Professor Walter Thiel receives Kolos Medal for his outstanding contributions to Theoretical Chemistry

June 08, 2017

The Polish Chemical Society and the University of Warsaw awarded the Kolos Medal 2017 to Professor Walter Thiel from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung. The prize honors his outstanding contributions to the development of combined quantum-classical computational methods for complex chemical systems. The Kolos Medal is endowed with 2.000 US Dollar. Walter Thiel received the Medal in early May during a symposium in Warsaw from Professor Jerzy Blazejowski, President of the Polish Chemical Society, in the presence of  Professor Robert Kolos, son of Wlodzimierz Kolos.

The Kolos Medal is awarded every second year to an outstanding physical or theoretical chemist. As this year’s recipient, Walter Thiel gave the award lecture entitled “Computational Chemistry of Complex Chemical Systems: Status and Perspectives”, as well as a second talk on his current research. In his laudation, Professor Bogumił Jeziorski from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw reviewed the long-time research career of Walter Thiel and highlighted the most important achievements from the successful work of his group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung.

About the Kolos Medal

The Kolos Medal is awarded biennially by the Polish Chemical Society and the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw to commemorate the late Professor Wlodzimierz Kolos, the pioneer of quantum chemistry in Poland. He was one of the first theoreticians worldwide to perform highly accurate theoretical calculations on small molecules. The Kolos Medal and Lecture Award was established in 1998 at his alma mater, the University of Warsaw. Former recipients of the Kolos Medal include Roald Hoffmann, Paul von Ragué-Schleyer, Joachim Sauer, Yuan-Tseh Lee und Frédéric Merkt.

About the awardee Walter Thiel

Walter Thiel, born in 1949, received his Diploma and Ph.D. degree at the University of Marburg. The subject of his Ph.D. Thesis was photoelectron spectroscopy. After a postdoctoral stay in Austin with Michael Dewar, he turned completely to theory. Back in Germany he obtained the habilitation at Marburg, and in 1983 became Associate Professor at the University of Wuppertal. He was Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley in 1987 and moved in 1992 as Full Professor to the University of Zurich. In 1999 he accepted the offer to become Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim, where he established the Department of Theory. The research at the department is focused on the development of quantum-chemical and multi-scale computational methods for the simulation of complex chemical processes.
Walter Thiel is Honorary Professor at the University of Düsseldorf. His research work has been recognized by a number of important awards, including the Liebig-Medal of the German Chemical Society (GDCh), an ERC Advanced Grant, and the Bunsen-Lecture of the German Bunsen Society. He is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences and of the “Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina”. Presently he serves his second term as the President of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC).

Photo: Award of the Kolos Medal to Walter Thiel in Warsaw by Prof. Jerzy Blazejowski (President of the Polish Chemical Society) and Prof. Robert Kolos (son von Wlodzimierz Kolos).

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