Omar Yaghi gets €300k Science for the Future Ernest Solvay Prize

Omar Yaghi gets €300k Science for the Future Ernest Solvay Prize

Yaghi is a pioneer in new and revolutionary applications for reticular materials, such as clean energy technologies

  • By ICN Bureau | January 19, 2024

The Science for the Future Ernest Solvay Prize by Syensqo has been awarded to Omar Yaghi, James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, in recognition of his pioneering work in reticular chemistry, the science of building chemical structures from molecular building blocks.

This is a field of chemistry with many promising applications for the future, such as CO2 capture and hydrogen storage, as well as water harvesting and gas purification.

“I am honored to receive this prize, and I see it as recognition of the incredible teamwork and dedication of everyone who collaborated on our journey in creating new materials for the future. I am passionate about exploring the limits of science to serve pressing challenges in energy, the environment, and beyond. Being recognized for it is an honor,” said Professor Yaghi.

“I’m proud to award Omar Yaghi this prize in the very promising field of reticular chemistry, with applications across various scientific and industrial domains – it could even make clean water accessible to everyone. Omar Yaghi is a true explorer and his work is likely to have a tremendous impact in advancing humanity. Awarding the Science for the Future prize to a scientist like him is a perfect illustration of our purpose: of being explorers that address critical needs by pushing the limits of what can be realized,” said Dr. Ilham Kadri, CEO of Syensqo.

Since 2013, the prize has recognized major scientific discoveries that have the potential to shape the chemistry of tomorrow and promote human progress. Previous prize laureates include Pr. B. Feringa, Pr. C. Bertozzi and Dr. K. Karikó, who have all gone on to receive Nobel Prizes after being awarded the Solvay Prize.

The laureate of this sixth edition was selected by an independent jury of renowned scientists, which also include two Nobel Prize laureates:

Sven Lidin, president of the Ernest Solvay Prize by Syensqo jury, professor of inorganic chemistry at Lund University;

Steven Chu, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, former US secretary of energy and professor at Stanford University;

Ben Feringa, recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, professor at the University of Groningen, recipient of the 2015 Solvay Prize;

Susumu Kitagawa, winner of the 2017 Solvay Prize, professor at Kyoto University;

Dame Carol Vivien Robinson, University Chair of Dr. Lee’s Professor of Chemistry and first director of the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery at Oxford University.

The award ceremony will be held at the Palais des Académies in Brussels on March 19, 2024.

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