 - 1974 Studying Chemistry at Leipzig University 1974 - 1977 Dr. rer. nat., Leipzig University (mentor: J. Kärger, summa cum laude) 1989 Dr. sc. nat. Academy of Sciences of German Democratic Republic (East Germany, DDR) 1992 Dr. rer. nat. habil., Leipzig University
1977-1991 Central Institute of Physical Chemistry of Academy of Sciences of German Democratic Republic (East Germany, DDR) in Berlin-Adlershof in different positions, working fields Adsorption, Catalysis, Membranes 1992-2001 Department Leader at the newly founded Institute of Applied Chemistry in Berlin-Adlershof in the fields of inorganic and polymer materials, functional materials, reaction engineering 2001 – 2021 Full professor (W3) for Physical Chemistry in the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at the Leibniz University Hannover. Research on nanoporous materials such as zeolites, MOFs, COFs and their evaluation as membranes, catalysts and adsorbents.
    2013 Breck Award of the International Zeolite Association
    2013 Ostwald Medal of the Saxon Academy of Sciences
    2016 Appointment as Corresponding Member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences
    2019 Literature Price for the best book in chemistry: A. Bunde, J. Caro, J. Kärger, G. Vogl “Diffusive Spreading in Nature, Technology and Society”
    2020 ENI Award for “Advanced Environmental Solutions” together with J. Kärger (Univ. Leipzig)
    2021 One of the thousand most cited scientists over all disciplines worldwide for the last 10 years
    Dipl.-Chem., Dr. rer. nat., Dr. sc. nat, Dr. rer. nat habil.
    2001–2012 Director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry of Leibniz University Hannover
    2013-2016 Guest Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo Institute
    2013-2017 Part-time Professor of the University Panjin, China
    2013-2017 Visiting Professor at Dalian University of Technology, China
    2016-2020 Chairman of the Society of German Chemists, Hannover region
    Since 2018 Distinguished Professor at South China University of Technology
Professor Jörg Kärger graduated in Physics at Leipzig University (Diploma 1967, PhD 1970, Habilitation 1978) where, in 1994, he became full chair of Experimental Physics/Interface Physics. His research activities have been dedicated to the study of diffusion phenomena in general and the development of new experimental techniques for studying diffusion in nanoporous materials and continued unabatedly after his retirement in 2009. He has published several books, including Diffusion in Condensed Matter (Springer 2005, with Paul Heitjans), Leipzig, Einstein, Diffusion (Leipziger Universitätsverlag 2007) and Diffusion in Nanoporous Materials (Wiley-VCH 2012, with Douglas Ruthven and Doros Theodorou), which became standard in the field.
    His most recent book on Diffusive Spreading in Nature, Technology and Society (Springer 2018, with Armin Bunde, Jürgen Caro and Gero Vogl) introduces into diffusion processes as a ubiquitous phenomenon of truly interdisciplinary relevance and won the Literature Prize of the Fund of Chemical Industry 2019. His work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Donald W. Breck Award for zeolite research, the Max Planck Research Prize, election to the Saxon Academy of Sciences and most recently, jointly with Jürgen Caro, the Eni Award for “Advanced Environmental Solutions”. Exotics among his more than 600 publications are entries in the Guinness book of records with the largest orchestra of bicycle bells and a computer game, attained during the Physics Sunday Lectures at Leipzig University.
Professor Tatsuya Okubo is Executive Vice President and Professor of Chemical System Engineering at The University of Tokyo (UTokyo).  He received his BS, MS and PhD degrees from UTokyo in 1983, 1985 and 1988, respectively.  He started his academic career as Research Associate at Kyushu University in 1988, and then moved to UTokyo in 1991.  He was promoted to Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Full Professor in 1994, 1997 and 2006, respectively.  He spent one year at California Institute of Technology as Visiting Associate of Prof. Mark E. Davis Group in 1993 – 1994, where he started the work on zeolite.  He has been Professor of Presidential Endowed Chair for “Platinum Society” since 2012.  Prof. Okubo served as Dean of Engineering at UTokyo in 2017 – 2020, and was appointed as Executive Vice President in April 2020.  His research has been focused on science and engineering of nanoporous materials, particularly in the area of synthesis and application of zeolites. 
    Prof. Okubo is an internationally well-renowned academician for his scholarly achievements, and has been recognized by awards such as the SCEJ Award from the Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan (SCEJ).  He has achieved many domestic and  international collaborations with both academic and industrial partners.  He was a former council member of International Zeolite Association (2010 – 2016) and former President of Japan Zeolite Association (2018 – 2020).  He is Fellow of SCEJ and a member of Engineering Academy of Japan.  In addition, he has been a science advisor of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan since 2018.  Prof. Okubo has published more than 350 research publications in international journals, and is an inventor on more than 110 patents.
Professor Bert F. Sels (1972), full professor at KU Leuven, obtained his Ph.D. in 2000 in the field of heterogeneous oxidation catalysis under the guidance of professor Pierre Jacobs. He was awarded the DSM Chemistry Award in 2000, the Incentive Award by the Belgian Chemical Society in 2005, and the Green Chemistry Award in La Rochelle in 2015. He is currently director of the Centre for Sustainable Catalysis and Engineering (CSCE) at the Faculty Bioscience Engineering at KULeuven, Belgium.
His research activities encompass future challenges along the sustainable transition of the industrial organic chemistry with focus on utilization of renewable carbon. He has more than 380 peer reviewed papers, an h index of 92 and more than 30000 citations (google scholar), and he wrote more than 30 patents. He is listed as ‘highly cited researcher’ on the global Clarivate list (2021).
