This award was established in 2012 by a generous gift from the Hungarian Technology company ThalesNano Inc. to acknowledge the key role that flow chemistry plays in improving chemical processes. The prize of 7500 USD goes to an internationally recognized scientist whose activities or published accounts have made an outstanding contribution to the practice of flow chemistry. ThalesNano also provides support for travel by the recipient to the prize ceremony. The prize is awarded biannually, and ThalesNano will provide the funds for the first 10 years.
Professor Ley receives this award for his outstanding contribution and creative work in methodologies for organic synthesis, especially in multi-step synthesis in continuous flow chemistry reactor systems. With his work in flow chemistry, published in over 80 papers, Prof. Ley contributed several landmark discoveries. His success has also been fueled by continued instrument development in flow chemistry with commercial organizations.
Flow chemistry focuses on synthesis of functional molecules, which plays an important role in modern society. However, the labor intensive and wasteful synthesis practices of the past are no longer acceptable. Prof. Ley began a campaign in the early 1990s to develop enabling technologies to improve the synthesis process. By demonstrating the power of immobilized reagents and scavengers he was able to achieve multi-step synthesis in a clean fashion, avoiding the wasteful practices of chromatographies, crystallizations, distillations, and water washes or extraction. He demonstrated that these systems could be incorporated with automation into continuous flow processes to achieve multi-step synthesis with minimum purification and work up.
Prof. Ley has received more than 50 major prizes and awards, many distinguished named lectureships and visiting professorships. He has served in many international and national appointments and committees.