Prof. Volker Sieber

Lehrstuhl für Chemie Biogener Rohstoffe
Technische Universität München
Schulgasse 16 – 94315 Straubing

Prof. Sieber studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth and the University of Delaware. After obtaining his doctorate in biochemistry, he went to the California Institute of Technology as a research fellow. Following a brief sojourn at McKinsey & Co., Prof. Sieber held a number of positions in the chemical industry between 2001 and 2008 (Degussa, Süd-Chemie). He has been a full professor at the Technical University of Munich since late 2008 where he is developing technologies for the conversion of biomass and hydrogen for the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. In parallel, from 2009 he has built up an Fraunhofer Institute branch in the area of bio-, chemo- and electrocatalysis and headed this until 2019. Since 2017 Prof. Sieber is Rector of the TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability where the Technical University of Munich concentrates its research and teaching in Bioeconomy. Since 2015 Prof. Sieber has been one of the founding members of the Bioeconomy council for the government of the Free State of Bavaria. He acted as spokesperson of this council between 2018 and 2021 when the Bioeconomy strategy of Bavaria was developed and published. Since 2020 he is the spokesperson for the Bavarian Innovation Cluster for Industrial Biotechnology. Prof. Sieber is Honorary Professor of the University of Queensland. With colleagues from Queensland and Brazil, he initiated the Global Bioeconomy Alliance, an association and cooperation platform for Academia and industrial partners to foster regional and global developments and technology exchanges for a sustainable society.

Key Research Facilities, Infrastructure and Equipment
Research facilities include standard chemical laboratories with equipment for protein chemistry and molecular biology. It also includes robotic lab automation and microfluidic high throughput equipment, as part of the SynBiofoundry@TUM.

Hosting University/Company: 
Technical University of Munich Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability

At the TUM Campus Straubing, the Technical University of Munich bundles its competence and activities in the field of bioeconomy. Due to the cross-sector and cross-disciplinary nature of the topic, representatives of the natural sciences, engineering, ecosystem sciences and economics work together at the TUM Campus Straubing. As a result, issues from the molecule to commercialization are covered in teaching and research. 

Technical feasibility, economic efficiency and sustainability, as well as the broadening of the raw material base are important research goals of the scientists at TUM Campus Straubing. To this end, for example, microorganisms, enzymes or chemical catalysts are developed and used to convert renewable raw materials into basic chemical building blocks for biobased polymers, specialty or fine chemicals, or to directly obtain high-quality end products, such as proteins, amino acids or pharmaceuticals from them. Plastics, rubber articles and textile fibers can also be produced in many cases on the basis of biogenic polymers.

Relevant Publications and/or Research / Innovation Product: 

  • Relevant Publications and/or Research / Innovation Product
    Al-Shameri, A., et al. (2023). „Hydrogenase-based oxidative biocatalysis without oxygen.“ Nat Commun 14(1): 2693.
  • Sutiono, S., et al. (2021). „Converging conversion – using promiscuous biocatalysts for the cell-free synthesis of chemicals from heterogeneous biomass.“ Green Chem. 23(10): 3656-3663.
  • Iwanow, M., et al. (2020). „Pyrolysis of Deep Eutectic Solvents for the Preparation of Supported Copper Electrocatalysts.“ Chemistry Select 5(38): 11714-11720.
  • Ranganathan, S., et al. (2017). „Development of a lipase-mediated epoxidation process for monoterpenes in choline chloride-based deep eutectic solvents.“ Green Chem. 19(11): 2576-2586.
    Reiter, J., et al. (2013). „Enzymatic cleavage of lignin β-O-4 aryl ether bonds via net internal hydrogen transfer.“ Green Chem. 15(5): 1373-1381.