Ben Feringa, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, has been awarded the First European Chemistry Gold Medal by EuChemS, the European Chemical Society. The award was presented at the 7th EuChemS Chemistry Congress in Liverpool, UK, on August 26, 2018. The European Chemistry Gold Medal will be awarded every two years and recognizes exceptional achievements in the field of chemistry in Europe. Feringa's work focuses on stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly, and molecular nanosystems.
Ben Feringa studied chemistry at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, where he received his Ph.D. in 1978 under the supervision of Hans Wynberg. After working as a Research Scientist at Shell Laboratories in the Netherlands and the UK, he returned to the University of Groningen as Lecturer. In 1988, he was promoted to Full Professor of Organic Chemistry and in 2003, Feringa was named the Jacobus H. van't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences at the same university. In 2011, he was named Hans Fischer Honorary Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Technical University of Munich, Germany.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2016 has been awarded jointly to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, University of Strasbourg, France, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, and Ben Feringa "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines". Feringa is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. He also is a Fellow of ChemPubSoc Europe. In 2008, he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Among others honors, his research has been recognized with the Spinoza Award (the highest scientific distinction in the Netherlands), the Prelog Gold Medal, the Paracelsus Medal, and the Nagoya Gold Medal.
Read the full congress report here.