Each September The Chromatographic Society executive awards committee convenes to discuss the award of their Jubilee and Martin medals for the following year.  The Martin Medal is named after Professor A.J.P. Martin who together with Richard Synge received the Noble Prize for Chemistry in 1952 for their seminal work on partition chromatography. The ‘Martin Medal’ is the highest honour the Society confers. Indeed, it is recognized by the international chromatography community as being one of highest accolades that can be bestowed upon a chromatographer and is awarded to scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of separation science.

The nominations for the Martin Medal category for 2020 were extremely strong and included a number of highly prominent separation scientists. The Chromatographic Society is now pleased to announce that Professor Gert Desmet from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), will be awarded the Martin Medal for 2020. The award has been made in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of fundamental chromatographic theory.

Professor Desmet is a full professor in chemical engineering, heading the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium.  He is an author of over 300 peer reviewed scientific papers, 11 patent applications and promotor of 35 PhD students.  During his career Professor Desmet received numerous scientific awards, among others the Nanotech-Montreux Award (1999), most innovative scientist awarded at the HTC conference (2004), Desty Memorial award (2006), Emerging Leader in Chromatography awarded by LCGC magazine (2008), the Agilent Technologies Award from the Agilent Technologies foundation (2008), The Chromatographic Society Silver Jubilee Medal (2009), JFK Huber Lecture Award from the Austrian Society for Analytical Chemistry (2017), Istvan Halasz Medal award from the Hungarian Society for Separation Sciences (HSSS) (2019) and American Chemical Society Award for Chromatography (2019).  He is currently an Associate Editor of “Analytical Chemistry”, a journal of the American Chemical Society.  Apart from his outstanding contribution to the advancement of fundamental chromatographic theory, development of chromatographic process simulation approaches Prof Desmet’s recent research work led to the development of micro-pillar array columns and other miniaturized separation techniques.

Professor Desmet is well known in the academic community and his engagement either directly or through the work of his students has had a substantial impact on the development of chromatographic science. He is often seen at the major scientific events and his approachable manner and ability to communicate with the next generation of scientists at all levels is something that the awards committee responded to well.