Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Wessling
Chemical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University and Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI), Aachen
Matthias Wessling is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of membrane technology and polymer research. He has been selected to receive the Leibniz Prize for his seminal work on the synthesis, description and understanding of semipermeable synthetic membranes. Membranes are generally thin material layers that separate two spaces. This makes them important components in many industrial processes, such as water desalination and the treatment of wastewater and waste gas, as well as the production of high-performance batteries and fuel cells. Wessling’s research made it possible for the first time to precisely adjust the functionality of a membrane and to analyse and understand the resulting mechanisms of action. His fundamental work is now put to practical use in many products in industry and medical technology, for example in kidney dialysis. Wessling is currently working to combine synthetic and biological membrane technology.
Matthias Wessling studied chemical engineering in Dortmund and Cincinnati. He then worked as a researcher in the Netherlands, where he earned his doctorate from the University of Twente and held a professorship in membrane technology. In 2010, he was appointed Humboldt Professor at RWTH Aachen University as part of the research initiative “Next Generation Processes and Products”. In Aachen he has also helped to expand the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI).