Curriculum Vitae

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang A. Herrmann

Born April 18, 1948 in the city of Kelheim (Bavaria) as son of the teacher Ferdinand Herrmann and his wife Maria Herrmann.



Visit of high-school (mathematics major), final examination in 1967 ("excellent")

1967 - 1970

Study of chemistry at Technische Hochschule München, Fellow of the scholarship body of the German Catholic Episcopate (Cusanuswerk), final examination after 6 semesters ("excellent") . 

1970 - 1971 Diploma thesis supervised by Professor Ernst Otto Fischer at Technische Hochschule München on PH3-complexes of transition metals   
1973 Ph.D. ("excellent") at the Universität Regensburg (07/26/1973) supervised by Professor Henri Brunner on "Optically Active Transition Metal Complexes with Square-Pyramidal Geometry")
1975 - 1976 Research Fellow of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in the laboratory of Professor P. S. Skell (Pennsylvania State University/USA)
1978 "Habilitation" on "Organometallic Syntheses with Diazoalkanes" at the Universität Regensburg
1979 Declined offer from Pennsylvania State University/USA
1979 Professor at the Universität Regensburg, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (05/15/1979)
1982 Chair Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Universität Frankfurt/Main (01/01/1982)
1985 Chair Professor at the Technische Universität München in succession of Prof. Dr.h.c.mult. E.O. Fischer, Inorganic Chemistry (04/01/1985)
1988 & 1993
Declined offers for chair positions of Inorganic Chemistry at ETH Zürich, Switzerland
1993 Declined offer for Head position of Central Research HOECHST AG
1995-2019 President of the Technische Universität München (10/01/1995), Re-elected in 1999, 2005, 2007, 2013


More information about the life and activities
of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang  A. Herrmann:

Honors and Awards 1979-2003

1979 Chemistry Award of the Academy of Sciences at Göttingen
1979 Karl Winnacker-Fellowship of HOECHST AG (1979-1983)
1982 Otto Klung-Award, Berlin
1985 Arthur D. Little-Lectureship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
1987 Leibniz-Research Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
1987 Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Bordeaux and Toulouse, France
1987/88 Karl-Ziegler-Visiting Professorship at the Max Planck-Institute for Coal Research (Mülheim/Ruhr)
1988 Visiting Professorship at the University of Strasbourg
1989 Visiting Professorship at the University of Rennes
1989 Alexander von Humboldt-Award - of the french department for science honoring his German-French cooperation
1990 Elected Member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature at Mainz
1990 Otto Bayer-Award of BAYER AG, Leverkusen (jointly with K. P. C. Vollhardt, Berkeley, USA)
1990 Doctor honoris causa, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
1991 Frontiers in Chemistry Distinguished Lectureship, Texas A & M University, College Station/Texas (USA)
1991 Max Planck-Research-Award (jointly with J.-M. Basset, Lyon, France)
1992 Fellow of the Japanese Society of Promotion of Science (JSPS)
1992 Sammet-Visiting Professorship of HOECHST AG at the Universität Frankfurt/Main
1993 Inauguration of the Van der Kerk-Lectureship, Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, Netherlands
1993 Seaborg Lectureship at the University of California at Berkeley, USA
1994 Pino-Medal of the Società Chimica Italiana, Italy
1994 Iberdrola-Visiting Professorship of the Università Alcala de Henares Madrid, Spain
1995 Member of the National Academy of Natural Researcher Leopoldina, Halle
1995 Wilhelm Klemm-Award of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker
1995 Doctor honoris causa, Pannonia University of Veszprém, Hungary
1997 Bundesverdienstkreuz, Republic of Germany
1999 Doctor honoris causa, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC/USA
1999 Dr.-Arthur-Sease-Williams-Lectureship in Inorganic Chemistry, University of South Carolina, S. C. (USA)
2000 Luigi-Sacconi-Medal of the Societe Chimica Italiana (Italy)
2000 Werner Heisenberg-Medal of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation 
2000 Officier de l‘Ordre national de l‘Honneur of the French Republic
2002 Doctor honoris causa, Universidade Nova de Lisboa/Portugal
2002 "Großer Ehrenteller" of the Peutinger-Collegium, Munich
2003 Doctor honoris causa, Nanjing University of Science and Technology (China)
2003 Doctor honoris causa, University of Rennes (France)
Pictures from the award ceremony (click to enlarge):

