Diplomchemiker, Technology University, Braunschweig, Germany, 1949. Doctor rerum naturalium (Doctor of Philosophy), 1952.
Research chemist, Kon-Shell Laboratory, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1952-1971; department head, Kon-Shell Laboratory, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1972-1983; extraordinary professor of chemistry, U. Leiden, Netherlands, 1963-1983; V.N. Ipatieff professor, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 1983-1996; chairman, Gordon Research Conference Catalysis, N.H., 1985. Rideal lecturer Faraday division Royal Society Chemistry, 1981. F. Gault lecturer, 1991.
Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science. Member Royal Netherlands Academy Sciences, International Congress Catalysis (president county 1992-1996), Royal Dutch Chemical Society (honorary member catalysis division), American Chemical Society (E.V. Murphee award 1987, Petroleum Chemistry award 1992), Catalysis Society North America (Robert L. Burwell award 1985, E. Houdry award 1993).
Married Anne-Lore Luise Adrian, December 9, 1953. Children: Johann Wolfgang Adriaan, Heike Kathleen Julia, Yvonne Rhea Valeska.