Marcel Risch

Affiliation: Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH, DE

Keywords: Sustainable energy, Renewable energy, Green hydrogen, Hydrogen economy, Solar fuels, Artificial photosynthesis, Electrochemical Energy storage and conversion, Fossil-free chemicals, Electrocatalysis, Energy materials, Energy electrochemistry, Materials science, X-ray spectroscopy, Spectroelectrochemistry, Operando spectroscopy, Reaction mechanism

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Marcel Risch studied physics at the Technical University Darmstadt (Germany) and the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) where he worked on plasma ion implantation for materials modification. He moved to Berlin in 2008 to begin his doctoral studies on artificial photosynthesis under the guidance of Prof. Holger Dau at Free University Berlin (Germany). In Berlin, Marcel also deepened his interest in chemistry by joining the Berlin Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Engineering (BIG NSE) of the cluster of excellence “Unifying Concepts in Catalysis” (UniCat). After receiving his doctorate in 2011 with the highest distinction (summa cum laude), he joined the Electrochemical Energy Lab (EEL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology headed by Prof. Yang Shao-Horn to develop oxide nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion, in particular low temperature oxygen electrocatalysis, and to advance operando X-ray spectroscopy. In 2015, Marcel returned to Germany for a postdoc position at the Institute of Materials Physics University of Goettingen to combine his passions for physics, materials and energy research in the group of Prof. Christian Jooss and within the collaborative research centre (CRC/SFB) 1073 “Atomic scale control of energy conversion”. He became a junior group leader the following year. In 2019, Marcel moved back to Berlin where he leads the young Investigator group “Oxygen Evolution Mechanism Engineering” (NOME) funded by the ERC Starting Grant ME4OER. The oxygen evolution reaction by water oxidation is the starting point of the value chain for the production of sustainable fuels and fossil-free chemicals. His vision is drawing an accuate “hiking map” for the energy landscape of this reaction so that the most favorable path can be chosen by materials design.

The bandwidth of Marcel’s published works spans electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, aqueous metal-air batteries, non-aqueous metal-air batteries, electrosynthesis of fuels, and aqueous supercapacitors. He has received the Carl Ramsauer Prize of the Physical Society of Berlin and the Hans-Jürgen Engell Prize of the International Society of Electrochemistry where he is an active member and was the coordinator of symposium 18 of the 71th annual meeting.