Great honor for a great scientist
Chemists of Europe pay tribute to the late Walter Thiel with their own award
The European Chemical Society has decided to pay a special tribute to Prof. Dr. Walter Thiel. The EuChemS Walter Thiel Award in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry will be presented for the first time at an international conference.
Walter Thiel's death came suddenly, unexpectedly and far too early in August 2019. The passing of the former director of the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung was a human loss for all who knew him and a great scientific loss for all chemists.
The European Chemical Society (EuChemS) has now decided to pay a special tribute to Prof. Dr. Walter Thiel. The EuChemS Walter Thiel Award in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry will be presented for the first time at an international conference, the "European Conference on Computational & Theoretical Chemistry", which will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece, from August 27 to 31. In the future, this prize will be awarded every two years to an outstanding chemist. The Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung donates the award.
Prof. Frank Neese, director at the MPI and head of the Department of Molecular Theory and Spectroscopy, warmly welcomes the decision of the EuChemS. "Walter Thiel was a great role model for many theorists," says Neese. Thiel, who is considered the father of semi-empirical quantum chemistry, has always worked extremely precisely, he says. Among other things, the MNDO program, which can now be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes, can be traced back to Walter Thiel.
Thiel was not only an incredibly creative mind. "Accuracy, fairness and perseverance were also characteristics of Walter Thiel," says Frank Neese. In addition, he says, Thiel built bridges between the theoreticians and the experimental chemists - a quality that his directorate colleagues in Mülheim and scientists around the world always appreciated.
This year, the Walter Thiel Award will be given to Felix Plasser from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. In his Walter Thiel Lecture, Plasser will speak on the topic "New Analysis Tools for Excited-State Quantum Chemistry: From Numbers to Chemical Insight." The MPI für Kohlenforschung will of course also participate in the conference with several scientific representatives: Dimitrios Manganas and Dimitrios Liakos will represent the Institute's Molecular Theory and Spectroscopy Department in Thessaloniki.