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27 June 2003

BASF Catalysis Award 2003 goes to Dr. Stefan Mecking

Freiburg scientist receives award for outstanding research in the field of catalysis at the Heidelberg Forum of Molecular Catalysis

Chemist Dr. Stefan Mecking today received the BASF Catalysis Award 2003 from Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, member of BASF's Board of Executive Directors. The prize, which is worth EUR 10,000, honors the 36-year-old researcher's outstanding contribution to the field of catalysis. It was awarded at the Heidelberg Forum of Molecular Catalysis, an international congress that is sponsored jointly by the University of Heidelberg, BASF Aktiengesellschaft and the long-term collaborative research project on molecular catalysts SFB 623.

"Catalysis is a field of research with enormous power to innovate and it's a key technology for meeting the challenges of the future. BASF therefore believes it is essential to support the work of young, talented researchers in this area," said Dr. Marcinowski, who is also BASF's Research Executive Director.

Dr. Mecking heads a team at the Material Research Center and Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Freiburg, Germany. One aspect of his research is novel catalytic syntheses of polymer dispersions — aqueous slurries in which the polymer particles are so small that they do not separate out, even after a longer period.

"Catalytic syntheses can yield polymers and material properties that cannot be attained using traditional methods. Dispersions produced in this way are of interest in a variety of applications such as environmentally compatible and cost-effective UV-stable coatings," explained prizewinner Dr. Mecking. "I'm really delighted to win the BASF Catalysis award for my work — it's extremely motivating," he added.

Note for editors: A photo of the prizewinner Dr. Stefan Mecking can be downloaded from BASF's website at (keyword: Research & Development). A photo of the award ceremony in Heidelberg will be available at the same address early this afternoon.

Please address any inquiries to
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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