Recognition for Regina Palkovits and Wil van der Aalst


The two RWTH professors have now been appointed to the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.


The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts has appointed 15 new members, including RWTH professors Regina Palkovits, Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry, and Wil van der Aalst, Chair of Process and Data Science. The Academy is an organization of leading researchers in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the home of 20 major scientific research projects.

Regina Palkovits – Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry

Professor Palkovits's research focus is on the development of tailor-made structured materials for sustainable chemical processes. Since 2019, she has also been pursuing this goal as a Max Planck Fellow and head of a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr. By appointing researchers as a Fellows, the Max Planck Society promotes collaboration between outstanding university professors and scientists of the Max Planck Society.

Palkovits studied chemical engineering at TU Dortmund University. She received her doctorate from the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Before her appointment as Professor for Nanostructured Catalysts at RWTH in 2010, she was a visiting researcher at Utrecht University.

Since 2013, Palkovits has been Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University. She received numerous awards, including the 2019 EFCATS Young Researcher Award, the ExxonMobil European Science & Engineering Award, the 2016 DECHEMA Award, and the Innovation Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in the Young Researchers category.

Wil van der Aalst – Head of the Process and Data Science Group

The Dutch computer scientist Wil van der Aalst is an acknowledged expert in the fields of process mining, business process management, workflow management systems, and data science. One of the most influential researchers in his areas of expertise, he was appointed Humboldt Professor at RWTH Aachen University in 2018. Worth five million euros, the Humboldt professorship is the most valuable research award in Germany.

Van der Aalst studied computer science at Eindhoven University of Technology. In 2000, after having held positions in academia and industry, he was appointed full professor at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he became the scientific director of the Data Science Center in 2013. Since 2003, he has been adjunct professor at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and he has been a visiting scholar at Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento.

In 2013, van der Aalst, who has an honorary doctorate from Hasselt University, was awarded an honorary guest professorship at Tsinghua University. In 2015, he was appointed honorary professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities, and the Academy of Europe. Furthermore, he is a member of the Board of Governors of Tilburg University.