Renè Hommelsheim at Day of Chemistry And he made it again: Renè Hommelsheim won the next award. This time, for the best “highlight lecture” on the “Day of Chemistry” on May 12, 2023. Congratulations!


Together with Professor Göttsche from the Physics Department of RWTH Aachen University, Professor Bolm is organizing a “Bürgerforum RWTHextern” seminar series on “Chemical Weapons”. On April 26, the first speaker was Dr. R. Trapp, who provided a general overview on the detection and verification of chemical warfare, which was very well received. The series will be continued on June 7 by a seminar given by Professor H. John on forensic proof of poisoning with chemical agents followed by Dr. A. Kane on June 23 discussing the role of diplomacy on the examination of the use of chemical weapons. Finally, a round table discussion will take place (on July 12) with contributions by Professor M. Göttsche, Dr. U. Jakob, Professor S. Nagel, and Dr. H.-G. Weinig.


Pupil Jasper Kamchen with AK Bolm group membersAlso this year, the AK Bolm welcomed a pupil from the St. Leonhard Gymnasium, Aachen: Jasper Kamchen (middle).
Arndt Collong, Marcus Becker, Renè Hommelsheim, Pierre Winandy, Tim Jansen, Susi Pohlmann and Lena Hanek (from left to right) took care of him and besides supporting us by lab work, he gained some insights in the bachelor studies and attended the AK Bolm group seminars for about two weeks.
We wish him all the best in the future – maybe as chemistry student at RWTH Aachen University.

Renè Hommelsheim and Dr. FordFriday 13 – a lucky day for Renè Hommelsheim!
At the New Year Symposium 2023, he was awarded the best poster prize for his presentation entitled “A Domino Reaction Approach for the Synthesis of Fused Triazolyl Benothidiazine-1-oxides” (together with co-authors Sandra Bausch, Arjuna Selvakumar, Mostafa M. Amer, Khai-Nghi Truong, Kari Rissanen, and Carsten Bolm). The picture shows him (left) together with Dr. Ford from Bayer AG (right) during the award ceremony.
Also this year, the New Year Symposium – the 15th in its series – was sponsored by Bayer AG (Crop Science), and with more than 120 participants it became a truly outstanding start of the New Year. The organizing committee (consisting of Christina Strauch, Shulei Pan, Benjamin Statham, Steffen Schauerte, and Calogero Quaranta) was able to gather a superb group of external speakers [Professor Helma Wennemers (ETH Zürich), Professor Edward Anderson (Oxford University), Professor Alan Spivey (Imperial College, London), and Dr. Torben Brömstrup (Bayer AG)], and together with a number of excellent internal presenters, this Friday 13 became a celebration of modern synthetic chemistry. Once again, many thanks to Bayer for the support and congratulation to Renè and his team for the award.



As part of the Bürgerforum RWTHextern series “Die RWTH erklärt den Nobelpreis 2022”, Professor Bolm gave a presentation entitled “Mit einem ‘Click’ zum Nobelpreis”. With about 100 participants, the lecture was very well received, and the subsequent discussion revealed a great interest of the general public in this subject. Let's see, which area will be awarded next year.

Francesco Puccetti (left) and Dr. Sanel Suljić from MagritekHighlighting the excellent collaboration between the Aachen-based company Magritek and the AK Bolm, Dr. Sanel Suljić from Magritek (right) gave an IOC seminar presenting an overview on the recent advances of their benchtop NMR machines. His presentation was complemented by a summary given by Francesco Puccetti (left), who described the progress achieved in the field of accelerated sublimation under mechanochemical conditions. There, the Magritek support has been very critical, and we very much thank the company for their generous support of our research. The first results have just been published.


