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Professor Dr

Wolfgang A. Herrmann

Year of election: 1995
Section: Chemistry
City: Munich
Country: Germany


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.


  • 1995-2019 President of the Technische Universität München, Germany
  • 1985 Chair Professor at the Technische Universität München in succession of Prof. Dr. h.c.mult. E.O. Fischer, Germany
  • 1979 Professor at the University of Regensburg, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Germany
  • 1982 Chair Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Frankfurt / Main, Germany
  • 1978 Habilitation on "Organometallic Syntheses with Diazoalkanes" at the University of Regensburg, Germany
  • 1973 Doctoral dissertation (Dr. rer.nat.) at the University of Regensburg supervised by Professor Henri Brunner on "Optically Active Transition Metal Complexes with Square-Pyramidal Geometry" ("excellent"), Germany
  • 1967-1971 Study of chemistry at the Technische Hochschule München, Fellow of the scholarship body of the German Catholic Episcopate (Cusanuswerk), Germany


  • since 2010 Member of the Future Council of the Bavarian Government (Zukunftsrat), Germany
  • 2008-2014 Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
  • since 2007 International Advisory Council at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia
  • 2004-2005 Founding Chairman of the Universität Bayern e.V., Germany
  • 2002-2004 Chairman of the Bavarian University Rectors Conference (Bayerische Rektorenkonferenz), Germany
  • 1998-2014 Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany

Honours and Memberships

  • 2012 Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
  • 2012 President of the Year 2012 (German Association of University Professors and Lecturers)
  • 2011 Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
  • 2010 Golden outstanding citizen award medal of Freising (Goldene Bürgermedaille), Germany
  • 2009 University Manager of the Year 2009 (Financial Times Germany, Center of University    Development)
  • 2007 Bavarian Order of Merit (Bayerischer Verdienstorden), Germany
  • 2005 Bavarian Order of the Constitution (Bayerische Verfassungsmedaille), Germany
  • 2004 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry, USA
  • 2000 Medal of the Legion of Honour (Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur) of the President of France
  • 1997 Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande), Germany
  • 1995 Wilhelm Klemm Award of the German Chemical Society (Wilhelm Klemm-Preis der Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GdCh))
  • 1991 Max Planck Research Award (Max-Planck-Forschungspreis)
  • 1990-2009 11 Honorary Doctorates
  • 1987 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award of the German Research Foundation (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft)




Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 35
06108 Halle (Saale)

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv (at)leopoldina.org

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