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First prize in DSM Science & Technology Awards (North) 2007 presented to Dutch researcher for work in the field of combined reactions and separations


Dutch researcher Maaike Kroon yesterday won the first prize in the DSM Science & Technology Awards (North) 2007. An international judging committee, chaired by DSM Chief Technology Officer Dr Jos Put, selected Dr Kroon, who earned her doctorate from the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) for her PhD thesis entitled ‘Combined reactions and separations using ionic liquids and carbon dioxide’. Dr Kroon has succeeded in developing a novel, widely applicable process set-up that makes it possible to produce fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals in an economically attractive and environmentally benign way, with less waste generation and lower energy consumption. Maaike Kroon was presented with an award trophy and a certificate by Mr Jan Zuidam, deputy chairman of DSM’s Managing Board. As the winner of the first prize she will also receive a cash prize of EUR 7,500.

The winner of the second prize, Patricia Dankers of the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), will receive a cash prize of EUR 5,000, and the winner of the third prize, David Lesthaeghe of Ghent University (Belgium), will receive a cash prize of EUR 2,500. The other six finalists will each receive a cash prize of EUR 1,250.

The DSM Science & Technology Awards (North) – formerly known as DSM Awards for Chemistry & Technology – form part of the DSM Innovation Awards Program sponsored by the DSM Innovation Center. They are awarded for outstanding PhD research by doctoral students from the Netherlands, Belgium and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

This year’s awards presentation event was held at the Dolce La Hulpe conference center in Brussels. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Zuidam said: ‘ Many important innovations would not have been possible without excellent fundamental research in academia coupled with application oriented industrial research. We hope the DSM Science & Technology Awards will continue to encourage bright young research scientists to undertake pioneering research that will contribute to new scientific developments and innovations that will meet the needs of tomorrow’s societies.’

Report of the judging committee
In its report about the winner of the first prize, the judging committee said it was impressed by the originality and broad multidisciplinary approach of Dr Maaike Kroon’s research: “The judging committee expects that the outcome of the research will prove useful for a broad range of processes in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries, offering opportunities for process intensification and improved economics combined with enhanced sustainability.” The judging committee commended the high quality of the work of all the other finalists.

The winners of the first, second and third prizes
Maaike Kroon conducted her research at the Department of Chemical Technology/Process Equipment at the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) under the supervision of Professor C.J. Peters and Professor G.J. Witkamp.

Patricia Dankers conducted her research at the Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) under the supervision of Professor E.W. Meijer.

David Lesthaeghe conducted his research at the Center for Molecular Modeling at Ghent University (Belgium) under the supervision of Professor M. Waroquier.

Other winners
The other six prize-winners are:

Matthias D’hooghe, Dept. of Organic Chemistry, Ghent University (Belgium)
Kathrin Eckhard, Dept. of Analytical Chemistry, University of Bochum (Germany)
Dirk Lippits, Faculty of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands)
Nuno Maulide, Chemistry Department, Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium)
Frank Schulz, Dept. of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim (Germany)
Viktoriya Sokolova, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)

Two parallel awards schemes
The DSM Science & Technology Awards (North) were presented for the twenty-second time this year. Over the years the awards have gained a high reputation in academic circles and the contest is a major event on the international calendar. In view of this, DSM is this year introducing a parallel contest with an identical awards scheme – DSM Science & Technology Awards (South) – for PhD researchers from universities in Switzerland, Austria, Northeastern France and Southern Germany.


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