Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Materials – LMOM

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Prof. Holger Frauenrath

Education and Postdoctoral Research Experience

Diploma studies in chemistry (RWTH Aachen, Germany, “mit Auszeichnung”)
  • diploma thesis supervisor Prof. Hartwig Höcker
  • kinetic and mechanistic aspects of the olefin polymerization with zirconocene catalysts
PhD thesis on polymer chemistry (RWTH Aachen, Germany, “summa cum laude”)
  • supervisor Prof. Hartwig Höcker
  • (co)polymerization of olefins and functionalized monomers with zirconocene catalysts
Postdoctoral research at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA
  • supervisor Prof. Samuel I. Stupp
  • self-assembly of segmented molecules for nanostructured materials

Professional Experience

Group leader at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • started with a group of two PhD students, funded by an Emmy Noether startup fellowship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • initiated a research program on hierarchically structured polymer materials; investigated synthetic glycopolymers and polymerizations in self-assembled aggregates
  • taught three mandatory BSc classes in organic chemistry and five MSc classes in polymer science; supervised three MSc theses, six BSc theses, >80 student research projects
Group leader at the Department of Materials, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • expanded the group to four PhD students, funding from ETH Zürich and competitive research grants from ETH Zürich as well as the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNFS)
  • established a research program on hierarchically structured polymer materials, with a focus on multiple-helical π-conjugated polymers and diacetylene polymerizations
  • taught three optional MSc classes in polymer science; supervised six MSc theses, as well as 16 BSc theses and student research projects
  • Habilitation with venia legendi in Organic & Macromolecular Chemistry
Tenure-track assistant professor at the Institute of Materials, EPFL, Switzerland
  • established a group of up to eight PhD students and three postdocs, funding from EPFL, an ERC Starting Investigator grant, competitive research grants, and industry partners
  • established an interdisciplinary research program on hierarchically structured polymer materials, carbon nanomaterials, as well as organic electronic materials
  • taught four mandatory BSc classes on organic chemistry for materials science students, eight optional MSc classes on polymer materials, and organic electronic materials; supervised nine MSc theses, and 25 student semester projects

Awards and Honors

Springorum Medal of RWTH Aachen, Germany in recognition of a diploma with distinction (“mit Auszeichnung”)
Borchers Medal of RWTH Aachen, Germany in recognition of an outstanding PhD thesis with the grade “summa cum laude”
Feodor Lynen Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a two-year postdoctoral research project
Emmy Noether Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) competitive startup grant for beginning independent scientists
Student Award for the Best Teaching in 2003 at the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy at Freie Universität Berlin
Nomination as a Finalist for the European Young Chemist Award in recognition of highly innovative contributions on multiple-helical π-conjugated polymers
Reimund Stadler Award 2008 of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GdCh) in recognition of highly innovative research in the field of macromolecular chemistry
European Research Council (ERC) Starting Investigator Award and Grant startup grant for a five-year research program on organic electronics and carbon nanomaterials
Rodolphe and Renée Haenny Prize of the Société Académique Vaudoise (SAV) in recognition of important achievements in the field of materials science

Supervision and Mentoring

  • I have supervised 15 PhD students in total (12 at EPFL). 10 PhD students have meanwhile successfully defended their PhD theses (7 at EPFL). My former PhD student Stephen Schrettl has been nominated by the thesis jury for the EPFL Doctorate Award 2015 (best two PhD theses at EPFL across all disciplines; decision pending), and my former PhD student Roman Marty was nominated for the Professor René Wassermann Award 2015 (best PhD thesis in Materials Science; decision pending).
  • I have supervised 18 MSc theses (9 since my move to EPFL) and >120 BSc theses, student research projects, and semester projects (>80 at FU Berlin, 16 at ETH Zürich, 25 at EPFL). My MSc student Jan Gebers received the ETH Medal for his MSc thesis (top 2% of the MSc theses at the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zürich), and my MSc student Sonja Neuhaus was awarded the Willi-Studer-Preis for the best MSc student at the Department of Materials at ETH Zürich.
  • I am mentor to Dr. Giuseppe Sforazzini, a senior scientist in our laboratory with his own startup funding (SNFS Ambizione grant) since 2013; I have mentored 7 postdocs, and one EPFL engineer.

