The 2023 Fischer-Wilkinson Prize – Award Ceremony at the XXV EuCOMC

Martin Albrecht presents the 2023 Fischer-Wilkinson Prize to Prof. Helmut Werner at the XXV EuCOMC in Alcalá de Henares, Spain (8 September 2023). From left to right: Martin Albrecht (EuChemS-DOM President), Helmut Werner, Marta Mosquera (XXV EuCOMC Chair).

Professor Stanisław Pasynkiewicz (1930-2021) – our obituary

With great sadness, we announce that the founding father of our Division, Professor Stanisław Pasynkiewicz, has passed away on 15 November 2021. He was a pioneer of organometallic chemistry in Poland. He also served as the Chairman of Division of Organometallic Chemistry of the FECS/EuChem for over 25 years (1974 – 2001) and remained the Honorary Chairman afterwards.

Professor Stanisław Pasynkiewicz graduated from the Warsaw University of Technology in 1956 and obtained his Ph.D. degree (1960) based on a thesis entitled ‘The synthesis of organoaluminium compounds and the explanation of the role of bromine and iodine as activators of aluminium’. He was the first who postulated that an “Al‑X” active species played a crucial role in the synthesis of aluminium alkyls from aluminium and alkyl halides. The existence of such species was experimentally confirmed many years later. At that time he was fascinated by Ziegler catalysts for olefin polymerisation and this led to his long lasting research interest in the synthesis, properties and structures of organoaluminium compounds. His research in the field of organoaluminium compounds gave him worldwide recognition. In the 1970’s the main subjects of his research interest were the synthesis, structure and properties of alumoxanes. He first applied alumoxanes as components of Ziegler type catalysts for olefin polymerisation. The only difference between his and the well-known Kaminsky catalyst was the use of ethyl- instead of methylalumoxanes. Then, he became particularly interested in studying the reactivity of {CpNiR} species in the presence of olefins.

Another important aspect of Professor Pasynkiewicz’s activities was the promotion of science. In 1969 he organised the first Polish – German Colloquium on Organometallic Chemistry. Since then, 21 colloquia in this series have been organised, alternately in Poland and in Germany (formerly in the GDR). These colloquia have been particularly important because they allowed organometallic chemists from the former GDR and other Eastern European countries to have contacts with the most distinguished scientists from all over the world for many years.

Since 1973 Professor Pasynkiewicz has been active in the Federation of European Chemical Societies. In 1974 he was the initiator of the FECS Working Party on Organometallic Chemistry and has been elected the chairman of this body since then. In 1976, upon instigation by the FECS Working Party on Organometallic Chemistry, Prof. Pasynkiewicz organised a European Conference on Organometallic Chemistry in Poland. It was the first of the series of FECHEM Conferences on Organometallic Chemistry, the biggest and the most popular meetings of organometallic chemists in Europe. For his activities within the Federation of European Chemical Societies Professor Pasynkiewicz received the FECS Award and Honorary Medal in 1987. He has been a member of the International Advisory Board of the International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry for many years. He organised such conference in 1992 in Warsaw. All these activities made Professor Pasynkiewicz one of the best-known figures in the community of organometallic chemists. His open-minded and open-hearted personality made him many friends on all continents.