RWTH Professors Receive Honorary Doctorate from Osaka University


Osaka University has bestowed honorary doctorates on RWTH professors Jun Okuda and Jochen Büchs for their outstanding achievements in research and teaching.

  For men in doctoral gowns Copyright: Osaka University From right to left: Shojiro Nishio, President of Osaka University, RWTH professors Jochen Büchs and Jun Okuda, and Vice-President Genta Kawahara.

Jun Okuda, Chair of Organometallic Chemistry at the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, is concerned with catalysis mechanisms that do not require precious metals. A core focus of his research is the synthesis, precise structural determination and application of extremely sensitive catalyst precursors for polymerization and hydrogen storage.

After completing his doctorate at RWTH Aachen University in 1984, he joined the team of Nobel laureate Richard R. Schrock at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1991, he completed his post-doctoral lecturing qualification (habilitation) at the Technical University of Munich. Before his appointment as Chair of Organometallic Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University, he held professorships at the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Marburg, and the University of Mainz.

Jochen Büchs is Chair of Biochemical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. His key research interests include the characterization of process engineering parameters of shaken bioreactors and the development of new methods for online process monitoring and control at all (bioreactor) scales. Furthermore, he conducts research on high-pressure fermentation and biorefinery processes. Several of the department’s developments have been successfully commercialized worldwide.

After completing his degree in process engineering at the Technical University of Munich and research stays at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) and Tokyo University, Japan, he obtained his doctoral degree from Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. After nine years in industry at a leading chemical company, Jochen Büchs was appointed Chair of Biochemical Engineering at RWTH in 1996.

University-wide Collaboration Agreement

Since the signing of a in 2005, Osaka University and RWTH have been partner universities. In their acceptance speech, Okuda and Büchs lauded the immensely productive scientific collaboration between the educational and research institutions. This collaboration is exemplified, among others activities, by the “Selectivity in Chemo- and Biocatalysis” research training group, which was established, in parallel to the Japanese-German Graduate Externship Program, in 2010.

The research training program is led by Professor Okuda, who serves as its spokesperson, and Professor Büchs as deputy spokesperson. As part of this close transnational cooperation, about 40 doctoral candidates from RWTH stayed at Osaka University to participate in the activities of the research training group.