Visit of the Umweltanalytisches ZentrumToday, November 24, the AK Bolm in conjunction with the AK Wiegand from the ITMC of RWTH Aachen University had an impressive tour in the “Umweltanalytisches Zentrum und Technikum”, Krefelder Straße. Professor Linnemann and his colleagues from the Institute of Environmental Engineering (ISA) guided us and explained the background of topics such as wastewater treatment, urban drainage, environmental analysis, water reuse, and resource management. It was most impressive, and we thank all of our hosts for the impressive time that they invested on us.


On October 28, Professor Bolm participated in the “Berufsstraße” of the Einhard-Gymnasium in Aachen and gave five short presentations describing possible professional pathways in chemistry. His reports were supported by information provided by the GDCh, and the respective distributed brochures were very well received. Aside, it was also a nice reunion with Asma Nikzad and Jisoo Roh from the Einhard-Gymnasium, who had visited the AK Bolm in June this year.


Francesco Puccetti showing his awardCongratulation: Francesco Puccetti won the “2nd Award” in the “Mechanochemistry Challenge 2022”!
Earlier this year, the Swiss company Deasyl announced a mechanochemistry challenge “open to all professionals and students working in the chemistry field whose projects use chemistry to tackle sustainability challenges”. As required, Francesco prepared and submitted a 180 seconds video (describing chemistry reported in Puccetti et al., ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020, 8, 7262) – and won! Congratulation for this great success!


What a number! Thanks to Lea Flecken we now know that Professor Bolm published 547 scientific articles together with 641 (individual) co-authors!


Renè Hommelsheim and Christian Schumacher at Lindau Nobel Laureate MeetingRenè Hommelsheim (left) and Christian Schumacher (right) send greetings from the 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (Chemistry). As Kekulé stipends, both were proposed for participation by the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and then selected by the meeting council. As such, they are among 600 young scientists from over 90 countries having the opportunity to meet more than 30 Nobel prize winners at this prestigious meeting.

Great news: Arndt Collong was selected by the Steering Committee of the MSE Profile Area and received the “MSE Master Award 2022” – with certificate and 500 € prize money – for his master thesis entitled “Synthesis of potential PROTAC-systems for the targeted degradation of PARP10”. Congratulations!

High recognition: Professor Bolm was elected to become member of the Academia Europaea, “The Academy of Europe”.

Visiting pupils of Einhard-Gymnasium with AK Bolm group memembersThe Bolm group welcomes Asma Nikzad (second from left) and Jisoo Roh (second from right), both from the Einhard-Gymnasium in Aachen, and is happy about their interest in organic chemistry. Asma and Jisoo stay for 10 days in our laboratories being guided and supported by Pierre Winandy (left) and Marco Passia (right).


Victoria Pfenning with her awardWonderful news: Victoria Pfennig received the “Award for the Best Highlight-Presentation on the Day of Chemistry 2022” – excellent and congratulations!


Professor Bolm at the Kreisgymnasium HeinsbergOn February 1, the series of presentations on the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 was continued. This time, Professor Bolm lectured – by Zoom – in the Kreisgymnasium Heinsberg, where he was hosted by Christina Bender. Also in this case, the links between the IOC and the school have been very long-lasting, with Christina Bender being an alumna of RWTH, teacher at the Kreisgymnasium Heinsberg, and a current doctoral student in the research group of Professor Bolm.


Visiting pupils of Bischöfliche Liebfrauenschule Eschweiler with Professor BolmThe alumni connection is working: On January 26, Martin Hillemacher, who was a student at RWTH Aachen University attending lectures by Professor Bolm, visited the IOC. He was accompanied by his chemistry “Leistungskurs” (intensive study course) of the Bischöfliche Liebfrauenschule Eschweiler. After a short presentation of the IOC, Professor Bolm discussed the background of the Nobel Prize 2021 and showed the visitors some of the laboratories.

Professor Bolm at the Einhard-Gymnasium in AachenOn January 21, Professor Bolm visited the Einhard-Gymnasium in Aachen. Being hosted by Mrs. Grimme, an RWTH alumna and former student of his chemistry class, he presented the background on the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 and encouraged the audience to chase for future scientific awards (also of this very particular kind).