    His research expertise includes catalysis in biorefinery and biofactory processes, the design of  hierarchically porous materials, spectroscopy and kinetics for mechanism clarification and active site identification.
    He was appointed member of the Research Council of the University. He is co-chair of the Catalysis Commission of the International Zeolite Association (IZA) and co-founder of the European Research Institute of Catalysis (ERIC). He is elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and of the Arts and Academia Europaea, visiting professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, international board member of ChemSusChem (Wiley), ChemCatChem (until 2021, Wiley), and currently associate editor of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (ACS).
    You can discover more details of his research at
Professor Jeff Rimer is the Abraham E. Dukler Endowed Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Houston. He received B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis and Allegheny College, respectively. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at New York University prior to joining Houston in 2009 where he is now a Full Professor. His research focuses on elucidating fundamental mechanisms of zeolite crystallization and applying these understandings to the design and synthesis of nanosized and hierarchical materials with tailored physicochemical properties. Prof. Rimer’s research group examines crystal growth using unique tools such as high temperature in situ atomic force microscopy. His work is largely directed to the preparation of zeolite catalysts for various hydrocarbon upgrading reactions with an emphasis on controlled acid siting and novel approaches to reduce diffusion limitations.
    Prof. Rimer serves as Treasurer in the International Zeolite Association council and also Co-Chairperson of the Synthesis Commission. He is a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), an executive committee member of the Association for Crystallization Technology, former chair of the Southwest Catalysis Society, and chair of two Gordon Research Conferences on Crystal Growth & Assembly and Nanoporous Materials & Their Applications. He has received numerous awards that include the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2016 Owens Corning Early Career Award and 2017 FRI/John G. Kunesh Award from American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the inaugural 2016 Mellichamp Emerging Leader Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 2018 he received the Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research from The Welch Foundation, and in 2020 the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Engineering from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST). Prof. Rimer is an Associate Editor of Crystal Growth & Design (American Chemical Society) and also serves on the advisory boards for the AIChE Journal, Molecular Systems Design & Engineering, and Reaction Chemistry & Engineering.
Dr. Peter N. R. Vennestrøm (born October 18, 1984)
Peter N. R. Vennestrøm is a R&D Senior Manager at Umicore working in Automotive Catalysis and New Business Incubation. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the Technical University of Denmark in Chemistry specializing in Catalysis and Nanotechnology. He later carried out Industrial PhD work at the Politechnic University of Valencia together with the company Haldor Topsøe A/S under the supervision of Prof. Avelino Corma. Afterwards Peter undertook several positions at the R&D facilities of Haldor Topsøe A/S in Denmark within environmental, refinery and renewable catalysis areas. Since the end of 2017 Peter has served as Principal Scientist and Senior Manager at Umicore working on fundamental and applied research for use in emission control catalysis and new business incubation projects. The research has always been focused on zeolites and catalyst formulation in close collaboration with strategic university partners.
    Together with research partners Peter has published more than 40 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals including perspective article in Science and several articles in Angewandte Chemie, ACS Catalysis etc. He is also the inventor of 16 (currently published) patents or patent application families. His research interest lies in the collaborative efforts to design, understand and use of materials, and in particular zeolites, for sustainable and environmental solutions.
Professor Xiaodong Zou  

Xiaodong Zou is a full professor and deputy head of the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University. She received her B.Sc. in Physics at Peking University in 1984, and Ph.D. in structural chemistry at Stockholm University in 1995. After a one-year postdoc at Lund University in Sweden, she joined the faculty at Stockholm University in 1996 as an assistant professor, and became professor in structural chemistry 2005. Xiaodong Zou has made important contributions in the development of electron crystallographic methods. Her group has developed several image and diffraction-based methods and software for accurate atomic structure determination of unknown crystals, and solved many complex structures, especially porous materials such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks. She is the founder of the Berzelii Center EXSELENT on Porous Materials.

    She is a council member of the International Zeolite Association and a member of the Structure Commission of International Zeolite Association. She has co-authored over 350 peer-reviewed publications, and given more than 200 invited talks. She received several prestigious awards given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA), the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), a fellow of the Royal Chemistry Society (FRCS), UK.

Important dates

  • Abstract Submission: January 17th, 2022
  • Registration: January 17th, 2022
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: April 14th, 2022
  • AIZ Grant Application Deadline: April 25th, 2022
  • Abstract Author Notification: From  May 3rd, 2022
  • Early Registration Deadline: May 31st, 2022


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