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|Year of election:||1995|
Wolfgang A. Herrmann, who is holding the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen since 1985 as the successor of E. O. Fischer and serving the TU Muenchen as its president since 1995, is distinguished for his numerous, important scientific contributions in the field of organometallic chemistry, particularly with regard to homogenous catalysis. With the exploration of methyltrioxorhenium(VII) (MTO) with respect to its reactivity and the associated development of an effective catalyst for industrial application he set the basis for the development of a new class of organometallic complexes involving transition metals in high oxidation states that are employed in a broad spectrum of catalytic reactions. Furthermore, Herrmann is well-known for his extensive studies on transition metal complexes bearing N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands, by which he contributed considerably to the disclosure of a new chapter of homogenous organometallic catalysis. Today, NHC complexes serve as catalysts for many important reactions, such as olefin epoxidation, hydrogenation, hydrosilylation, and C–C-coupling reactions.