Nenad M. Marković receives Wilhelm Manchot Professorship

TU Munich distinction for pioneering research on electrocatalytic processes

[13.01.2017] The Department of Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Jürgen Manchot Foundation have granted the chemist Dr. Nenad M. Marković the 2016 Wilhelm Manchot Research Professorship. With this distinction, the TUM honors his pioneering work on electrocatalytic surface processes relevant to electrolysis, fuel cells and batteries.

Nenad M. Marković, chief scientist of the “Joint Center for Energy Science Research” at the Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois, USA), investigates the fundamentals of electrocatalytic processes. At the heart of his research lie the chemical and physical phenomena that determine activity, selectivity and stability of catalysts that are used in the electrolysis of water and in fuel cells, for example.

Since many theoretical approaches only inadequately describe the actual behavior of catalysts, a key aim of his work is to develop a fundamental understanding of how the atomic structure affects activity and stability of a catalyst. “The surfaces of real catalyst particles are often a far cry from the ideal structures predicted by the theory. And, often it is precisely these defects that give rise to the activity of catalysts,” explained Marković in his lecture.

From his insights into the electronic properties and the atomic structure of electrode materials, Marković developed highly active electrocatalysts for fuel cells and electrolyzers. Beyond that, he has made significant contributions to the understanding of processes at the interface between electrode surface and the reaction partners in solution that are decisive for the development of more effective future batteries.

Nenad M. Marković studied chemistry at the University of Belgrade, from where he received his doctoral title. After two years as a postdoc at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland (USA) he returned to Begrade in 1986 to build up his own research group at the Institute of Electrochemistry. In 1991 he went back to USA to join the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he did research for 14 years. 2005 he switched to the Argonne National Laboratory.

Some 270 original publications and eight patents give tribute to Nenad M. Marković’s profound scientific productivity. He is a fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry and has received numerous distinctions, among others the Faraday Medal (2013), the University of Chicago/Argonne LLC Board of Governors Distinguished Performance Award (2012) and the U.S. Department of Energy R&D Award (2010).

Manchot Research Professorship

Every year the Jürgen Manchot Foundation awards the Manchot Research Professorship to outstanding chemists. In addition to honoring the scientific work of the scientists, the foundation invites the award recipient to lecture at the Department of Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich. The prize commemorates the chemist Wilhelm Manchot (1869 – 1945), who was professor and director of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Technische Hochschule München (today TUM) from 1914 to 1935. Manchot’s merits in teaching were outstanding. He translated the venerable “Hollemann-Wiberg” into German – to this day a standard reference work well known to every student of chemistry.