On occasion of the 10th European Symposium on Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, held in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Johannes Lerchner is honoured with the NETZSCH - GEFTA Award 2010. The prize acknowledges outstanding scientific and applicational work in the field of thermal analysis and calorimetry.
By attributing this scientific award to Johannes Lerchner, the German association for Thermal Analysis (GEFTA) appreciates predominantly a series of scientific and applicational work that started in 1993. In this period of 17 years, Johannes Lerchner worked at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the well-reputed Mining Academy in Freiberg/Saxonia. He dedicated his scientific activity to the development and testing of miniaturized calorimeters, the so-called chip calorimeters, and focused especially on its application for sensoric purposes. Johannes Lerchner closely cooperated with the group of Professor Göpel in Tübingen and contributed essentially to the development of the "electronic nose". Together with Professor Gert Wolf from Freiberg he designed calorimetric micro-cells and tested their application both for the detection of pollutants in air and for the enzymatic determination of chemicals, almost biochemicals, in liquids.
Parallel to the apparatus design of the chip calorimeters Johannes Lerchner developed and tested mathematical models for the digital data sampling in calorimetric measurements. An intense collaboration with the group of Professor Torra from the Barcelona university promoted these studies and included the joint direction of several Ph. D. works both at the Freiberg and the Barcelona university. One of the impressing results is a calorimetric measuring system that has been commercialized by Setaram (France).
During the last 10 years, Johannes Lerchner focused on the further perfection of the chip calorimetry and made special efforts for detecting very small sample amounts with very low time constants. This was the basic prerequisite for the use of chip calorimetry in biotechnology. Together with Dr. Maskow from the Environmental Research Center UTZ in Leipzig the real time detection of metabolic reactions in biofilms has been realized.
Johannes Lerchner obtained his academic formation from the University of Leipzig where he got his Ph. D. with a study entitled "Experimental determination of specific heats of vapours and vapour mixtures". The next 9 years he worked on calorimetry of inorganic systems in the group of Eberhard Hoyer at the Leipzig university. Simultaneously he made postgradual studies on microprocessor techniques at the Technical university Chemnitz and participated at the development of a calorimetric measuring equipment which was the basis for the long-lasting cooperation with Professor Gert Wolf in Freiberg. The results of this period were summarized in his habilitation which was obtained in 1990 with a thesis entitled "Signal treatment in calorimetric measuring systems". Later on he became Assistant professor at the Physical Chemistry Department in Freiberg.
The broad scientific and technical expertise of Johannes Lerchner as a calorimetrist and his multiple contributions to the rapidly developing field of chip calorimetry fully justify the honour to be decorated with the NETZSCH-GEFTA-Award 2010.
The Board of the German Association for Thermal Analysis congratulates Johannes Lerchner on this honour and wishes him and his family health and happiness as well as much success for all his personal and scientific activities.
On behalf of the GEFTA Board