The Otto Roelen Medal 2014 will be awarded to Professor Harald Gröger of Bielefeld University. DECHEMA and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Katalyse (German Catalysis Society) are awarding this prize in recognition of his development of reaction sequences combining the advantages of biocatalysis and chemocatalysis in the enantioselective synthesis of chiral building blocks. By integrating chemical and biotechnological processes, Harald Gröger unites two 'worlds' which hitherto tended to be regarded mostly as distinct.
Endowed by the Oxea Group, the Otto Roelen Medal of DECHEMA has generally been awarded every two years since 1997; it includes a cash prize of 5,000 euros. The Medal honours outstanding scientific achievements coupled with strong industrial relevance in the field of catalysis. The award ceremony will take place on March 13, 2014 at the annual meeting of the German Catalysis Society in Weimar.
Harald Gröger has been engaged for over 15 years in research in the field of applied organic synthesis, for which he utilizes bio- and chemocatalysts, respectively. He works extensively with academic and industrial partners. Together with his teams he has developed innovative, efficient and sustainable organic syntheses using biocatalysts which, in combination with chemocatalytic methods, have culminated in one-pot multi-step processes. One-pot multi-step processes are highly attractive for industrial applications: by dispensing with complex separation and purification steps they enable more efficient synthetic processes with less solvent waste. A key focus of Harald Gröger's work involves the application of catalysis methods for the enantioselective production of pharmaceutically relevant classes of compounds and specialty chemicals and the development of suitable industrial production processes.
Harald Gröger studied chemistry at the universities of Erlangen-Nürnberg and Oldenburg. After obtaining his doctorate in 1997, he worked as a post-doc researcher in Japan. From 1998 to 2006 he was involved in industrial research, leading to his appointment as Senior Project Manager at the Biocatalysis Service Center of Degussa AG. He has since returned to academic research, accepting a Professorship in Organic Chemistry at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. In 2011 he was appointed Professor at the Bielefeld University.
Harald Gröger is the author of over 100 scientific publications and has filed more than 30 patent applications. The awards he has received for his scientific achievements include the Degussa Innovation Prize in 2003 and 2005 and the Carl Duisberg Memorial Prize of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) in 2008.
The German Catalysis Society (GeCatS) is the platform for the entire German catalysis community in the area of research and application. Currently it has some 1100 members from industry and academia. GeCatS promotes the scientific and technical dialogue between industry, universities, non-university research institutes and research policy institutions and represents the interests of the catalysis community on a national and international level. The German Catalysis Society is supported by DECHEMA, VDI-GVC, GDCh, DGMK und DBG.