Dr. Michele Aresta, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Bari-IT until 2012, held the Isaac Manasseh Meyer Chair Professorship 2013-2016 at the NUS Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Singapore and chairs the Scientific Committee of the Interuniversity Consortium on Chemical Reactivity and Catalysis-ICCDU, Italy. In 2015-2016 he was David Parkin Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, UK.
His main research interests are chemistry of small molecules, catalysis, carbon recycling, utilization of CO2 in the synthesis of chemicals, conversion of waste biomass into chemicals and fuels, photochemical reactions. He discovered the first transition metal complex bearing co-ordinated CO2 and demonstrated that the reduction of co-ordinated CO2 to CO was easily achieved at room temperature, while free gaseous CO2 requires either high temperature (>1000 K) or high energy radiations (< 160 nm). He is author of over 280 peer reviewed papers, among which the unique invited review article ”My Journey in the CO2-Chemistry Wonderland”, Coordination Chemical Reviews, 2016 in which he describes his history with CO2 reactions. He has authored numerous reviews articles and book chapters. He is author or editor of eleven books on "CO2 utilization", “Nanomaterials”, and "Biomass utilization implementing the concept of biorefinery”. Since 1987, with the book “Carbon dioxide as source of carbon” he has been disseminating the concept “CO2 is a resource, it is not a waste”. He was and still is the coordinator of several international and Italian projects.
He served as Italy delegate in EU Programmes. In particular, he represented Italy in the Committee of “GHG Technologies” of the IEA-Paris since its launching to 2002.
He was Director of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, and then of the Department of Chemistry, at the University of Bari, where, for more than a decade, he was Dean of the Environmental Sciences Faculty. He was Director of the National Research Council Institute on Marine Protection, “Talassografico-Taranto” for over 10 years.
He received several awards, among which the Renoir Prize for the dissemination of scientific culture 1990, the Award of the Italian Chemical Society for the pioneering work on CO2 utilization 1990, the Green Chemistry Award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences 2003, the Award of the Societé Française de Chimie for Inorganic
Chemistry 2005, several Recognition Certificates by ACS, the Gold Medal of the Italian Chemical Society-Inorganic Chemistry Division 2016, the International Award for “Distinguished Contribution to Carbon Dioxide Utilization”, Shanghai 2017.
He is Honorary Chair of ICCDU, Honorary Professor at the University of Tianjin-Tianjin China, 2003 and PhD of Engineering Honoris Causa at the University of Bath-UK 2016.