TUM Ambassador Matteo Maestri in his lab at the Politecnico di Milano.

During his stay at TUM, TUM Ambassador Professor Dr. Matteo Maestri received key impetus for his research on Chemical Catalysis. His project has since been funded twice by the European Research Council (ERC) (photo: Lia Tagliavini / Politecnico di Milano).

Alumni doing research
TUM Ambassador Matteo Maestri
“My multicultural network is one of the greatest blessings of my profession”
20. May 2022
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In his laboratory at the Politecnico di Milano, TUM Ambassador Matteo Maestri is doing research on chemical processes. He is equally dedicated to helping the next generation of scientists to network.
Chemical Engineering has a long tradition in Prof. Dr. Matteo Maestri’s family. His grandfather, father and older brother all have degrees in the subject. “Already as a child, I found science and the observation and understanding of natural phenomena exciting,” Matteo Maestri says. “Particularly the transformation processes of chemical substances.”

TRENDSETTING RESEARCH

For almost fifteen years, Matteo Maestri has been conducting research at the Politecnico di Milano. His research domain is Catalysis, and thus the precise configuration of the potentials, the rate and the development of chemical reactions.

The chemical process engineering of catalysis is of central importance to society and affects our daily lives. Catalytic oxidation is for example used in vehicle silencers to reduce noise and lower nitrogen dioxide levels. Chemical catalysis will also play a decisive role in the transition to renewable energies and the development of new production processes for the sustainable use of energy resources. It can be used to convert hydrocarbons into hydrogen and thus to develop fuels that are energy-efficient and conserve resources.

TUM Ambassador Matteo Maestri in front of the Operando Raman Apparatus he developed.

With the help of what is known as the Operando Raman Apparatus, TUM Ambassador Matteo Maestri can analyze catalytic processes more effectively. Chemical Catalysis is of vital importance for the transition to renewable energies (photo: Lia Tagliavini / Politecnico di Milano).

With the help of what is known as the Operando Raman Apparatus, TUM Ambassador Matteo Maestri can analyze catalytic processes more effectively. Chemical Catalysis is of vital importance for the transition to renewable energies (photo: Lia Tagliavini / Politecnico di Milano).
VIBRANT SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY

In addition to his great passion, Chemistry, interpersonal relationships hold great importance in Matteo Maestri’s life. He is grateful for the professional and human inspiration he draws from his daily work with his team and students at the Politecnico di Milano. He also emphasizes the added value he has been able to gain from his collaborations with researchers at universities in the U.S. and Germany as a visiting researcher. Quite a few of them are now among his circle of friends. “This multicultural network that I have been able to build over the years in different parts of the world is one of the greatest blessings of my profession,” he says.

My stay at TUM played a crucial role in the development of my research program.

It was his enthusiasm for scientific exchange that led Matteo Maestri to TUM. In 2011, he came to Munich for six months as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. His stay was beneficial in more ways than one. Matteo Maestri found it enriching to be able to work with TUM’s experts in the field of Chemical Catalysis, with his host Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter, as well as with Prof. Dr. Olaf Hinrichsen and Prof. Dr. Johannes Lercher. To this day, these scientists are among his important contacts in the international Chemistry community.

Collaborating with them gave Matteo Maestri key impetus for directing his research focus. The scientists included kinetic simulations in their investigations. By coupling spectroscopy and kinetic measurements with the help of what is known as the Operando Raman Apparatus, catalytic processes can now be analyzed more effectively. “My stay at TUM played a crucial role in the development of my research program,” Matteo Maestri says. “It was a cornerstone for my further scientific career at the Politecnico di Milano.”

EXTRAORDINARY COMMITMENT

In 2021, Matteo Maestri received the honorary title of TUM Ambassador from TUM President Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann. The award also acknowledges his commitment to the cooperation between the two universities, for example in the framework of the European Talent Academy. This academy, which was organized by TUM Brussels for the first time in 2020/2021, provides young researchers with an ideal platform to get connected with the European research landscape and network.
At the academy’s events, Matteo Maestri is all passion for informing people about the benefits of a strong network – and sets an inspiring example with his scientific successes. He considers the education and support of young people to be one of the main duties of his profession. “It is a joy to see young students develop into professional scientists and engineers,” he emphasizes. “I, too, am constantly developing along with them.”

TUM Ambassador Matteo Maestri.

Matteo Maestri (Picture: Lia Tagliavini / Politecnico di Milano).

Prof. Dr. Matteo Maestri

TUM Ambassador 2021

 

In 2004, Matteo Maestri graduated from the Politecnico di Milano with a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. In 2008, he completed a PhD in Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Since 2019, he has been Professor of Chemical Engineering at his alma mater, conducting research on Catalysis and Kinetics, Multiscale Modeling, and Chemical Reaction Engineering. The passionate chemist places great importance on scientific collaborations across countries and disciplines. He was a visiting scientist at the University of Delaware, USA and at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin. Here, he conducted research together with Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. When Reuter moved to TUM, Matteo Maestri joined him in Munich to continue his research at the TUM Catalysis Research Center.
Matteo Maestri has received several awards for his pioneering research and has won a considerable number of fellowships and grants. Most recently, he was awarded the Proof of Concept Grant by the European Research Council. In 2021, he was given the honorary title of TUM Ambassador by TUM President Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann. For Matteo Maestri, family and friends are very important in his life. In his free time, he enjoys sports and playing the piano.