Nuno Maulide: Chemistry for everybody

We are happy announcing one of our guests at the final event on April 22, at Maria-Theresien-Platz: Chemist Nuno Maulide. We simply have good chemistry!

Nuno Maulide, born in Portugal, is one of the most interesting people doing research in Vienna. He finished his studies in Belgium and France, went for a Postdoc to famous Stanford University in California, at the age of 30 he was research group leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, 2013 he got his Venia Legendi for chemistry in Bochum. Within the same year he became at the age of only 33, full professor at the Institute for Organic Chemistry at Vienna University.

Nuno Maulide shows, that such a meteoric carrier needs the symbiosis of knowledge and fun. The chemist regularly explains his field having the reputation of being rather difficult to understand and boring in a very charming and amusing way. Listening to his talks and lectures makes even children and adults formerly staying well clear of Chemistry understand, how those extensive formulas come about and what chemical research may bring about. He explains for instance the emergence of synthetic fibre Nylon with quite vivid examples: this Polymer consists of several elements attracting each other in the same way as a mouse and cheese. And out of all these mice and cheese pieces emerges a lengthy formula – and inside a test tube two liquids merge into an endless chain.

At the 650th anniversary of Vienna University Maulide and his team explained chemistry to children. Bitter substances were transformed into mean counts, Silicon into a kidnapped princess, Iron occurred as the brave young man Sepp, saving the princess after mastering huge tasks, with the help of “philosopher’s stone” and his knowledge from studying chemistry: impressive explosions with gun cotton make walls break, the good magician Palladium brings light into dark nights and makes ice burn, as the mean sugar army – jelly bears – burn spectacularly. The kids loved those special effects and discovered their interest in chemistry.

Moving to Vienna for his scientific career was an easy decision for Nuno Maulide, as the University of Vienna offered him perfect conditions for his further research. Also, teaching is very important to him, and his students assure he is very eager in explaining the complex field of chemistry. To Nuno Maulide, chemical formulas function as a universal language, which makes communication in the lab way easier: Maulide’s team at the Institute for Organic Chemistry has a very international background. He is sure that such internationality is the key point of ground-breaking innovations and research. For his unlimited engagement, Nuno Maulide was awarded the prize “Wiener Mut” in the category Science.

Fotos: Kinderbüro Universität Wien/APA/Schedl


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