Maxime Van den Bossch
Physics Doctor Maxime Van den Bossche has been awarded The Best Thesis Award 2017 by the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology. He has contributed to a knowledge-platform that can be valuable anywhere where catalysts are used.
​Image: Matthias Vandichel

Awarded for his work on engine pollution control

​Reducing pollution from engine exhaust is an important and very challenging task in our society. Physics Doctor Maxime Van den Bossche has worked out models that explain how molecules “dance” on the surfaces during catalytic reactions. This knowledge can be used to understand how the exhaust from natural gas engines can be cleaned efficiently.
Recently, Maxime Van den Bossche’s work was awarded The Best Thesis Award 2017 by the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology – the department where he defended his doctoral thesis last spring.

"His work is an impressive mix of theory development, computations and experimental collaborations all combined to help solving an important environmental issue," says Henrik Grönbeck, Professor of Physics at Chalmers and main supervisor of Maxime Van den Bossche.

During his time at Chalmers, Maxime contributed to a knowledge-platform that can be valuable anywhere where catalysts are used.  For example, several insights can be of interest for the chemical, transportation and oil industries. His model has already been used for analysing engine exhaust from ships and his work is of importance for leading engine manufacturers and operators.

He  has also contributed with a substantial amount of peer-reviewed publications, many of which were a collaboration between experimental and theoretical teams.

“I’m happy that my thesis can be useful – both for society and for researchers in my field. It was very rewarding to write the thesis and of course it’s nice to get this additional appreciation and an award for the hard work too, “expresses Maxime, who has been working at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik after he finished his studies at Chalmers. 

He has recently started a post-doc position at the Department of Chemistry at Brown University in Rhode Island, USA. He will be working to provide a better understanding of the electro-reduction of carbon dioxide.

“It’s a challenging type of research, with many new topics for me to learn, and I’m really looking forward to it!”

Maxime Van den Bossche defended his doctoral thesis at Chalmers University of Technology in March 2017. The work was conducted at the Competence Centre for Catalysis and the Division of Chemical Physics at the Department of Physics. The title of the thesis is "Methane oxidation over palladium oxide - From electronic structure to catalytic conversion". Read the abstract here.

Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se

The Best Thesis Award at the Department of Physics 

The prize was founded in 2013 and is awarded annually to one or several doctoral students who have defended their thesis during that year. Besides the honor, the winner also gets a diploma and a monetary prize of SEK 10.000. The prize committee consists of researchers from every division within the department.

The members of this year’s committee were Riccardo Catena, Paolo Vinai, Paul Erhart, Arkady Gonoskov, Marianne Liebi, Björn Agnarsson, Jonathan Weidow, Philippe Tassin, Igor Zoric and Timur Shegai.

The prize committee about the awarded thesis 2017:

 " Maxime Van den Bossche has written an exceptionally good thesis. The structure of the thesis, well-written story, coherent flow of information, combined with a pedagogical description of the topic, make it a good read for anyone who would like to learn more about DFT. During his PhD project, Maxime has also contributed with a substantial amount of peer-reviewed publications, many of which were a collaboration between experimental and theoretical teams. Altogether, this made us choosing Maxime's work for the best PhD thesis award this time. The prize committee sincerely congratulates both Maxime and his supervisor Henrik Grönbeck with this achievement and wishes them success in the future."


Published: Tue 30 Jan 2018. Modified: Tue 06 Feb 2018