CATRIN-RCPTM Award goes to three young scientists

Researchers Aby Cheruvathoor Poulose, Luca Mascaretti and Benjamin Jose Mallada Faes are this year’s CATRIN-RCPTM Award winners, following the tradition of the RCPTM Award given in previous years for outstanding scientific work. This year’s award was handed out to the winners at the annual CATRIN-RCPTM conference.

“The aim was to reward young scientists in particular for outstanding scientific achievements. The laureates, one of whom is a PhD student and two of whom are postdocs, have contributed to outstanding publications, including those published in the journals Nature Nanotechnology or Science,” explained CATRIN-RCPTM Scientific Director, Radek Zbořil.

Luca Mascaretti from the Photoelectrochemistry research group won the award for his contributions in the field of photoelectrochemistry and photocatalysis.

“Of course, I am happy with the prize. I feel it as a recognition of my diligence and perseverance. I appreciate such feedback from our group leaders and directors, and I think it can motivate younger scientists to pursue high-quality work,” said Mascaretti.

In the case of Benjamin Jose Mallada Faes, the CATRIN-RCPTM leadership highlighted his work related to the study of molecules using UHV-STM and in particular his first-author article in the journal Science. For this work, entitled Real-space imaging of anisotropic charge of σ-hole by means of Kelvin probe force microscopy, he also received the Werner von Siemens Award 2021 together with other colleagues in the category of Most Important Result in Basic Research.


“I am thrilled and honoured to receive this award from my own institute, especially because it comes from my colleagues whom I see and interact with every day in the corridors of the Institute. However, I do wish that the material of the award allowed me to share some fragments of it with my teammates, who are an intrinsic part of the collaborative effort that is science,” said Mallada.

Aby Cheruvathoor Poulos convinced the jury with his results in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. Among other things, he was, last year, the first author of the article Fast and selective reduction of nitroarenes under visible light with an earth-abundant plasmonic photocatalyst published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

“It brings me great joy to receive this year’s recognition from CATRIN-RCPTM, as it acknowledges the effort and perseverance I have dedicated to my work. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support and encouragement during my research. I also appreciate the recognition given by the group leaders and directors for my exceptional contribution to the field of science. This is highly motivating for me and my colleagues to conduct cutting-edge research of the highest calibre aimed at making meaningful contributions to society,” said Aby Cheruvathoor Poulose.