Clariant CleanTech Award for young scientists


  • Award for outstanding achievements in the field of “Sustainable Chemistry”
  • Fourth Clariant Chemistry Day at University of Basel
  • Fostering exchange between academia and industry

Muttenz, October 5, 2018 – Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has once again honored outstanding scientific achievements in the field of “sustainable chemistry” at the fourth Clariant Chemistry Day by presenting its CleanTech Award. The company also partnered with the University of Basel to confer the Clariant Chemistry Award.

The top prize was awarded to Ydna Marie Questell-Santiago of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for her scientific work on new routes to carbohydrates and derivates derived from biomass.

Dr. Martin Vollmer, Chief Technology Officer at Clariant, presented the award to the delighted winner: “It is impressive to see these creative achievements in academic research with high industrial relevance. Sustainable chemistry is a key enabler for innovation in various industrial sectors but also to tackle the technological challenges of our society.”

The award ceremony marked the end of an exciting event attended by around 100 students and representatives of industry and dedicated to the exchange of knowledge between industry and academia. Alongside the CleanTech Award nominees, the winner of the Clariant Chemistry Award, Rajesh Mannancherry, also talked about the results of his research entitled “Molecular Dynamic Staircases: All-Carbon Axial Chiral ‘Geländer’ Structures”. The invited guest speaker at the event was Paul Dyson from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), who talked about improving the sustainability of chemical reactions by innovative catalyst systems. In addition, a further 36 participants showcased their research projects on the subject of sustainable chemistry in the form of posters and lectures. The Award Committee finally conferred the Poster Award for the best work presented during the poster session on Christoph Kerzig of the University of Basel.

Explaining the idea behind the Clariant Chemistry Day, Dr. Martin Vollmer said: “The event today and the results of the different scientific research projects clearly emphasize why it’s indispensible to strengthen the knowledge base in the field of clean technologies and sustainability. With the Clariant Chemistry Day we provide a platform for scientists from academia and industry to jointly identify potential for value creation.”

The Clariant CleanTech Award was initiated in 2012 and is open to Master and PhD students and Postdocs from Swiss universities covering topics such as resource efficiency, renewable raw materials, or green technologies and environmental protection. It is judged by the Award Committee consisting of representatives from Clariant, the University of Basel and the Swiss Chemical Society. The award is endowed with a total of CHF 10,000, with CHF 5,000 for the first prize.

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