Honors and Awards 2004-2006

2004 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry (American Chemical Society)
2004 "Initiativpreis 2004" from Stiftung Industrieforschung, Cologne (Germany)
2005 Doctor honoris causa, Technical University Timisoara (Romania)
2005 William Knight Lectureship, University of Ohio (USA)
2005 State Constitution Silver Medal of the State of Bavaria, Munich
2006 Doctor honoris causa, Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe University Frankfurt a. Main (Germany)
2006 Doctor honoris causa, Texas A&M University, College Station/Texas (USA)
Pictures from the Award Ceremony (with Prof. F. A. Cotton - 3.f.r.- and University President Robert M. Gates - 1.f.r.):

Honors and Awards 2007-2015

2007 B Bavarian State Medal, Munich(Germany)
2008 Doctor honoris causa, Bauman Moscow State Technical University (Russia)
2009 Doctor honoris causa, Tiflis State University (Tiflis, Georgia)
2009 University Manager of the Year
2010 "Goldene Bürgermedaille" of Freising (Golden outstanding citizen award medal)
2011 Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
2012 President of the Year
2012 Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
2013 Doctor honoris causa, Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore)
2014 Gold Medal of Honor of the Administrative District of Berchtesgadener Land
2015 Gold medal for services to the town of Garching (near Munich)
2015 Doctor honoris causa, Polytechnical University Bucharest (Romania)

Honors and Awards 2016-today

2016 Honorary Citizenship of the town of Burghausen
2016 Marvin D. Rausch-Lectureship in Organometallic Chemistry, Massachusetts University, Amhurst (USA)
2017 Medal for the Protection of Historical Monuments, State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments
2017 Member of the Senate of the Max Planck Society
2018 Golden Ring of Honor from the county of Altötting
2019 Georg Mauerer Medal in Gold of the Klinikum rechts der Isar, TUM university hospital
2021 Gold Medal of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU)



Publications / Lectures

  • 840 original papers in refereed journals (h-index: 102)
  • approx. 60 review articles
  • approx. 80 patents
  • 40 contributions for books
  • Book: "Catalysis from A to Z" (B.Cornils, W.A.Herrmann, R.Schlögl, C.H.Wong), VCH-Wiley, 4th edition, Weinheim 2013.
  • Book: "Multiphase Homogeneous Catalysis" (B. Cornils, W. A Herrmann, I. T. Horvath, W. Leitner, S. Mecking, H. Olivier-Bourbigou, D. Vogt), VCH-Wiley, 2005.
  • Book: "Applied Homogeneous Catalysis with Organometallic Complexes"A Comprehensive Handbook, 2nd Edition (B.Cornils/W.A. Herrmann, publisher), VCH-Wiley, vol .1&2, Weinheim, 2002, 3rd edition, Weinheim, 2018, 4th edition.
  • Book: "Aqueous-Phase Organometallic Chemistry " (B.Cornils/W.A. Herrmann, publisher), VCH-Wiley, 2nd edition, Weinheim, 2004.Ten volume series of monographs: "Synthetic Methods of Organometallic and Inorganic Chemistry", Vol. 1-10, Thieme-Verlag, Stuttgart, 1996-2000.
  • approx. 450 scientific lectures in and outside of Germany (mainly USA, UK, France, Switzerland, Australia)

Board Memberships and other activities

Journal of Organometallic Chemistry (since 1985)

Polyhedron (1985-1994)

Organometallics (1985-1990)

Journal of Cluster Science (since 1988)

Journal of Molecular Catalysis (since 1994)

Bulletin de la Sociéte Chimique de France (1991-1995)

Nachrichten aus Chemie, Technik und Laboratorium, Weinheim/Germany (1986-1993)

Catalysis Letters (since 1999)

Angewandte Chemie (since 1999)

Chemistry Letters (Japan) (2006-)

Editorial Advisory Board Journal of Organometallic Chemistry , Vice President of the German Chemical Society (1997-1999)

Board of directors of the Deutsches Museum München (since 1991, Chairman 1996-1998)

Chairman of Advisory Board of the Deutsches Museum, Munich (1998 - 2014)

Member of the Selection Committee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1984 - 2000)

Chairman of the German Chemical Society, Munich (1986-1988)

Member of "Kuratorium der Nachrichten aus Chemie, Technik und Laboratorium" (1986-1993)

