We are delighted to announce that Professor Stephan Schunk, who serves as Vice President and Executive Expert at BASF SE and hte GmbH, as well as Honorary Professor at Leipzig University, has been bestowed with the 2023 EFCATS Applied Catalysis Award. This award is organized by the European Federation of Catalysis Societies and underscores Professor Schunk's significant contributions in the field of Industrial Catalysis. The Award will be presented at the upcoming EuropaCat meeting (Prague, August 2023).
This Award recognizes and encourages individual contributions, which demonstrate his scientific excellence, technical achievements in development and scale-up, interdisciplinary teamwork between scientists and engineers and clearly show emphasis on actual or potential commercial application.
Professor Schunk is particularly lauded for his groundbreaking work in the development of industrial catalysts, a feat achieved by integrating fundamental inorganic chemistry with high throughput methodologies and data science. Prof. Schunk's contributions have considerably increased the acceptance of this methodology in the field. His efforts have notably propelled the adoption of high throughput experimentation as a development tool in the chemical industry, setting a new industrial standard. This innovative approach has been instrumental in substantially reducing costs and expediting the market introduction of new catalysts and processes. Among Professor Schunk's accomplishments are the development of the Split & Pool synthesis in conjunction with integrated reactor modules. It led to the creation of a process reliant on zeolite-catalyzed carbonylation of methanol to acetic acid, which has been realized at a pilot scale in the company BP. He has also played a leading role in developing new catalytic systems and processes for methane dry reforming. His continuous efforts to bridge the gap between academia and industry are especially noteworthy and have facilitated these successes.
Professor Schunk has coauthored 70 scientific publications and 116 patents and patent applications. He has been awarded the Jochen-Block-Award of the German Catalysis Society and the “Step Award 2011” for innovative and growth-oriented enterprises (on behalf of hte – the high throughput experimentation company).