Applied Catalysis Award 2010 Winner


Martyn Twigg
Martyn Twigg, Johnson Matthey

For his pivotal and innovative role in creating new catalysts and catalytic processes for use in the automotive industry.


About the winner


Born in the Midlands attended local schools and studied chemistry and physics at Hull.  Then a PhD at Canterbury on reaction mechanisms of iron(II) complexes followed by post doctoral research at Toronto on metal-metal bonded carbonyls, and a fellowship at Cambridge on organometallic compounds - accidentally discovered important photochemical reactions of metal-metal carbonyls.

From Cambridge joined ICI Corporate Laboratory, Runcorn and later went to Agricultural Division at Billingham to work on catalysts for production of hydrogen, ammonia and methanol.  Worked on environmental control catalysts and invented catalysts and a process for destroying aqueous oxidising pollutants that is installed in several countries.  Later won a Queen's Award.

After a period on polymerisation catalysts with European Vinyls Corporation in America, joined Johnson Matthey as Technology Director in 1992 responsible for autocatalysts.  Steered development and commercialisation of key emissions control technologies including thermally durable catalysts for gasoline engines, and sulphur tolerant diesel oxidation catalysts.  Recent achievements include the compact catalysed soot filter for diesel cars that replaced several components by a small one containing catalysts to oxidise hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide during normal driving, and to periodically generate high temperature exotherms for controlled combustion of retained soot.  This won several awards including two Queen's Awards.

Authored or co-authored more than 200 research and review papers, co-authored a book on transition metal mediated organic syntheses and one on catalytic carbonylation.  Edited several volumes including the Catalyst Handbook, co-edits the Fundamental and Applied Catalysis series, has 150 published patent families on catalysts and catalytic processes.  Is the Chief Scientist at Johnson Matthey.