1998 Associate Laureate, Applied Technology
Czech Republic, Born 1938
The highly productive career of Karel Kolomaznik, from the Czech Republic, has been based on the conviction that there is no such thing as waste.
This gifted chemical engineer, who was born in 1938, moved to the industrial city of Zlin, home to the Bata shoe industry, in 1970 to take up an academic position.
Focusing his research on the massive quantities of waste from the local leather industry, Kolomaznik and his team of post-graduate students have found inventive ways to make new products from waste. His 1998 Rolex Award helped him gain funding in Europe and the United States for his complex work in his laboratory and in factories.
Professor Kolomaznik is now researching ways to turn used vegetable and animal fats into biodiesel. He is also continuing his work on analysing waste from leather production to find safe, efficient ways of transforming it into beneficial products of many kinds.
Published in 2009