May 7 – 11, 2023
Europe/Zurich timezone

Plenary speakers

Prof. Franz Renz

Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany


Franz Renz is Austrian, got his first degree in mechanical engineering, studied chemistry and obtained his PhD at TU Vienna. After a PostDoc in Japan and Germany he obtained his habilitation at Mainz University (JGU). Since 2008 he is professor of inorganic coordination chemistry at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH). He had several visiting professorships, such as CAS DICP/China, in Tsukuba, Yokohama, Tokyo TODAI/Japan and is known for his contributions to the discovery of the SF-LIESST, HAXITH and HAXIESST effects in molecular magnetism. In 2022 he was honored with a doctor honoris causa. He is devoted to the element iron and his favorite molecule is water. His main research interests are in molecular switching and the study of terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials. He is heading the research and development of the miniaturized Mössbauer spectrometer (MIMOS), of which three are on the surface of planet Mars. He is member of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Missions Spirit and Opportunity. Currently his group builds devices for further space missions, among them to the Moon.


Prof. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt

KIT, Germany



Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt studied in Hamburg, obtained his PhD at ETH Zürich, worked as project leader at Haldor Topsoe/DK and was full professor in chemical engineering at DTU in Denmark, before he started in 2010 as institute director and full professor in chemical technology and catalysis at KIT ( His group works on heterogeneous catalysis and operando spectroscopy with focus on selective oxidation, chemical energy storage, sustainable chemistry, power-to-X processes, emission control and in situ/operando characterization of heterogeneous catalysts using especially synchrotron radiation. He is presently speaker of the initiatives “TrackAct” (CRC1441, and “DynaKat” (SPP2080, He is adj. professor at DTU and was visiting professor in Padua/Italy in 2022.


Prof. Erich A. Stach

University of Pennsylvania, USA



Eric Stach is the Robert D. Bent Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, a U.S. National Science Foundation sponsored Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. He received his B.S.E from Duke University, M.S.M.S.E. from the University of Washington, his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A at Stony Brook University. He has held positions as Staff Scientist and Principal Investigator at the National Center for Electron Microscopy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, then as Associate, and subsequently appointed Full Professor at Purdue University. Prior to his appointment at Penn he was a Group Leader at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory.  He is a Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Hummingbird Scientific and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Materials Research Society, and the Microscopy Society of America.