The prize giving ceremony of the Eni Award 2016 was held today at the Palazzo Quirinale, in the presence of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, the Chairman of Eni Emma Marcegaglia and the Chief Executive of Eni Claudio Descalzi. The New Frontiers in Hydrocarbons Prize - Downstream area, was awarded to Johannes Lercher, from the Technische Universität in Munich, for "New catalytic strategies for the synthesis of alkenes and alkanols", in which he developed new processes for using natural gas as an energy source with reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. In the Upstream area the award went ex aequo to Christopher Ballentine from the University of Oxford, for the research project "New tracers for the study of transformations and displacements of fluids in the subsoil", and Emiliano Mutti from the Università degli Studi di Parma, for "Deep sea sedimentation: geometry and facies characters in turbiditic and conturitic" for their contribution to our knowledge about the mechanisms of rock sedimentation and subsurface hydrocarbon migration. The Environmental Protection Prize was awarded to David Milstein, of the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), for the research project "Innovative, efficient and environmentally compatible catalytic reactions as alternatives to current polluting processes", through which he improved the energy efficiency of different chemical and pharmaceutical reactions, while also reducing the formation of undesired by-products. Federico Bella from the Politecnico of Turin, for his doctoral thesis "Polymers designed from light for new generation solar cells" based on the study of third generation solar cells, and Alessandra Menafoglio from the Politecnico of Milan, for her doctoral thesis "Object-oriented Geostatistics", which introduces new methods for the imaging and exploration of the subsoil, were awarded the Research Debut Prize.
Awards for Innovation in Eni
Eni Awards were also given for Innovation at Eni to three internal research teams that have distinguished themselves for the innovative nature and importance of the results obtained. Also in this case, the selection was made by a special commission made up of 4 members of the Scientific Jury, all from outside of Eni.
The award is about to celebrate ten years
The award, which has been running since 2007, has over the years grown to become an international point of reference for research into energy and the environment. The Eni Award aims to promote the most effective and efficient use of energy resources and to stimulate new generations of researchers, a demonstration of the importance that Eni attributes to scientific research and the issue of sustainability. Thousands of researchers from across the globe have already been involved and presented their research projects and numerous high profile personalities have been the guarantors and served as member of the Scientific Jury, including 27 Nobel prize-winners. The 2017 edition of the Eni Award will be the tenth anniversary and will feature significant changes in the scope of the awards with the introduction of Research Debut Award for Young Talent from Africa, open to graduates from African universities who present projects relating to the field of energy and the environment in their country of origin.