Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher receives the Research Award 2023 of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

Award for Outstanding Research Achievements in the Field of Process Systems Engineering

November 22, 2023

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher, 58, director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems Magdeburg and full professor for Process Systems Engineering at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, was honored with the Research Award 2023 of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg on November 21, 2023. Prof. Sundmacher received the prize in recognition of his cutting-edge research work and outstanding scientific achievements in the field of systems process engineering.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher heads the Process Systems Engineering Department at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg and is currently also Managing Director of the institute. With his research, he is pursuing the goal of laying the foundations for the future production of chemical products using manufacturing processes that are not only efficient and cost-effective, but also climate-neutral.

For a sustainable economy, as many substances as possible that are used to produce goods in our society must be recycled in the future. This applies in particular to carbon, which is a component of numerous products in the chemical industry (e.g. basic chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals). In this context, Kai Sundmacher is currently investigating novel chemical, physical and biological processes that can be used to convert carbon-containing waste materials, biomass or even carbon dioxide into valuable products. The prizewinner is also investigating how the energy requirements of chemical processes can be significantly reduced and how a supply based solely on renewable energies can be achieved.

The Otto von Guericke University honors with the Research Award its best scientists for outstanding achievements. The prize has been awarded once a year since 1998.

The Research Award 2023 of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, endowed with 5,000 euros, was awarded to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher in the presence of Prof. Armin Willingmann, Minister for Science, Energy, Climate Protection and the Environment of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Simone Borris, Mayor of the City of Magdeburg, and numerous other representatives of the state government, local politics and scientific institutions. The award was presented to him during the Academic Ceremony of the Otto von Guericke University on 21 November 2023 in the Johanniskirche Magdeburg.

Vita Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher

Kai Sundmacher was born in Hildesheim in 1965. After studying Mechanical and Process Engineering at the University of Hanover and Clausthal University of Technology, he obtained his Ph. D. degreee in 1995. Until 1998, he headed the research groups "Reactive Distillation" and "Electrochemical Engineering" at the Institute of Chemical Process Engineering at Clausthal University of Technology. After a research stay from 1997 to 1998 as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Newcastle in Great Britain, he habilitated at Clausthal University of Technology in 1998. In 1999, he was appointed to the Chair of Process Systems Engineering at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. Since 2001, he has been Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems. Since 2019, he has been the spokesperson for the International Max Planck Research School for Advanced Methods in Process and Systems Engineering (IMPRS ProEng).

Kai Sundmacher is also one of the spokespersons of the Magdeburg Research Center for Dynamic Systems (CDS) and spokesperson of the recently founded interdisciplinary research cluster SmartProSys, which aims to develop scientifically sound methods for establishing intelligent process systems for sustainable chemical production.

Kai Sundmacher has received several awards for his research achievements, including the Carl Zerbe Prize of the German Scientific Society of Petrochemistry (1998), the Arnold Eucken Prize of the German Society of Chemical Engineers (1999), the Meyer Struckmann Scientific Award of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus (2008), the Einstein Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2009) and membership of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2021).

The prizewinner's current research focuses on model-based analysis and synthesis of complex process engineering processes, chemical recycling processes, methods of process intensification and process integration, processes for chemical energy conversion as well as biosystems engineering and synthetic biosystems.

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