Five of the six chemistry institutes (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical and
theoretical chemistry) joined in december 1999 to a large
"Institute of Chemistry"
according to the new university administration (UOG93, a new university organization law).
As head of the institute, Otto GLATTER
(further data about venia and
head of physical chemistry) was elected, a physicist from the former
institute of physical chemistry.
The 5 divisions which are located at 3 places (Schubertstrasse, Heinrichstrasse, Strassoldogasse), are:
- Division of Inorganic Chemistry
- Division of Analytical Chemistry
- Division of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry
- Division of Physical Chemistry
- Division of Theoretical Chemistry
Biochemistry is not part of the new chemistry institute, because it joined with microbiology in a
new founded institute: however, teaching is closely joined with the institute
Due to a severe austerity program of the government which was installed 2000, a serious situation
for the natural science part of the university and especially of chemistry grows out from this financial
bottle neck: the governmental funds were shortened down to 30 - 60 percent and as follow-up,
many chemistry journals had to be cancelled.
In this era, Jörg J. SCHNEIDER (born 1960 in Marburg a. d. Lahn/Germany) was appointed in 2000 as ordinary professor of inorganic chemistry. Schneider
got his doctoral degree in 1986 at the Philipps-University of Marburg as student of Elschenbroich and obtained in 1994 the venia for inorganic chemistry at the University of Essen. His research field is synthetic inorganic
and organometallic chemistry (e.g.nanotubes).
However, already in 2003 he left Graz and moved to the University of Technology, Darmstadt (Germany).
Kevin A. FRANCESCONI (born 1953 in Perth/Australia) was appointed in 2002 as ordinary professor of analytical chemistry. He got his doctoral degree in 1991 at the University of Western Australia and obtained in 1996 the venia for ecotoxicology at the Southern Denmark University of Odense, Denmark. His research fields are analytical methods for transformation and cycling of metals (e.g. arsenic) in the environment and in biological systems.
Thomas KRÜGER (born in Germany) who worked as research assistant at the division of theoretical chemistry obtained in 2002 the venia for theoretical chemistry. His research fields were quantum mechanics. He left the institute in 2003.
Karl GRUBER (born in Graz), who works as research assistant in the group of Structural Biology at the division of Physical Chemistry, obtained in 2002 the venia for molecular structural biology. His research deals with the computerized calculation of structure and function of enzymes, e.g. of hydroxynitrile lyases.
Renate DWORCZAK (born 1957 in Graz) from the workgroup of functional polymers at the division of organic and bioorganic chemistry obtained in 2002 the venia for organic chemistry. Her research deals with dyes with nonlinear optical properties and functionalized polysaccharides.
In 2003, an additional austerity program of the government aggravates the serious situation
for the natural science part of the university: the governmental funds for research were shortened again. Due to this austerity program, the personal situation at the division of inorganic chemistry got rather bad because Schneider left the institute and Popitsch retired. To overcome this situation, Axel Klein was appointed as guest professor.
Axel KLEIN (born 1964 in Winnenden, Germany) got his doctoral degree in 1994 at the University of Stuttgart as student of W. Kaim and obtained in 2002 the venia for inorganic chemistry at the University of Stuttgart. In 2003 he was appointed as guest professor substitute of inorganic chemistry. His research interests are focused onto studies on functional building blocks of mono- and binuclear electron rich organometallic complexes of nickel, palladium, or platinum. In summer 2004, he was appointed as professor at the
University of Köln, but gave again some lectures ot the university of Graz because of the delay on the appointment of a new professor of inorganic chemistry and the low number of personnel.
Walter KELLER (born 1959 in Graz) from the workgroup of molecular structural biology at the division of physical chemistry obtained in 2003 the venia for molecular structural biology. His research deals with structural investigation of allergens, plasmid proteins and transcription factors.
Wolfgang KROUTIL (born 1972 in Graz) from the workgroup of biocatalysis at the division of organic and bioorganic chemistry obtained in 2003 the venia for organic chemistry. His research deals with biocatalytic asymmetric hydrogen transfer.
Klaus ZANGGER (born 1970 in Bruck/Mur) from the workgroup of analytical and structural Organic Chemistry at the division of organic and bioorganic chemistry obtained in 2003 the venia for organic chemistry. His research deals with
nmr solution studies on metallothioneines.
In 2004, a new university law of 2002 brought a complete change of the Austrian university structure: The administration of the universities was changed from a federal administration to a "so-called" autonomic administration, however with many influences from several parties, which is totally new to the former rather independent universities. Combined with this reformation of the administration, also the structure of the university was changed. The best visible part of this change was the separation of the faculty of medicine and the foundation of a further university of medicine in Graz. Because the chemical institutes of the faculty of medicine also left the Karl-Franzens University, especially in the library budget additional expenses are necessary, a contraproductive fact due to the low financial dotation of the university.
