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History of Theoretical Chemistry in Bonn


Chair in Theoretical Chemistry is established.

The first professor was Karl-Heinz Hansen who came from the group of H.H. Hartmann in Frankfurt. During this times the field of Theoretical Chemistry was introduced in Bonn as a special branch for the chemistry diploma. He passed away in 1970.

Sigrid D. Peyerimhoff became his successor. Her experience in quantum chemical ab initio calculations, gained during her postdoctoral time with C.C.J. Roothaan and R.S. Mulliken in Chicago, with E. Davidson in Seattle and L.C. Allen in Princeton, attracted students and led to a rapid growth of the theoretical chemistry group. Because of her co-operations with research groups of various countries, Ph.D. students and postdocs were exchanged frequently in the spirit of international research.
W.H. Eugen Schwarz was the first who habilitated in Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Bonn. Title of thesis: "Röntgen-Absorptions-Spektroskopie an freien Molekülen". In 1976 he accepted an appointment as professor (C3) at the University of Siegen.

Habilitation of Joachim Römelt. Title of thesis: "Die quantenmechanischee Behandlung von dreiatomigen, kollinearen Reaktionen in Delves Koordinaten". He joined later on the BAYER AG.

The Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft granted a five-year position for a professorship (C3 Stiftungsgastprofessur Theoretische Chemie/ Theoretische Molekülphysik). Bernd A. Heß was appointed and strengthened the field of relativistic and heavy-element quantum chemistry within the group.

Sigrid D. Peyerimhoff was awarded the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Price. As contribution of the state NRW to the prize a permanent C3 position for Theoretical Chemistry was established at the University of Bonn.

Bernd A. Heß was appointed to this C3 position. Miljenko Peric from Belgrade took the C3 position of the Stifterverband until 1991.

Habilitation of Christel M. Marian. Title of thesis: "Theoretische Spektroskopie zweiatomiger Übergangsmetallverbindungen". She introduced the calculations of transition metal spectra taking into account spin-orbit-coupling and rotational coupling effects.

Habilitation of Bernd Engels. Title of thesis: "Quantenchemische Berechnungen von magnetischen Hyperfeinkopplungskonstanten in Molekülen". He introduced the quantum mechanical treatment of hyperfine interactions which are prominent in ESR spectra, for example.

Habilitation of Stefan Grimme. Title of thesis: "Entwicklung und Anwendung quantenchemischer Verfahren zur Untersuchung organischer Moleküle". He contributed to the development and application of high-level quantum chemical methods to larger organic compounds in ground and electronically excited states.

Bernd A. Heß moved from the C3 position at Bonn to the theoretical chemistry chair at University of Nuremberg-Erlangen as successor to J. Ladik. Michael Dolg from the Max-Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden accepted the C3 position at Bonn as successor to Bernd A. Heß. Helmut Dohmann became Professor of applied informatics at the Fachhochschule Fulda (1998).

Bernd Engels moved (1999) as professor (C3) in theoretical organic chemistry to the University of Würzburg.
Stefan Grimme moved (2000) as professor (C4) for theoretical organic chemistry to the Institute for Organic Chemistry at Universität Münster as successor to M. Klessinger.
Christel Marian moved (2001) as professor (C4) for theoretical chemistry to the Institute for Theoretical Chemistry at Universität Düsseldorf as successor to W. Domcke.
Max Mühlhäuser moved as professor to the Fachhochschule/Management Center Innsbruck (Studiengangsleiter Verfahrens- und Umwelttechnik).
Christina Oligschläger moved as professor for technical mathematics to the Fachhochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Rheinbach.

Sigrid D. Peyerimhoff retired in February. Horst Köppel from Heidelberg served as substitute in the C4 position from April 2002 to September 2003. Michael Dolg moved as professor (C4) to the University of Cologne with the beginning of the summer term..

Andreas Görling from Munich accepted the C3 position for theoretical chemistry as the successor to Michael Dolg. Bernd A. Heß from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg accepted the C4 position for theoretical chemistry as the successor to Sigrid D. Peyerimhoff and moved to Bonn in October 2003.

Bernd A. Heß passed away on July 17th, 2004. Andreas Görling moved as professor (C4) to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg as successor to B. A. Heß. Frank Neese has temporary the C3 Professorship from Oktober 2004 until March 2005.

Substitutes in the C4 position were Markus Reiher (Aug. 2004 to March 2005) until he accepted a W2 professorship for theoretical chemistry at the University of Jena, and Thomas Bredow until March 2006. The C3 position was temporarily taken by Frank Neese (WS 2004/2005), Guntram Rauhut (SS 2005) and Thomas Krüger (WS 2005/2006).

Habilitation of Barbara Kirchner. Title of thesis: "Theory of Complicated Liquids".
Frank Neese from the Max-Planck-Institut of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Mülheim accepted the W3 position (chair of Theoretical Chemistry) in April 2006. Thomas Bredow from the University of Hannover accepts the W2 (previously C3) position in theoretical chemistry at the start of the summer term. This ends the rather long period in which both positions (chair in theoretical chemistry and C3 position) were vacant and taken only temporarily of for a short period of time.

Frank Neese was awarded the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Price 2010.

Frank Neese left the University of Bonn on June 30th, and is now Director of the Max-Planck-Institut for Bioinorganic Chemistry in Mülheim an der Ruhr. His successor is Stefan Grimme from the University of Münster since October 1st,.
The Theoretical Chemistry moved to the Beringstr. 4+6 and founded there the Mulliken Center for Theoretical Chemistry. As contribution of the University of Bonn a second permanent W3 position for Theoretical Chemistry was established.

Barbara Kirchner from the University of Leipzig accepted a W3 position for Theoretical Chemistry.

Stefan Grimme was awarded the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Price 2015.

50th anniversary of Theoretical Chemistry in Bonn.




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