Prof. Gerard van Koten
Distinguished Research Professor of the University of Cardiff, UK
Distinguished University Professor of the Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Gerard van Koten (born 1942) is Professor of Organic Chemistry and Catalysis at the Debye Institute of the Utrecht University (since 1986). He studied at the Utrecht University (Master of Science 1967). In 1967 he joined the Institute for Organic Chemistry, TNO as a permanent staff member and obtained his PhD (1974; Summa Cum Laude) from the Utrecht University (Prof. Dr. G.J.H. van der Kerk). In 1977 he moved to the University of Amsterdam (Inorganic Chemistry) where he was appointed to professor (personal chair) in Organometallic Chemistry. He retired 6 September 2007 and was appointed Honorary University Professor. February 2004 (to 2012) he has been appointed as Distinguished University Professor of the Utrecht University. In October 2007 he was appointed Part Time Distinguished Research Professor of the University of Cardiff (UK) (2007-2010).
His research interests comprise the study of fundamental processes in organometallic chemistry, the application of organometallic complexes as catalysts for homogeneous catalysis, in particular for fine-chemical synthesis, and as materials with special physicochemical properties (molecular wires and switches). He is well known for his ground breaking fundamental and applied research on XCX-pincer metal complexes. The preparation and use of the first examples of homogeneous metallodendrimer catalysts demonstrate his interest for supramolecular systems with (organometallic) catalytically active functionalities. Recent developments involve the introduction of the XCX-pincer metal units in polypeptide chains, carbohydrates and in the active site of serine hydrolases. Furthermore systems are under development for cascade catalysis that is connected to his current interest in the development of sustainable (green) chemistry.
He is author of over 800 scientific publications and review papers and of 35 patents. He was member of the Scientific Council of the Netherlands Research Combination Catalysis (2006) and is currently member of the governmental Foresight group Chemistry. This Foresight group will be responsible for the initiative of innovation in the Netherlands in Industry and Academia. It is part of the Innovation Platform leaded by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Furthermore he is mentioned in the Top-50 as one of the decision makers in the Netherlands concerning the R&D-budget. From Januari 2008 to December 2009 he is acting President of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society.
He has been visiting Professor in Strasbourg (France), Salt Lake City (US), Sassari (Italy), Heidelberg and Dortmund (Germany), Fribourg (Switzerland), North West Pacific Inorganic Chemistry Lecturer (1999) (Canada/USA), Lausanne (Switzerland) and in Singapore (2008). He has been Merck Lecturer of Organic Synthesis in the UK, Sasol Lecturer in Homogeneous Catalysis in Canada (Ottawa), visiting lectureship at the IQUI Tarragona, visiting Professor at the CaRLa institute for Homogeneous Catalysis in Heidelberg and Jones Lecturer at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada (2010). He is past-chairman of the Academy Committee for Chemistry of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He is member of the KNAW. Past-chairman of the Technical Committee of COST-Chemistry of the EU. From 01-01-1995 to 31-12-1999 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry. In September 2003 he became chairman of the Board of the Faculties of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics and Information Science, Pharmaceutical Science and Biology. From 2004-2005 he was responsible for the merger of these five former Faculties into one Faculty of Science. Since 2005 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Science of the Utrecht University.
In 2002 he was appointed by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science as chairman of the committee responsible for the renewal of the Chemistry Educational Program at Secondary School level. Moreover, he was chairing an advisory Committee for the renewal of the Secondary School curriculum of the KNAW and more recently formed a steering group that is responsible for the implementation of the concept-context approach in chemistry.
He was/is board member of a series of scientific journals, e.g. Organometallics and Chemistry-A European Journal, Topics in Organometallic Chemistry, academic advisory board of Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis. He was consultant for a number of chemical and pharmaceutical companies, e.g. DOW Chemicals, Arkema Vlissingen (current) and Ciba. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Molecular Frontiers that is a world-wide virtual institute that seeks to strengthen the position of Science in Society. He participated in various peer review and audit committees, University of Antwerp (2009, chairman), University of Southampton (2009, foreign member), etc.
- Homogenous catalysts based on silane dendrimers functionalized with arylnickel complexes, Knapen et al, Nature, 1994, 372, 659.
- A dendritic effect in homogeneous catalysis, Kleij et al, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2000, 122, 12112.
- Organoplatinum crystals for gas-triggered switches, Albrecht at al Nature 2000, 406, 970.
- Platinum group organometallics based on Pincer Ligands, Albrecht et al, Angew. Chem., 2001, 40, 3750.
- Hetero-aggregate compounds of aryl and alkyllithium reagents: a structurally intriquing aspect of organolithium aggregates, Gossage et al, Angew. Chem., 2005, 44, 1448.
- Ionic core-shell dendrimers with an octa-cationic core as non-covalent supports for homogeneous catalysts, van de Coevering et al, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 12700.
- Organic transformations on sigma-aryl organometallic complexes, Gagliardo et al, Angew.Chem., 2007, 46, 8558.