Otto Hahn Medal for young researcher from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

Dr. Thomas Berkemeier and Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth, vice president of the Max Planck Society at the Annual Meeting in Weimar, Germany. Source: Matthias Eimer for the Max Planck Society
Ferdi Schüth, vice president of the Max Planck Society, honored Thomas Berkemeier with the Otto Hahn medal for his outstanding doctoral thesis. Source: Matthias Eimer for the Max Planck Society

Thomas Berkemeier is honored for his outstanding doctoral thesis on atmospheric aerosol particles.

Mainz, 22 June 2017

Dr. Thomas Berkemeier receives the Otto Hahn Medal for his investigations about the effect of the phase state on the chemical reactivity and cloud formation properties of atmospheric aerosols. The medal was awarded on 21 June 2017 at this year's Annual Meeting of the Max Planck Society in Weimar.

The aerosol researcher Berkemeier has gained fundamental insights into phase transitions, diffusion processes and chemical reactions in organic aerosols and their interactions with reactive trace gases, water vapor and clouds within the scope of his PhD thesis at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry. "Thomas Berkemeier's most important results include the clarification of unknown reaction pathways in the ozone uptake and oxidation of organic aerosol particles. His results are therefore essential to the scientific progress in atmospheric and environmental research," says Ulrich Pöschl, Managing Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry.

Berkemeier, who is 28 years old, was also able to identify the rate-determining elementary processes and the numerical determination of kinetic parameters in the interaction of gases, aerosols and clouds.

Furthermore, Berkemeier carried out theoretical and experimental investigations of the formation of organic nitrates and the nucleation of ice crystals on organic aerosol particles.

Since September 2016 Thomas Berkemeier is working as a postdoctoral student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He is currently investigating the formation of organic particulate matter by using a room-sized smog chamber.

The Otto Hahn Medal honors annually outstanding research achievements of young PhD students of the Max Planck Society.