Piet van Leeuwen
received his PhD at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1967, and joined Royal Dutch Shell for twenty six years on the field of homogeneous catalysis (from 1979 head of the "fundamental aspects of homogeneous catalysis and organometallic chemistry section). During this period, he discovered catalysts for hydroformylation reactions that remain the industry standard. Van Leeuwen initiated and led the homogeneous catalysis group at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and held the chair of Industrial Homogeneous Catalysis at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In 2004, he moved to ICIQ, where he holds the position of Group Leader. He was the first chemist to publish research on the use of dendrimers in catalysis and is a pioneer in “sustainable chemistry” thanks to his studies on the selectivity, recovery and stability of catalysts.
In 2005 he was honored with the Holleman Prize by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 2006 to 2009 he held a Marie Curie Chair of Excellence in the ICIQ. In 2009 he received a doctorate honoris causa from the University Rovira I Virgili. He was awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant for his project "A New Vision on Nanocatalysts, NanosOnWings” in 2009.