Donald G. Truhlar


Born February 27, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Regents Professor of Chemistry, Chemical Physics, and Scientific Computation, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
WWW: external link

Education and Appointment

B.A., Chemistry, St. Mary's College of Minnesota, 1965.
Ph. D., Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 1970.
Graduate Faculty, University of Minnesota, 1969-present.

Author of:

Author of more than 1100 journal articles and 68 book chapters.

Research Contributions:

  • theoretical chemical dynamics of chemical reactions; quantum mechanical scattering theory of chemical reactions, molecular energy transfer, and electron scattering; variational transition state theory; semiclassical methods for tunneling
  • potential energy surfaces and molecular interactions; the development and use of electronic structure theory for calculations of chemical structure, reaction rates, electronically nonadiabatic processes, and solvation effects; new exchange-correlation functionals for Kohn-Sham theory; multi-configuration pair-density functional theory
  • photochemistry; non-Born-Oppenheimer trajectory methods; geometric phase; theoretical treatment of decoherence
  • computational thermodynamics; statistical mechanics; path integrals
  • combustion chemistry; heterogeneous, homogeneous, and enzyme catalysis; atmospheric and environmental chemistry; drug design; nanoparticle structure and energetics; plasma chemistry; lithium-ion batteries

Academies, Fellowships

   Truhlar was elected to International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science in 2006, to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA in 2009, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. He became an Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society in 2015.
   He was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1986, the American Chemical Society in 2009, the American Physical Society in 1986, the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2009, and the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists in 2006.
   He was a visiting Fellow at the Battelle Memorial Institute in 1973 and at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics in 1975-76, and he was named an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow in 1973. He has been a Fellow of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute since its beginning in 1985.

Other Major Honors

NSF Creativity Award, 1993; ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2000; Minnesota Award, 2003 ("for outstanding contributions to the chemical sciences"); National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing, 2004; ACS Peter Debye Award for Physical Chemistry, 2006; Lise Meitner Lectureship Award, 2006; Schrödinger Medal of The World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists, 2006; Dudley R. Herschbach Award for Research in Molecular Collision Dynamics, 2009; Doctor honoris causa of Technical University of Lodz, Poland, 2010; Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Dynamics Award, 2012; Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics of the American Physical Society, 2015.

Editorships and Other Major Service

   Truhlar served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society from 1984 to 2016, as (successively) editor, editor-in-chief, associate editor, and chief advisory editor of Theoretical Chemistry Accounts (formerly Theoretica Chimica Acta) from 1985 to the present, and as a principal editor of Computer Physics Communications from 1986 to 2015. He has served or is serving on the editorial boards of 14 other journals and three book series, and he has edited 13 books.
   His major service to the American Chemical Society includes Secretary of Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision, 1980-89, national councilor, 1985-87, and chair of the Task Force on Publication in Molecular Modeling, 1992. His major service to the American Physical Society includes Chair of the Division of Chemical Physics, 2012-2013.