phonekoubekJosef Koubek (J.K.) has been passionately interested in chemistry since his childhood, firstly in the family surrounding, lately at the elite high school oriented on chemical technology (in Ústí nad Labem) and eventually at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague (VŠCHT) where he graduated from the Faculty of Chemical Technology in 1971. In 1972 he was delegated by the former Chemical Works Litvínov (a leading Czech chemical and refinery company) to the postgraduate studies at VŠCHT. In 1975 he defended at the Department of Organic Technology his PhD thesis devoted to non-stationary catalysis. In 1980 the results of this work were presented at the world’s congress on catalysis (ICC) in Tokyo, as the only Czechoslovak oral contribution. In 1995 he defended his habilitation devoted to stationary and non-stationary adsorption and catalysis. Altogether in 80 semesters he has been delivering one-semester courses in Catalysis, Applied Catalysis, Reaction Kinetics, Organic Technology, and Numerical Methods and Programming.

J.K. was firstly involved in the team research work at the high school and performed at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry in Ústí n. L. the project entitled “I-x diagram of the system butanol-air.” In the consecutive academic and industrial research activities he concentrated on the following areas: characterisation of industrial catalysts, development of technologies for manufacture of amines and ketones, hydrogenation of nitriles on metal catalysts, synthesis of zeolite catalysts, bifunctional palladium catalysts. J.K.'s most important research result was his contribution (together with P. Hogan and J. Pašek) to the discovery, explanation, and application of the extraordinary kinetic effect, the so-called “stop-effect.” This phenomenon was tested and exploited in a series of catalysis oriented laboratories (in USA, Russia, Canada, UK, Japan, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, and at the Czech Academy of Sciences). J.K. also participated in the development of technologies in the group of J. Pašek. In the (former) company MCHZ Ostrava the technology of methylisobutyl ketone was implemented together with the manufacture of the bifunctional catalyst used in this technology. Another applied research participation of J.K. was the technology of tert.butylamine on a zeolite catalyst. This technology was patented in 12 countries. J.K. was the leader of the Research Centre for Complex Treatment of Crude Oil (KOZOROH) in the first wave (2000–2004) of the Czech “centres of excellence” with the participation of important industrial partners.
J.K. was delivering invited lectures at foreign universities and research institutions: in Lausanne (EPFL), in Heidelberg (RKU), in Merseburg (TH LM), in Novosibirsk (IK AN SSSR), in Moscow (IOCh AN SSSR), in Munic (LMU), in Berlin (AdW der DDR).
J.K. has been acting very intensively as manager, expert and organizer at his home university VŠCHT (three terms as vice-rector and three terms as rector), in the Czech higher education sector (three times elected vice-president for research of the Czech rector's conference), member of Czech universities' Scientific Councils (MU Brno, UPA Pardubice), long-time member of the ministerial selection body for the minister's award for research, in the Czech industry (member and eventually the president of the board of directors of the UNIPETROL holding, long-time chairman of the Scientific Council of the UNIPETROL holding, in the Engineering Academy (twice elected vice-president for research and foreign affairs), and in the European arena (member of the research working group of the European University Association (EUA), member of the EUA Council, member of the consulting body, “Forum Universities” to two European commissionaires for research, Busquine and Potočnik. J.K. was the evaluator in the 6th Framework programme of the EC, as well as the Czech representative to the Council of Europe (Strasbourg) in the CC-Higher Education and Research Committee.
Awards and honorary titles: *Honours medal – 650 years of the Charles University (1998), *FEng. – Fellow of the Engineering Academy (1998), *Title “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques” (French Government Award: 2002), *Medal of Emil Votoček – VŠCHT Award (2012), *Award Medal of the CzWA for support of the Czech water association in international bodies EWA and IWA (2013).
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