UP awards leading scientist with honorary doctorate

Posted on September 08, 2010

His expertise and dedication have impacted and benefited researchers in South Africa and at the University of Pretoria.

Prof Van Eldik also delivered an address at the annual Victor Pretorius Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Chemistry Department and Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. The topic of his address was “Understanding Inorganic/Bioinorganic Reaction Mechanisms - From Fundamental Research to Edutainment”.

His research interests cover the elucidation of inorganic and bioinorganic reaction mechanisms, with special emphasis on the application of high pressure thermodynamic and kinetic techniques. In recent years his research team also focused on the application of low-temperature rapid-scan techniques to identify and study reactive intermediates in catalytic cycles involving the activation of small molecules, such as dioxygen, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen peroxide that are of biological and industrial interest.

Prof Van Eldik is Editor of the series Advances in Inorganic Chemistry, co-editor of the Journal of Coordination Chemistry and editor of 12 monographs. He serves on the Editorial Boards of several chemistry journals. He is the author of almost 800 research papers and review articles in international journals. He has developed a promotion activity for chemistry and related experimental sciences in the form of chemistry edutainment presentations over the past 15 years. In 2009 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit (‘Bundesverdienstkreuz’) by the Federal President of Germany, and the Inorganic Mechanisms Award by the Royal Society of Chemistry (London).

Prof van Eldik received his chemistry education and DSc degree at the former Potchefstroom University (SA), followed by post-doctoral work at the State University of New York at Buffalo (USA) and the University of Frankfurt (Germany). After completing his Habilitation in Physical Chemistry at the University of Frankfurt in 1982, he was appointed as Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Private University of Witten/Herdecke in 1987. In 1994 he accepted his present position as Professor of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.

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