Walter Leitner obtained his doctorate with Prof. Henri Brunner at Regensburg University in 1989 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. John M. Brown at the University of Oxford. After some ten years of research within the Max-Planck-Society, he was appointed Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry at RWTH Aachen University in 2002. He is External Scientific Member of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung and Scientific Director of CAT, the joint Catalysis Research Center of RWTH Aachen and the Bayer Company.
His research interests are focussed on the molecular and reaction engineering principles of catalysis as related to sustainable chemical processes. He serves as the Chairman of the Editorial board of the Journal “Green Chemistry” published by the Royal Society of Chemistry since 2004. The contributions of his research team have received several recognitions including the Otto-Roelen-Medal of DECHEMA (2001), the Wöhler-Award of the German Chemical Society (GDCh, 2009), and the European Sustainable Chemistry Award of EuCheMS (jointly with Prof. J. Klankermayer, 2014).