James Muckerman Named Senior Scientist Emeritus

James Muckerman enlarge

James Muckerman

On the basis of his achievements over a 47-year career at Brookhaven Lab, chemist James Muckerman was awarded emeritus status following his February 2017 retirement.

Muckerman joined Brookhaven's Chemistry Department in 1969 as an associate chemist. He received tenure in 1975 and was promoted to senior chemist in 1986. In 1988, he became assistant department chair—a role he held until 1990, when he was appointed associate department chair. He returned to research in 1993.

Throughout his career, Muckerman made several contributions in theoretical molecular dynamics and computational molecular catalysis. He was among the pioneers in the early 1970s who applied quasi-classical trajectory (QCT) methods to solve chemical reaction problems that required the inclusion of quantum effects but could not be solved using full quantum theory. He provided QCT solutions to classic problems such as the state-to-state reaction rate for hydrogen gas reacting with fluorine atoms. Later, he became the spokesperson for the Gas-Phase Molecular Dynamics Group in the Chemistry Department until he changed fields to provide the theoretical support for catalysis research needed for the difficult oxidation and reduction chemical reactions relevant to artificial photosynthesis. The nearly 200 publications that he has authored or coauthored in his career have been cited more than 6,000 times.

In a congratulatory letter, Lab Director Doon Gibbs wrote, "Your contributions in these two fields of research have made you a leader in theoretical chemistry and have brought significant recognition to Brookhaven research programs, most recently to the strong worldwide reputation of the Brookhaven Artificial Photosynthesis Group."

For these contributions, Muckerman was awarded with a 2012 Brookhaven Science and Technology Award.

Gibbs also noted the "series of successful proposals for research projects in sustainable energy" that were the result of Muckerman's leadership and efforts.

"I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to pursue my evolving research interests, especially my shift from gas-phase reactions to the important field of renewable energy," said Muckerman. "I am proud to be contributing in my small way to the mitigation of the impending consequences of global warming through the widespread production of carbon-neutral fuels derived from water and atmospheric carbon dioxide, driven by solar and other renewable energy sources."

Meet 12 other scientists who have received emeritus status

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