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With their proposal for a workshop on the challenges and future perspectives of photocatalysis, Dr Sonja Pullen and co-applicants have won the 2021/22 Chemistry Competition of the Lorentz Center and the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society KNCV. As a result, the Lorentz Center will host the workshop in Leiden in the course of 2022.

Dr Sonja Pullen. Photo: HIMS.

The announcement of the winning proposal took place during the CHAINS chemistry conference on 6 December. Pullen, who is a tenure track researcher in the Homogeneous Catalysis group of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences wrote her proposal together with Dr Line Næsborg of the Organic Chemistry Institute at the University of Münster and Dr Sebastian Beil of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry at the University of Groningen. According to the jury, their proposal addresses a timely and relevant topic in chemistry in support of renewable economy. The jury praised the good definition of interdisciplinarity and balanced connection to Dutch science.

Characteristics of the Lorentz workshops are an innovative scientific program taking the participants beyond current boundaries, in an open and interactive format, with few lectures. Pullen, Næsborg and Beil aim to bring together experts from complementary fields of photocatalysis, namely artificial photosynthesis, organic methodology, spectroscopy and photo-biocatalysis. They believe that merging these different research fields will result in synergistic effects, ultimately leading to the development of novel, interdisciplinary concepts for powering the chemical industry and energy supply by light. The topics will be covered by invited key participants through tutorials and inspirational lectures. The workshop will provide ample time for discussions and networking to identify future collaborative endeavours.

Winning the prize means that the Lorentz Center will host the 5-day workshop in Leiden in 2022 free of registration fees or other organizational costs. Adding to this, travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed.

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