Regarding chemistry, as far as one can look, no essential changes are visible in the moment (except the fact, that the autonomy -or autocracy?- is concentrated in the hands of the rector and the deans, and the institute is only a cover name without contents such as the former rights). As head of the institute, Otto Glatter, the former elected head, was appointed by the dean and rector. The financial situation is mixed: On the one hand, the severe austerity program of the government, which started in 2000, is continued and in many places the effects are already visible (e.g. often basic instruments cannot be repaired in time because of lack of money). On the other hand, a few mainstream research directions such as life science or nano research are supported with generous grants, which hopefully should bring quicker and better results in these important areas.
Walter GÖSSLER (born 1965 in Knittelfeld/Styria) from the division of analytical chemistry obtained in 2004 the venia for analytical chemistry. His research deals with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry as an elementselective detector for speciation analysis with special emphasis on arsenic.
New study branches: According to some new features in the University law 2002, some new branches such as computational chemistry were founded, and personnel from traditional branches was shifted to this new branches.
Following the economic guidelines of the ministry of education and research, the heads of the Karl-Franzens University and the University of Technology of Graz decided in 2004 the amalgamation of several institutes (among them also the Institute of Chemistry) similar to former intentions in the last centuries
(1880, 1920 and
called "joint faculty of natural science" (NAWI Graz).
Hans Hennig VON GRÜNBERG (born 1965 in Eckernförde, Germany), got his doctoral degree for physics at the Free University Berlin as student of Gabriel, and worked then at the University of Konstanz, Germany. In 2004 he was appointed as contract professor for computational physical chemistry in the department of physical chemistry. His research deals with electrostatic effects in soft matter systems. In 2009 he left the Institute and started a new carrier as president of the university of applied sciences Niederrhein.
In 2005, Christoph Kratky from physical chemistry was elected as president of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and held this position until 2013.
Rudolf PIETSCHNIG (born 1967 in Bonn/Germany) got his doctoral degree at the University of Bonn as student of Edgar Niecke, and worked then at UW Madison/USA and the University of Bochum/Germany. In 2002 he was appointed at the division of inorganic chemistry and obtained the venia for inorganic chemistry in 2005 (title: sterically demanding fluorosilanes. From reactive intermediates to supramolecular aggregates). His research deals with
terphenylsubstituted silanes, conjugated and homoconjugated polymeric materials and their electronic properties, and functional ferrocenylphosphanes.
In 2011 he was appointed as professor of chemical hybrid materials at the university of Kassel/Germany.
Nadia C. MÖSCH-ZANETTI (born in Zurich/Switzerland)
was appointed in 2006 as ordinary professor of inorganic chemistry. She was the first woman who obtained a full professorship at the Chemistry Institute of the University of Graz. Mösch-Zanetti
got her doctoral degree in 1993 at the Inorganic laboratory of the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich/Switzerland as student of Venanzi and obtained in 2003 the venia for inorganic chemistry at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen/Germany. Her research field is devoted to synthetic and mechanistic coordination chemistry of transition metals, development of new ligand systems, e.g. anionic nitrogen-based ligands, such as azolate and polydentate amido ligands, useful as catalysts in technical and biological relevant processes.
In March 2006, a burning devastated some labs of inorganic chemistry, but already in November 2006, the renovation was finished and the new bachelor study (joint with the University of Technology/NAWI Graz) started in the new equipment.
In autumn 2006, a new era of cooperation started: in the NAWI Graz (natural science Graz) project a new bachelor study of chemistry started (together with some other studies from other branches), which is supported from both the Karl Franzens University and the University of Technology. All lectures are held joint and all laboratory courses are interchangeable. The corresponding master study will start in autumn 2007.
Another change concerning the studies has started also in 2006: the complete administration of personnel, studies, examinations, reports etc. was migrated to an online system, called
Uni Graz Online, which allows a new dimension of access to all data of persons, lectures etc.
In 2007, a part of the branch of Physical Chemistry (Structural Biology Group,
with Christoph Kratky as head and Ulrike Wagner, Karl Gruber and Walter Keller as associate professors) left the Institute of Chemistry and moved to the Institute of Molecular Bioscience.
Some of the free place was used to move the remaining branch of Theoretical Chemistry (Alexander Sax) from the rooms in Strassoldogasse to Heinrichstrasse 28, the other place was used by increasing research groups such as
- the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Microwave Chemistry (director: C. Oliver Kappe) and
- the Native Polymers and Colloids Group.
In 2007, Renate Dworczak was appointed as
Vice Rector for Human Ressources Management, NAWI Graz and Affirmative Action for Women.
In 2008 Hans Hennig Von Grünberg was appointed as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. However, in 2009 he left the institute to become president of the university of applied sciences Niederrhein.
Due to the new university organization (university law of 2002), becoming effective legal in 2013, all old-fashioned parts of the institutes, which did not comply with the regulations by law, were renovated during several years (e.g. electricity, extractor hoods, delivery air etc.). One big task could be completed in 2008: both in the Schubertstrasse building and in the Heinrichstrasse building a new chemical inventory was built up according to all legal regulations, and also a chemical data base was installed (developed by the technical university of Vienna) which will be accessible in future by the members of the institute.