Jeffrey Reimers

  • Professor
  • University of Technology Sydney

The interest today is in interdisciplinary fields between traditional fields like chemistry, physics, biochemistry, electrical engineering, materials science, and computer science, yet so many fundamental questions remain open in each field. My passion has always been to solve fundamental challenges, yet solving these challenges often leads to new and unexpected science and technology. Chemistry is “The Central Science”, or so they say. For me, this could not be truer. How else can one be working on century-old problems like “why ammonia (NH3) has a bond angle of 108 whilst PH3 and the rest of the series down to BiH3 have angles between 91 to 93?” one day, how chlorophyll absorbs light the next, qubit design for quantum computing the next, the origin of intelligence the next, single-molecule device design the next, and software design for semiconductor manufacturers the next?

Many people have influenced my career, from daring and creative spectroscopists like Gad Fischer, Ian Ross, Elmars Krausz and Kent Wilson to Bob Watts and has radical ideas that classical computer simulations could model complex systems like water, to people who forged the connections between the quantum and classical universes like Rick Heller, to the inventor of electron-transfer theory and finite field computation techniques like Noel Hush and pioneers of modern chemistry like David Craig, to synthetic chemists that made functional molecules that no one could believe possible like Max Crossley, to some of the best young minds of today like Daniel Kosov, Gemma Solomon, Jun Zeng, Laura McKemmish, Lars Goerigk, and Soren Wohlthat. In every case, I learnt the importance of putting fundamentals first.

Since moving to joint appointments at UTS and Shanghai University in 2014, I have been strengthening the links between these two young and rapidly raising institutions in the areas of chemistry, physics, and materials science. The resources of the two universities are complimentary and provide the setting for taking on some of the most difficult challenges today facing chemical understanding and application.

My work has been widely recognized throughout the community, from distinguished fellowships such as that of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) to the David Craig Medal for Chemistry in 2016 to national awards from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute to many citations in the popular press to being quoted by Sheldon in “The Big Bang Theory” TV show Season 3, Episode 11..

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