A unique event took place at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava on 15 March 2023. In the ceremonial session of the STU Scientific Board, the University awarded the title of "Doctor Honoris Causa" to two laureates of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry - Professor Bernard L. Feringa of the University of Groningen and Jean-Marie Lehn of the University of Strasbourg.
The ceremony was attended by rectors and vice-rectors of several universities, guests as well as the STU employees and students. Anton Gatial, the Dean of the STU Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology (FCHPT STU) delivered the eulogy, and both honorary doctors read their inaugural lectures.
"This is a major benefit for the Slovak University of Technology. For the first time in history, two Nobel Prize laureates in the same field are visiting Slovakia and this University. Thanks go to our chemists who have been cooperating with Professors Feringa and Lehn for decades on joint projects," said Oliver Moravčík, STU Rector.
Professor Bernard Lucas Feringa focuses on synthetic organic chemistry. During his exceptional activity as an expert, he has gained valuable experience particularly in stereochemistry. Inspired by the natural principles of molecular organization, recognition, transport, movement and catalysis, he has used the potentials of synthetic chemistry aimed at the development of new functional structures and their various functions. His research is focused on nanotechnology and new functional materials, such as molecular switches and molecular motors. He also investigates the development of new stereoselective methods of synthesis and asymmetric catalysis and their application in molecular biology. Professor Feringa won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the design and synthesis of molecular machines. In 2019, he gave two public lectures in Slovakia and a plenary lecture at the 71st Congress of the Slovak and Czech Chemists, in August 2022 he read the plenary lecture on "Responsive Heterocyclic Molecular Systems" at the 19th Blue Danube Symposium on Heterocyclic Chemistry, organized by the FCHPT STU Institute of Organic Chemistry, Catalysis and Petrochemicals, thereby significantly contributing to the successful course and outcome of the event. STU in Bratislava awarded the honorary title of Dr.h.c. to Professor Feringa for his support to and popularization of life sciences and chemistry, both at present and in the future, for high quality of his publications, for his support of the FCHPT STU staff and students’ personal professional growth in related fields, and for his human qualities. Professor Bernard L. Feringa considerably contributes to the Slovak University of Technology’s goodwill and quality brand.
Professor Jean-Marie Lehn is one of the leading scientists in the field of chemistry and related sciences. His activities are multidisciplinary. The STU awarded the honorary title "Doctor Honoris Causa" to Professor Jean-Marie Lehn for his extraordinary scientific contribution to the fields of theoretical organic chemistry, dynamic nuclear magnetic resonance, supramolecular chemistry, self-assembly and self-organization as well as constitutional dynamic chemistry - adaptive chemistry. Professor Jean-Marie Lehn contributes significantly to the STU goodwill. Cooperation of Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn with the FCHPT STU in Bratislava began after 1995 when he visited Slovakia and Bratislava within the series of "Ciba Lectures" organized by the Slovak Chemical Society and initiated by Prof. Daniel Belluš, a graduate of the former STU Faculty of Chemical Engineering (CHTF SVŠT) and director of the Ciba-Geigy and Novartis global corporate research. Professor Lehn was the third recipient of the Nobel Prize (awarded in 1987) visiting Bratislava. It was thanks to his support that the CHTF Study and Information Centre acquired extremely valuable collections of journals donated by the GDCh German Chemical Company. Numerous contacts with Prof. J.-M. Lehn culminated by his invitation to the Congress of Chemists in 2015. On that occasion, Professor Lehn was awarded the Gold Medal by the Slovak Chemical Society based at the FCHPT STU, and, at the same time, the Honorary Medal of Dionýz Ilkovič by the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
For the event report visit the Radio and Television of Slovakia website: https://www.rtvs.sk/televizia/archiv/13982/391429#1715
Foto: Tibor Rózsár, TASR