Dean of the Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry Professor Dr. chem. Valdis Kokars:
Latvia and RTU have long standing traditions in science and chemical industry, innovative materials and products manufacturing. The only Nobel Prize laureate coming from the Baltic States – Wilhelm Ostwald – was a professor of chemistry at RTU from 1881 to 1887. He received the Nobel Prize in 1909 for research on catalysis, chemical equilibrium and reaction velocities, which he conducted in Riga. The most famous chemist of Latvian descent Paul Walden also worked at RTU. He was the founder of dynamic stereochemistry and electrochemistry of non-aqueous solutions. In 2010, American Chemical Society awarded the Award of Citation for Chemical Breakthrough to P. Walden’s publication on discovery of optical inversion (Walden inversion). P. Walden was nominated for the Nobel Prize six times, unfortunately, he never received it.
Pedagogical and research traditions have been maintained by several generations of researchers. The Faculty is still one of the leading units at RTU in terms of advanced scientific qualification, research infrastructure, scientific achievements, including student research activity.
In the 21st century chemistry and materials science are among the most important research areas, their task is to find answers to innumerable topical questions of our age, which may even include the survival of humanity in the distant future.