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Miller awarded Ahmed Zewail Prize

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William H. Miller
Chemistry Professor William H. Miller

July 1, 2010

Chemistry professor William H. Miller has been awarded the third Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences for his outstanding contributions to the theory of chemical reactions. The prize consists of a monetary award of $20,000 and will be presented during the 2011 spring meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Anaheim, CA.

Miller's research has dealt with essentially all aspects of molecular collision theory and chemical reaction dynamics. Most recently his efforts have focused on developing a practical way of adding quantum effects to classical molecular dynamics simulations of chemical processes.

The Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences is a biennial award sponsored by Elsevier in collaboration with the international journal Chemical Physics Letters. Named for the journal's honorary advisory editor Zewail, who received the 1999 Nobel Prize in chemistry, the prize is awarded to individual scientists who have made significant and creative contributions of a fundamental nature to any of the disciplines of molecular sciences.

A former Berkeley chemistry postdoc in the research group of Charles Harris from 1974 to 1976, Zewail has noted, “Bill has made fundamental contributions to the field of chemical dynamics. In his work one can see the elegance of approach and the creative sparks which were certainly evident in his seminal semiclassical description of reactivity.”

Miller received a B.S. in chemistry from Georgia Tech (1963) and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard (1967). He joined the Berkeley chemistry department in 1969, served as department chairman from 1989 to 1993 and became the Kenneth S. Pitzer Distinguished Professor in 1999.

Miller is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences (1985), the National Academy of Sciences (1987), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993). His numerous awards include the E. O. Lawrence Memorial Award (1985), the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics (1990), the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry (1994), the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry (2003), the Welch Award in Chemistry (2007), and the Hershbach Award in Molecular Dynamics (2007).

Zewail will return to the College of Chemistry on Dec. 7, 2010, to present the 57th annual Gilbert Newton Lewis Memorial Lecture.

Chemical Physics Letters is an international journal publishing the results of frontier research in chemical physics and physical chemistry, molecular sciences, materials science and biological systems.

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals and close to 20,000 book titles.

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