|Born||23 February 1925|
|Died||9 December 2016(aged 91)|
|Known for||Organo-Nickel Chemistry|
|Awards||Willard Gibbs Award (1991)|
Wilhelm Exner Medal (1980).
|Institutions||Max Planck Institute for Coal Research|
Günther Wilke (23 February 1925 – 9 December 2016) was a German chemist who was influential in organometallic chemistry. He was the director of the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung) from 1967–1992, succeeding Karl Ziegler in that post. During Wilke’s era, the MPI made several discoveries and achieved some financial independence from patents and a gift from the Ziegler family. The institute continued as a center of excellence in organometallic chemistry.
Wilke’s own area of interest focused on homogeneous catalysis by nickel complexes. His group discovered or developed several compounds including Ni(1,5-cyclooctadiene)2, Ni(allyl)2, Ni(C2H4)3. Some of these complexes are useful catalysts for the oligomerization of dienes. He died in 2016 at the age of 91.
Honours and awards
- Seven honorary doctorates
- corresponding member of the math and science class abroad
- Wilhelm Exner Medal in 1980.
- Former Vice President of the Max Planck Society (1978-1990)
- Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Science (President 1994-1997)
- Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Halle
- Member of the Academia Europaea
- Foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1977)
- Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
- President of the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker)
- Chairman of the Society of German Scientists and Physicians
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1987)
- Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.
- History of the Max-Planck-Institute (German)
- Wilke, G. (1988). "Contributions to Organo-Nickel Chemistry". Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English. 27: 185–206. doi:10.1002/anie.198801851.
- "Günther Wilke (1925 – 2016)". ChemistryViews.org. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "Professor Dr. rer. nat., Dr. Eh., Dr. h.c. mult. Günther Wilke". Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016.
- "G.W. Wilke". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
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