An exceptional chemist
Academy Prize 2013 of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities to Professor Dr. Helmut Cölfen
Prof. Dr. Helmut Cölfen
This year’s Academy Prize for outstanding scientific achievements of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) has been awarded to the chemist Professor Dr. Helmut Cölfen from Konstanz. The Academy acknowledges Helmut Cölfen’s groundbreaking research results in the field of crystallisation that have rendered existing theories outdated and are the basis for new international research areas. He was awarded the prize at the function of the Academy’s “Leibniztag“on 15 June 2013. For the first time the Academy Prize, existing since 1996, is endowed with prize money of 50,000 euros this year. Helmut Cölfen has been professor of physical chemistry at the University of Konstanz since 2010.
Helmut Cölfen made some of the most significant contributions to modern interdisciplinary science, he was an exceptional chemist, Professor Dr. Jochen Brüning, professor at the Department for Mathematics at the Humboldt-University in Berlin and chairman of the prize committee, quoted from reports on the scientific performance of the chemist from Konstanz in his laudation. Cölfen is of world-wide renown as leading scientist in the field of crystallisation. Even as a young researcher he succeeded in achieving internationally recognised breakthroughs. His interdisciplinary fundamental research covers not only chemistry but also fields of physics and biology.
Helmut Cölfen is an eminent scientist in the fields of crystallisation, biomineralisation, self-assembled minerals, hybrid materials and high-resolution analysis of nanoparticles and macromolecules. His results changed the current view of crystallisation and have been applied in many and varied ways in theoretical and applied research. The eulogist also mentioned the textbook “Mesocrystals and Nonclassical Crystallization“, written by Cölfen and Professor Dr. Markus Antonietti, Director of the Department “Colloid Chemistry” at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, that represents such a sweeping breakthrough that working with biominerals would no longer be possible without it.
Helmut Cölfen was awarded, among other prizes, the graduate prize of the fund “Fonds der Chemischen Industrie” in 1993 and the Hermann-Schnell Prize of the German chemists‘ society “Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCH)“ for the best young researcher in polymer research in 2000. In 2006 he gave the Steinhofer Lecture in Freiburg and was added in 2011 to the list of the „Top 100 Chemists“ worldwide for the years 2000 to 2010. The list is based on the highest citation impact scores for chemistry papers published in this period of time.