Utrecht University

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University ( is one of Europe’s leading research universities, recognized internationally for its high-quality, innovative approach to both research and teaching. It is a LERU Charter Member. Since the start of the ARWU ranking ( Shanghai University Ranking), Utrecht University has consistently ranked first in the Netherlands and in the top 25 in Europe. In 2017, Utrecht University ranked 47th in the world and 14th in Europe.

The Department of Chemistry hosts the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis section ( The Weckhuysen group (~ 50 people, ~ 30 Ph.D. students, ~ 15 PDs, technical and academic staff) is an internationally leading group in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, in particular on in-situ and operando characterisation of catalytic solids: 1) the development and use of space- and time-resolved spectroscopic methods for heterogeneous catalyst characterisation under relevant reaction conditions, and 2) the development of new catalytic solids for the conversion of fossil feedstocks, such as crude oil and natural gas (methane, ethane, and propane), and the transformation of biomass-derived molecules into chemicals and transportation fuels. Its expertise in catalysis covers all steps from catalyst design, synthesis, testing, and characterization. More recently, research is devoted to the catalytic activation of CO2 and the splitting of water into H2 and O2.

More details on the achievements and publication record of the Weckhuysen group can be found on the university website

Prof. Bert Weckhuysen

Prof. Bert Weckhuysen is Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University. His research interests center around two main topics: The development and use of advanced spectroscopic and microscopy methods in order to develop structure-activity relationships for catalytic processes. And the catalytic conversion of fossil resources (crude oil and natural gas) as well as renewables, to transportation fuels, (bulk) chemicals and materials. Prof. Weckhuysen started his scientific career at Leuven University where he received his master degree in chemical and agricultural engineering with greatest distinction (1991). He obtained his PhD degree with honours under the supervision of Prof. Robert Schoonheydt also at Leuven University (1995).
He authored and co-authored over 475 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, with an average number of citations per paper of ~ 41 and a Hirsch index of 76. Weckhuysen also serves on several different editorial and advisory boards. During his career he has obtained several prestigious grants and awards, such as TOP and Gravitation grants and the Spinoza Award (2013) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), an Advanced ERC grant from the European Research Council (ERC), and the Emmett, Bourke and Tanabe Awards. Weckhuysen is currently scientific director of the Netherlands Center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC) and of the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC).