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Piet van Leeuwen

Date of investiture:
14 october 2009
Carmen Claver
Area of knowledge:

Piet van Leeuwen (Holland, 1942) is one of the leading international scientists in the field of catalysis. His papers are compulsory reading. He was the first to write about the use of dendrimers in catalysis in an article in Nature and he is the author of the leading text book on homogeneous catalysis published in 2004: Homogeneous Catalysis, Understanding the Art. He has supervised or jointly supervised 40 doctoral theses and he has acted as consultant for numerous companies the world over.

He has been invited to lecture at several universities—Toulouse, Tarragona, Bordeaux, Freiburg, Geneva, Mexico City—and he has taught numerous course for companies such as Shell, DSM, Sasol and BASF. He is on the scientific committee of the some of the most important chemical journals.

Since 2004 he has been the head of a research group in the Catalan Institute for Chemical Research (ICIQ) in Tarragona, an activity which he combines with research at the University of Amsterdam.

In the speech he made accepting his honorary degree, he described the challenges facing world development and the environment briefly and clearly, and explained the value of applying sustainable chemistry.