Rudi van Eldik

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Rudi van Eldik (born August 8, 1945 in Amsterdam , Netherlands ) is a South African-Dutch chemist , university professor and author .


Van Eldik grew up in Johannesburg ( South Africa ) and initially studied at the University of Potchefstroom (South Africa), where he received his doctorate in 1971 .

This was followed by stays as a post-doctoral student in 1971 at the State University of New York (SUNY) with GM Harris and in 1977 as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main with H. Kelm. After van Eldik was Senior Lecturer in Potchefstroom (South Africa) from 1972 to 1976 and Senior Research Associate at GM Harris at SUNY in 1978 , he became Professor of Physical Chemistry at Potchefstroom University (South Africa) in 1979 . In 1980, H. Kelm brought him back to Frankfurt am Main, now as a group leader at the Institute for Physical Chemistry. Here he completed his habilitation in 1982 and stayed until 1986 . In 1987 he took over the professorship for inorganic chemistry at the University of Witten / Herdecke . From 1994 he was full professor of the chair for inorganic and analytical chemistry at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg . After his retirement in 2010, he took over a professor of inorganic chemistry at the Jagellon University in Krakow in 2013 and one at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń from 2015 . He has held both professorships to this day.

Van Eldik's research focus is the investigation of inorganic and bioinorganic reaction mechanisms, whenever possible using high pressure methods . In addition, he was a research group leader at the Bavarian Research Association for Waste Research and Residual Materials Recovery (BayFORREST) ​​and the Bavarian Research Association for Prions (FORPRION). Van Eldik is a lecturer at the GDCh teacher training center for Bavarian chemistry teachers and was a member of the collegial management of the computer chemistry center at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg.

In addition to his scientific achievements, van Eldik became known to a wide audience through his public experimental lecture (magic lecture), in which he tried to use the concept of " edutainment " to explain chemical phenomena in a generally understandable manner and to awaken a new enthusiasm for the natural science of chemistry. Van Eldik took over this activity in 1995 from his predecessor Klaus Brodersen and developed it into the “Magic Show”. That is why he is nicknamed Magic Rudi in Erlangen .

For his outstanding scientific achievements and in recognition of his international research collaborations, van Eldik was awarded five honorary doctorates :

Furthermore, Rudi van Eldik was awarded the Raikes Medal of the South African Chemical Institute in 1979 and on April 14, 2009 with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany . Since 1999 he has been an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.


He has two children and his son-in-law is the particle physicist Christopher van Eldik .


  • Author of 9 books
  • more than 945 scientific publications
  • approx. 420 contributions to scientific conferences
  • Editor of the book series: Advances in Inorganic Chemistry
  • Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Coordination Chemistry
  • Educational film Everything will be fine! the safety film - safe working in chemical laboratories, the instruction film for students and trainees in laboratories (for the brochure GUV-I 8553), 2005, CD-ROM .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rudi van Eldik et al. Inorganic reaction mechanisms. A personal journey, Dalton Trans. , 2020, 49 , 4599. DOI: 10.1039 / c9dt04620h
  2. Homepage of the magic lecture
  3. Press release of the University of Pretoria ( Memento from July 16, 2012 in the web archive )
  4. ^ Honorary Fellows. Royal Society of South Africa, accessed April 13, 2020 .