Professor Volker Sieber 
Technical University of Munich. 

Event Details
4.00pm - 5.00pm: Lecture by Prof. Volker Sieber
5.00pm - 6.00pm: Refreshments and networking

The utilization of biomass and renewable energy for the production of chemical building blocks and carriers of energy are key aspects of a sustainable bioeconomy. For this to succeed enabling chemistry and biotechnology have to join forces in the development of efficient conversion processes. Several academic and technical examples are presented in this lecture.

Firstly, we will focus on carbohydrates, the most abundant biogenic raw material. The design of non-natural enzymatic reaction cascades allows transformation of various carbohydrates into various added-value products, including industrial alcohols and olefins. By stabilizing enzymes to work in organic solvents or to perform non-natural reaction problems like expensive product purification from aqueous systems can be overcome.

Secondly, terpenes are accumulated as byproducts from the pulp and paper industry. Here, I will discuss how monoterpenes such as pinene and caren can be converted into chiral monomers, which are useful for the production of chiral polyamides with new functionalities as material.

Lastly, I will illustrate how the reduction of carbon dioxide using solar or wind based power can be achieved with new bio-catalytic approaches on electrode surfaces or, alternatively, by using new combined chemo-enzymatic approaches for small scale biorefineries.

About Professor Volker Sieber
Prof. Sieber studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth and the University of Delaware. After obtaining his doctorate, he went to the California Institute of Technology as a research fellow where he worked with the 2018 Nobel Laureate Frances H. Arnold on enzyme engineering. Following a brief sojourn at McKinsey & Co., Prof. Sieber held a number of positions in the chemical industry between 2001 and 2008 (Degussa, Süd-Chemie).

He has been a full professor at Technical University of Munich since late 2008, working on biochemical and chemical methods for the utilization of biogenic resources. In parallel, he has built up, and is heading, a Fraunhofer Institute branch in the area of bio-, chemo- and electrocatalysis. In 2015 he became one of the founding members of the Council on Bioeconomy for the Government of the Free State of Bavaria. Since 2017 Prof. Sieber is Rector of the TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability.


About Biochemistry Alumni Lecture

Established in 1990, the Biochemistry Alumni Lecture brings together past and present students and staff of the biochemistry discipline within UQ's School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences.

The lecture was not offered in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit our Facebook page to view photos from past events.


Queensland Brain Institute (Building 79)
St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland
Level 7 Auditorium