László Markó (chemical engineer)


July 5, 2022

László Markó (Debrecen, October 16, 1928 – June 20, 2022) state award-winning Hungarian chemical engineer, university professor, full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His research area is petrochemicals, including the chemistry of alkenes, as well as organometallic compounds and homogeneous catalysis. One of the leading figures in chemistry education in Veszprém, he was the head of the organic chemistry department for twenty-one years, between 1965 and 1986. Between 1986 and 1990, he was the director of the Technical Chemistry Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

His Life Path

He completed his secondary school studies in Budapest, first at the Reichdeutsche Schulé, then after the end of the Second World War at the Budapest Reformatory High School, where he graduated in 1947. During the German occupation, he worked in the laboratory of the hospital run by his father. Since it was considered a military operation, he did not have to enlist. After graduation, he was admitted to the Faculty of Chemical Engineering of the Budapest University of Technology, where he obtained his chemical engineering degree in 1951. After that, he was employed as a scientific associate of the Hungarian Mineral Oil and Natural Gas Experimental Institute (MÁFKI). He did research here for fourteen years (he defended his university doctoral dissertation in 1959), and in 1965 he was appointed to head the organic chemistry department of the Veszprém University of Chemical Industry, first as a university associate professor. He was appointed university professor in 1969. Also in 1965, the Department of Petroleum Chemistry Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was founded in Veszprém, of which he became the head. In 1986, he was entrusted with the management of the Technical Chemistry Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He resigned from his position as head of department due to his appointment as director, but continued to teach at the university as a secondary professor. He managed the research institute for four years, and then continued to work at the institute as a research professor. He was retired in 1998, and the university appointed him professor emeritus. In addition to his work in Hungary, he was a visiting researcher and visiting professor at the University of Würzburg in 1975, at the University of Chicago in 1981, and at the chemical laboratory of the CNRS in Toulouse in 1993. In 1963, he defended his candidate's thesis in chemistry, and in 1968 he defended his academic doctoral thesis. He became a member and chairman of the Petroleum and Petrochemical Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was elected a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1976, and a full member in 1987. Between 1985 and 1988, he was the deputy president of the Academy's Department of Chemical Sciences, and then its president until 1996. In addition, between 1996 and 2002, he also headed the Veszprém Academic Committee. In 1990, he was also included in the Technical Chemistry Committee. In addition to his academic activities, he was the president of the Veszprém county group of the Association of Hungarian Chemists between 1970 and 1976. Internationally, between 1990 and 1993, he was a member of the national committee of the European Science Foundation. Between 1989 and 1996 (as president of the Department of Chemical Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), he was the editor-in-chief of the journal Kémiai Közlemények, in addition to Aspects of Homogeneous Catalysis (1972–1994), Catalysis by Metal Complexes (1982–1997) and the Journal of Cluster Science (1996 -2003) was also active as a member of the editorial board. Between 1984 and 1987 he was the regional editor of C1 Molecules Chemistry. Between 1999 and 2003 and 2005 to 2012, he was the president of the scientific council of the József Varga Award, and in 1999 he was also included in the board of trustees of the György Oláh Award. In addition to his scientific public activities, he was a member of the board of the Hungarian Karszt and Cave Research Society between 1968 and 1974. He is the author or co-author of more than two hundred and eighty scientific publications, and also holds thirty-five patents. He publishes his publications in Hungarian, English and German.

Awards, recognitions

State Award (1988) outstanding inventor (1989) The Hungarian Republic of Hungary