Visibility, Services, and Other Professional Activites

  • author of 29 research articles and 8 reviews in peer-reviewed journals, 3 book chapters, 24 other publications, and 4 patents; current h-index 16.
  • 15 invited lectures at international conferences, 67 invited talks at seminars and workshops, 11 oral presentations at conferences.
  • invited speaker at the European Science Foundation (ESF) “Precision Polymer Materials” Network winter school (Zakopane, Poland) in 2014, the Erlangen winter school (Kirchdorf, Austria) in 2013, the EPFL-Tokyotech winter schools (Hakone, Japan and Chateau d’Oex, Switzerland) in 2010 and 2011, and the DFG summer school on “Molecular Nanostructures” (Bad Herrenalb, Germany) in 2006.
  • member of the doctoral program committee in materials science and engineering (école doctorale de science et génie des matériaux, EDMX) at EPFL since 2009; responsible for pre-selection and interviewing of candidates, and for quality control in first year candidacy examinations and PhD defenses.
  • jury president, scientific expert, or supervisor in 10 PhD thesis defenses, 29 PhD candidacy examinations (first-year PhD qualifying exams), 6 progress report examinations, and 5 MSc defenses at EPFL; scientific expert or supervisor in 13 final PhD thesis defenses at ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Université de Fribourg (Switzerland), TU Delft (The Netherlands), ESPCI Paristech (France), Université Laval (Québec, Canada).
  • member of the materials science and engineering teaching committee (commission d’enseignement de la section de science et génie des matériaux, CEMX) at EPFL since 2012; responsible for the development of the BSc and MSc teaching programs; student council (conseil d’etudes) 2013–2015, mentoring a class of students from first to third year.
  • member of the search committee for the open faculty position for a tenure-track assistant professor in biomaterials research in 2014.
  • initiated and established the “Advances in Materials” seminar as the official seminar series of the Institute of Materials since 2011; organized 87 talks of international speakers with an overall audience of >4’000 people at EPFL; the seminars reached an audience of >80 people per event on average in fall 2014.
  • initiated the “EPFL Materials Science and Engineering Distinguished Lecture” as an award of the Institute of Materials to an internationally renowned scientist since 2014; the first award lecture in 2014 was attended by >300 people from different disciplines and institutes at EPFL.
  • co-organizer of the 3rd International Dendrimer Symposium (Berlin, Germany) in 2003; co-organizer of the Swiss Chemical Society Polymer Division meeting (Zürich, Switzerland) in 2008; session chair at the 2nd Sino-German Frontiers of Chemistry Symposium (Beijing, China) in 2008.
  • represented the Institute of Materials of EPFL at several meetings with industry delegations, including Michelin (France), Bühler AG (Switzerland), BASF SE (Germany), PPG (USA), EMS-Chemie AG (Switzerland), Nitto Denko (Japan/Belgium).
  • peer-reviewed >120 articles for various publishing houses, including Nature Publishing Group (NPG), American Chemical Society (ACS), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and Wiley-VCH; peer-reviewed >30 grant applications for various funding agencies, including the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNFS, Switzerland), European Research Council (ERC, European Union), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Germany), l’Agence National de la Recherche (ANR, France), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, UK), Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO, Belgium), Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO, The Netherlands), Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF, Austria), Israel Science Foundation (ISF).
  • consultant and expert in a patent dispute for EMS-Chemie AG (Switzerland).

Contact Information

Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Materials

MXG 037
Station 12
1015 Lausanne
+41 21 693 7395

News & Highlights

  • - Reuben Yeo joined the group as a postdoc.
  • - Alexis Claveau joined the group as a PhD Student.
  • - Nicolas Candau joined the group as a postdoc.