for the presentation of the NETZSCH-GEFTA Award 2006

to Prof. Dr. Francis Stoessel

On occasion of the 9th European Symposium of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, Prof. Dr. Francis Stoessel is honoured with the NETZSCH-GEFTA Award 2006.

For nearly 20 years now, Professor Stoessel has been working on chemical process safety analysis, a research field being closely related to the use of calorimetric and thermoanalytical methods. Today, he is a widely known expert in this field and a classification procedure for the hazard assessment of chemical processes - nowadays named the Stoessel Index - represents a standard procedure which is utilized in many chemical companies.

Outstanding, however, and one of the major reasons for the decision of the GEFTA board, is his work regarding the development of a novel micro reactor-based calorimeter. In the last years multiple activities in the chemical industry were directed to the safe handling of highly exothermic processes in continuous reactors. The new calorimeter developed by Professor Stoessel is an excellent tool for the investigation of such processes allowing for the thermal and kinetic characterization of fast exothermic reactions.

A further topic of his work is the development of tools based on reaction calorimetry for the optimization of chemical processes with respect both to economy and safety. A special focus is directed towards the discontinuous production of speciality chemicals in a multi-purpose equipment.

The results of his research are documented in a multitude of publications and lectures.

Professor Stoessel was born in Mulhouse in Alsace in 1952. He obtained the diploma of chemical engineer of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse in 1975, then in 1978 the title of Doctor-Engineer in Physical Chemistry. In 1978, he started his professional career at Ciba-Geigy in Basle. He occupied several posts as an engineer at the central service of chemical engineering. In 1982, he was appointed part-time lecturer at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse, and was in charge of the lecture course "Chemical engineering of reaction techniques". In 1992, he was named on the director's board of the Thermal Safety department grouping the safety laboratories of Ciba, later Novartis. During this period he had the occasion to deal with a multitude of industrial processes and focused on the methodology of studying and debugging of safe processes. The methodology developed in his laboratory is now considered as a model and was adopted by many companies. Today, the Basle laboratories are part of the Swiss Institute of Safety and Security (SWISSI). Additional to his work in Basle he was appointed full professor at the Institute of chemical science and engineering of Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in 1996.

Apart from his scientific work, Professor Stoessel is also very busy in the organizational scientific field: he took part in the organization of several national and international congresses, is active in many scientific organisations and working groups (e.g. Dechema, IChemE) and is a member of the board of STK, the Swiss society for Thermal analysis and Calorimetry.

The Board of the German Society for Thermal Analysis congratulates Professor Francis Stoessel on the honour of obtaining the NETZSCH-GEFTA 2006 award and wishes him and his family health and happiness as well as much success for all his personal and scientific endeavours.

On behalf of the GEFTA Board
Michael Feist

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