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Krishnan Raghavachari Recieves Distinguished Alumnus Award

February 6, 2014

The Department of Chemistry, has been chosen by the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras, his alma mater) to receive a “Distinguished Alumnus Award” for 2014. The Award is very prestigious and given for outstanding achievements. It is particularly special for someone with a Science background since most of the Awards are usually related to Engineering/Technology achievements. The Award will be conferred during the “Distinguished Alumnus Award Function” to be held as part of the “Institute Day” at IIT Madras on April 17, 2014.

Raghavachari is recognized as “one of a top handful of quantum chemists in America” due to his pioneering work in the development and application of quantum chemical calculations. His work covers a broad spectrum of problems including chemical bonding in small clusters, computational investigations of semiconductor and nanoscale materials, and his methods and algorithms have been instrumental for the widespread use of computational chemistry by non-experts.

Raghavachari’s analysis of the nature of three electron correlation effects (triple excitations) led to the development of a new method in 1989, termed CCSD(T), that still stands as the method of choice for accurate evaluation of bond energies and properties of molecules -- termed the “gold standard of quantum chemistry.” Raghavachari’s second major contribution to quantum chemical methods has been the collaborative development of the so-called Gaussian-2, 3, 4  methods, which are hybrid quantum chemical theories that aim to yield relative reaction energies to a precision of approximately one kilocalorie/mole.

He has published over 320 scientific papers in chemistry, physics and materials science, and his more than 50,000 citations have yielded an Institute for Scientific Information Highly Cited Researcher notation. He has served as chair of the Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision of the American Chemical Society; has been elected to the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science; and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Physical Society, Chemical Physics Division. In 2009, he received the Davisson-Germer Prize in Surface Physics from the American Physical Society.