January 25, 2023
Staff Accomplishment

Lercher Wins Michel Boudart Award

Johannes Lercher wins award for contributions to catalysis science


As part of his award, Johannes Lercher will give plenary lectures at the biannual meetings of the North American Catalysis Society and the European Federation of Catalysis Societies.

(Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Johannes Lercher, a Battelle Fellow and chemist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), is the recipient of the 2023 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis. The award is jointly administered by the North American Catalysis Society (NACS) and the European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS). Lercher, who holds a joint appointment with the Technische Universität München, has spent his career studying catalysis on the two continents.

“Johannes has been a pillar in the catalysis community for decades,” said Louis Terminello, the associate laboratory director of the Physical & Computational Sciences Directorate at PNNL. “This recognition of his leadership and world class scientific output is well deserved. We are thrilled for Johannes for this achievement.”

The award is given every other year to recognize the impact of a senior researcher on the field of catalysis. The winner is selected by a committee of renowned researchers appointed jointly by the presidents of the NACS and EFCATS. It recognizes individual contributions to understanding mechanisms and active sites, methods development, and conceptional advances for catalysis.

Lercher is honored for his “seminal contributions to define and quantify the centers that bind reacting molecules, to characterize the environment around these centers, and to quantify the impact that the solid and/or mobile environment has on the reacting molecules.” As part of the award, Lercher will also present plenary lectures at the next biannual meetings of both NACS and EFCATS.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” said Lercher. “I’m particularly excited to deliver the plenary lectures in Providence and Prague this summer. These meetings bring together many of my friends and collaborators across catalysis.”

Lercher, a past president of the European Federation of Catalysis Societies, studies fundamental aspects of heterogeneous catalysis. His work focuses on developing a basic understanding of the reactions that occur on the surfaces and in the pores of materials. This knowledge will help guide the development of new and more effective catalysts for energy-relevant reactions.

A professor of chemistry at the Technische Universität München since 1998, Lercher joined PNNL in 2011. He is currently the Director of the Institute of Integrated Catalysis at PNNL. Recent honors include his election to the German Academy of Technical Sciences and the German Catalysis Society’s Alwin Mittasch Prize.

Published: January 25, 2023