Professor Matthias Wessling Inducted Into the Leopoldina Academy of Sciences


Professor Matthias Wessling, head of the Chair of Chemical Engineering and Vice-Rector of Research and Structure at RWTH Aachen University, has been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, Germany's foremost academic society. He is the thirteenth RWTH professor to be honored in this way.


Matthias Wessling is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of membrane technology and polymer research. In 2010, he was appointed Alexander von Humboldt Professor in Chemical Engineering at RWTH. In 2019, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the most important research award in Germany.

Wessling and his group are investigating the synthesis of biomimetic interactive material systems. The goal is to create complex interactive structures with the help of existing and novel materials and to analyze and describe their structure-function behavior when subject to stable or transient forces.

With the support from an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant, Wessling and his team have also been focusing on the control of complex physicochemical flow phenomena at the membrane-fluid interface. Wessling’s work has led to applications in the development of sustainable chemical processes, water treatment technology, and artificial organs.

“It is a great honor to be accepted into the Leopoldina. However, it is also a recognition of the creative contributions of my staff and my doctoral candidates and students over many years. This honor will continue to motivate me and our team to explore the physicochemical fundamentals and applications of synthetic membranes in the areas of artificial organs, energy storage, hydrogen technologies, CO2 capture and utilization, biomass utilization, and water desalination," says Wessling.

The Leopoldina, founded in 1652, is one of the oldest scholarly societies in the world. Since 2008, when it was declared Germany's National Academy of Sciences, it has been representing German Science in international committees. Economically and politically independent, the Academy is dedicated to advising government, parliament and the public about socially relevant scientific issues.