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Distinguished Professor Elected to Prestigious Quantum Molecular Science Academy

Chemistry Building

Piotr Piecuch, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor of chemistry and adjunct professor of physics and astronomy, has been elected to one of physical science’s most exclusive learned societies, the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, or IAQMS.

Piotr Piecuch

Piotr Piecuch, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor of chemistry

Academy members are chosen among scientists of all countries who have distinguished themselves by the value of their scientific work and their roles as pioneers or leaders of schools in the broad field of the application of quantum mechanics to the study of molecules, macromolecules, and materials.

Among the activities of the IAQMS are the organization of International Congresses of Quantum Chemistry and the attribution of medals to young members of the scientific community who have distinguished themselves by pioneering and important contributions to molecular quantum science.

By being elected to the IAQMS, Piecuch joins a select group of distinguished world leaders in quantum science.

“I am honored to be elected to the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science,” Piecuch said. “Anytime one joins a select group of scientists who have made seminal contributions to science, the experience is gratifying and humbling. However, this election is special, since members of the IAQMS are world leaders in my research area, from whom I have learned so much. It was, therefore, a wonderful surprise to find out that I had been asked to join them.”

Piecuch’s research focuses on the development of ab initio quantum theory of molecular electronic structure and other many-body systems, and applications of the resulting computational approaches to spectroscopy, chemical reaction mechanisms and dynamics, catalysis, photochemistry, intermolecular interactions and atomic nuclei.

“Piotr is a world-renowned theoretician, so it is fitting that IAQMS elected him to join their academy,” said Robert Maleczka, professor, and chair of the MSU Department of Chemistry in the College of Natural Science. “This honor is only bestowed upon a select group of scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the molecular quantum science field.”

The IAQMS, headquartered in Menton, France, has inducted only 180 members in its 51-year history. Among them are pioneers of quantum theory and molecular quantum science and Nobel Prize winners, including Louis de Broglie, Kenichi Fukui, Gerhard Herzberg, Roald Hoffmann, Martin Karplus, Walter Kohn, William Lipscomb, Rudolph Marcus, Robert Mulliken, Linus Pauling, John Pople, John van Vleck, and Arieh Warshel.

Piecuch has earned numerous honors throughout his career, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Ad­vancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Physical Society and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He has also earned the distinctions of Distinguished Fellow of the Kosciuszko Foundation Collegium of Eminent Scientists, Invited Fel­low of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and an elected member of the Euro­pean Acade­my of Sciences, Arts, and Humanities.

Piecuch, who joined MSU in 1998, received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wroclaw, Poland.

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