Dr. José Hernández interviewed Professor Bolm (in his YouTube channel addressing Spanish-speaking students) focussing on questions of publishing, reviewing, and the future of writing manuscripts in general.


The AK Bolm participation in the PostEra initiative

On March 23 our group became aware of a research initiative called PostEra, which asked for contributions in designing inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. In the list of submitted molecules that were predicted to bind to the target protein structure through computational studies, we were pleased to find a series of compounds submitted by Dr. Davide Sabbadin, which precisely fell into our field of expertise: sulfoximines. Examples can be found here and here. Consequently, we contacted Dr. Sabbadin, and a highly fruitful discussion started. In order to progress rapidly, we initiated an AK Bolm Group Challenge intended to provide effective synthetic strategies for the suggested molecules. Several students from the Bolm group participated, and selected results can be found in the following list of documents:



Pupil Max Gottwald and Ulla WeißbachWe were visited by Max Gottwald (left), who is a pupil at the Evangelisches Gymnasium Bad Marienberg (Westerwald). Together with Ulla Weißbach he worked in our laboratories for two weeks, continuing his successful chemistry career that he had previously demonstrated in the International Chemistry Olympiad (where he reached the third round). Apparently, he is considering becoming a chemistry student – hopefully at RWTH Aachen University. All the best to Max!


The visit of Florian GröbnerFlorian Gröbner (right) from the Heilig-Geist-Gymnasium spent two weeks with us. Together with Victoria Pfennig (left) he experienced the “taste of organic chemistry” in our laboratories. For his future – perhaps even as a chemist – we wish him all the best!


From left to right: Steven Terhorst, Precious Ukhuegbe, Nicol del Rocio Kohl-Yupanqui, Patrik Jansen, and Christian SchumacherOur group was visited by three pupils from Einhard-Gymnasium, Aachen: Precious Ukhuegbe, Nicol del Rocio Kohl-Yupanqui, and Patrik Jansen (in lab coats, from left to right). They stayed two weeks in our labs being supervised by Steven Terhorst (left) and Christian Schumacher (right). During that time the three performed experiments, participated in the AK Bolm group events, and visited a “Vorlesung” on their last day. We wish them all the best in their future!


Pupil Niklas Bernhardt visits usNiklas Bernhardt, an eager pupil in 10th class from the St. Leonhard Gymnasium, Aachen, spent two weeks with us. Besides performing research in our labs, he also participated in the regular AK Bolm group events, seminars and lectures. Good luck for him in the future!



A group of pre-school kids from the Kindergarten “In den Küpperbenden” visited the Institute of Organic Chemistry on June 7. Together with three of their tutors, the 28 kids had a short introduction into the background of organic chemistry and a guided tour in the institute. Finally, they performed experiments and watched additional ones presented by Professor Bolm.



Julian Obst (16) from the Cornelius-Burgh-Gymnasium in Erkelenz did it again: Also in the next round of the young investigator competition (on state level at Bayer AG in Leverkusen on April 3–5) he was successful. With his project “Mechanochemie in der Ball Mill – Alternative Reaktionswege zur klassischen Synthese” he won a “Bayer Special Award” allowing him to stay at the “Bayer Science Teens Camp” entitled “Life Science und medizinische Gesundheitsfragen” in Denver, USA, for two weeks this summer. Congratulations!


Schüler Julian Obst erforscht die Mechanochemie in der KugelmühleWe congratulate Julian Obst (16) from the Cornelius-Burgh-Gymnasium in Erkelenz for winning the first prize in chemistry at a young investigator competition on March 7, 2017. In his project we had studied alternative reaction pathways under mechanochemical conditions, and during the preparation phase he enjoyed scientific advice from Dr. José Hernández (Institute of Organic Chemistry). Now, he will continue in a competition on state level (at Bayer AG in Leverkusen) on April 3–5. We wish him all the best and most success!

For further information, click here.


Newsletter-Text: Experimentieren am Römerhof