Member of the Selection Committee of the German-Israeli MINERVA-Foundation (1987-1992)

Member of the Academic Senate of the Technische Universität München (1986-1990)

Dean of the Fakultät für Chemie, Biologie und Geowissenschaften of the Technische Universität München (1988-90)

Board member of the Bund der Freunde der Technischen Universität München e.V. (since 1989)

Board member of the Hans-Fischer-Gesellschaft e.V., München (since 1989)

Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board VIAG AG, Bonn/Berlin (1991-1996)

Member of "DECHEMA-Fachausschuß Chemische Reaktionstechnik" (1993-2003)

Member of the executive board of the DECHEMA Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Frankfurt (since 2004)

Board member of the Karl-Winnacker-Stiftung of HOECHST AG / Aventis (since 1994)

Member of "Präsidium des Wirtschaftsbeirats der Union e.V." (since 1996) and chairman of "Ausschuss Bildung und Wissenschaft" (since 1996)

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board "Katholische Akademie in Bayern" (1997-2005)

Member of "Kuratorium des Freundeskreises der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek" (since 1998)

Member of the Board of the Friedrich-Schiedel-Stiftung (since 1999)

Chairman of the State Research Council of Baden-Württemberg (1999-2003)

Board Member of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation. Member of "Engeres Kuratorium des Fonds der Chemischen Industrie" (since 2001)

Member of the Curatorship of the ifo institute (since 2003)

Lecturer at the German Institute of Science and Technology (founded 2002) in Singapore (GIST Singapore), Master course "Industrial Chemistry"

Acatech - German Academy for Technical Sciences  e.V. Member of Kuratoriums of Heinz-Naumann-Stiftung

Chairman of the Bavarian Rectors' Conference (2002-2004)

Founder and first Chairman of the "Universität Bayern e.V. (2004-2005)

Member of "Acatech e.V." - the Academy for Technological sciences Member of the Curatorship of the Max-Planck Institute of Physics (Werner-Heisenberg Institute) (since 2005)

Member of the International Advisory Council of the King Abdullah University of Science and Engineering (KAUST), Saudi-Arabia (since 2007)

Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) (2008 - 2014)

Member of the International Advisory Council of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi-Arabia (2009 - 2012)

Member of the "Zukunftsrat" (Coucil for Future Development) of the Bavarian Government (2010-2012)

Chairman of the TUM Universitätsstiftung (since its foundation in 2010) 

Member of the "Bund der Freunde der Technischen Universität München"

Chairman of the "Zukunftsrat" (Coucil for Future Development) of the Association of the Bavarian Economy e.V. (VBW; since 2014)

Members of the Board of Trustees of the TÜV-Süd Foundation (since 2014)

Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (since 2011)

Member of the Advisory Board of the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich (2011)

Member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy in Berlin (2013-2018)

Member of the International Academic Advisory Panel (IAAP), Ministry of Education, Singapore (since 2014)

Member of the Board of the Catholic University Eichstatt-Ingolstadt (since October 2015)


Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker

American Chemical Society

Görres-Gesellschaft zur Pflege der Wissenschaft

Acatech - Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften e.V.

Hans-Fischer-Gesellschaft e.V.

Rotary Club München-Schwabing

Freundeskreis des Deutschen Museums e.V.

Freundeskreis der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek e.V.

Heimatbund Garching a. d. Alz e.V.

Bund der Freunde der Technischen Universität München e.V. 

Spare time activities

Organ player (since 1965), among others in Essing/Altmühltal, Giggenhausen near Freising and Garching/Alz

Refounder and Head of the glee club "Einigkeit" in Giggenhausen near Freising

Chapel association St. Antonius Garching/Alz (Vorsitzender)

Conferences and Meetings

Chairman of the "XIVth International Symposium on Homogeneous Catalysis", Munich, 5.-12.7.2004

Organizer of the  "Königstein/Kreuth-Conferences" for Metallorganic Chemistry and its Borders (1985-1999, every two years)

Chairman of the "First Journal of Organometallic Chemistry Conference" (4./5. November 1993) in Munich

Research Networks

Initiator and Speaker of the Bavarian Research Network for Catalysis (FORKAT) (1994 - 2000)

Speaker of the International Graduate School NanoCat (Elite Network Bavaria, 2006 - 2013)