Helmut Schwarz (born 6 August 1943) is a German organic chemist. He has been a professor of chemistry at the Technische Universität Berlin since 1978, and president of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation since January 2008. In 2018, he was elected a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
Helmut Schwarz first learned to be a chemical technician and then went on to study chemistry in Berlin Chemie. He completed his studies in 1971 and obtained his PhD in 1972 and his Habilitation in 1974 under Ferdinand Bohlmann. He pursued post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in the UK, after which he became a professor at the TU Berlin in 1978. Schwarz studies chemical reactions, specifically gas phase chemistry of ionic and radical organic species. He is furthermore working on advancing the analytical capabilities of mass spectrometry.
From 2010 to 2015 he was president of the German Academy of Researchers Leopoldina and he is a member of acatech.
Honors and memberships
Schwarz was an editor of the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry from 1983 to 2010 and between 1990 and 1994 he was editor of Chemischen Berichte. He was part of the editorial board of Mass Spectrometry Reviews from 1990 to 2003, of Helvetica Chimica Acta (1990 to 2002), and of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (2007 to 2015).
He is a member of the following societies
- Akademie gemeinnütziger Wissenschaften zu Erfurt (since 1991)
- Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (since 1992)
- Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (since 1992)
- Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen (since 1997)
- Academia Europaea (since 1997)
- Estnische Akademie der Wissenschaften (since 2002)
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 2012)
- National Academy of Sciences (since 2018)
He has received numerous awards and honors, among them
- Otto-Klung-Weberbank-Preis (1980)
- Otto Bayer Prize (1989)
- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (1990)
- Max-Planck-Forschungspreis (1991, with Chava Lifshitz)
- Liebig Medal (1998)
- Prelog Medal (2000)
- Otto Hahn Prize (2003)
- Erwin Schrödinger Medal (2008)
- Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2012)
- Lichtenberg Medal (2012)
- Schrödinger Medal from the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC, 2015)
- Karl Ziegler Prize (2015)
- ENI award (2015)