Werner Kutzelnigg (1933 – 2019)

Werner Kutzelnigg (1933 – 2019)

Author: ChemViews Magazine

Professor Emeritus Werner Kutzelnigg, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, passed away on November 24, 2019. He was a well-known pioneer of quantum chemistry who worked, e.g., on the analysis of chemical bonds, the calculation of NMR shifts, relativistic calculations, basis sets, and explicitly correlated wavefunctions. He also wrote the well-known German-language textbook “Einführung in die Theoretische Chemie” (Introduction to Theoretical Chemistry).

Werner Kutzelnigg was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1933. He studied chemistry at the Universities of Bonn and Freiburg, both Germany, and received his Ph.D. for work on infrared spectroscopy in 1960. He worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Bernard Pullman und Gaston Berthier in Paris, France, from 1960 to 1963 and with Per-Olov Löwdin in Uppsala, Sweden, from 1963 to 1964. Kutzelnigg completed his habilitation in 1967 at the University of Göttingen, Germany. He joined the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, as Associate Professor in 1970 and moved to the Ruhr-Universität Bochum as Full Professor of Theoretical Chemistry in 1973. Kutzelnigg remained in Bochum until his retirement in 1998.

Among other honors, Werner Kutzelnigg received the Carl Duisberg Memorial Award from the German Chemical Society (GDCh, Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker) in 1971, the Schrödinger Medal from the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC) in 1995, the Liebig Medal from the GDCh in 1996, and the inaugural Erich Hückel Prize from the GDCh in 2016. He was a Member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences.

Selected Publications


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