Dr Felix Plasser receives Walter Thiel Award 2023

Image of Dr Felix Plasser with award name

Dr Felix Plasser announced as the first awardee of the EuChemS Walter Thiel Award in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry.

Dr Felix Plasser, of Loughborough University's Department of Chemistry, was named as the winner on 14 March 2023, but the Award (sponsored by the Max-Planck-Institute für Kohleforschung, the GDCh and Chemistry Europe) will be presented at the European Conference of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry (EuChemS CompChem), 27-31 August 2023 in Thessaloniki (Greece). The Walter Thiel Award was established by the EuChemS Division of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry to recognise the outstanding scientific contribution of a young researcher based in Europe, and is awarded every two years.

Since completing his PhD in 2012 at the University of Vienna, Dr Plasser’s research has made outstanding contributions to computational chemistry. Working in the field of photochemistry, he studies how molecules interact with light. His work involves the development of computational methods to study electronic structure and photodynamics methods. He is particularly well-known for his work on excited-state wavefunctions. The methods developed provide new conceptual information by incorporating ideas from exciton theory, valence bond theory, and excited state aromaticity.

The corresponding software (TheoDORE), named after his son, is freely available and has been downloaded over 5000 times by researchers around the world. Dr Plasser also contributes to the development of the COLUMBUS code for high-level electronic structure computations and the photodynamics codes Newton-X and SHARC. He is also active in the application of these methods at the forefront of current science and has been working with colleagues applying high-level spectroscopic techniques to fundamental problems in photophysics. His impressive publication record (85 peer-reviewed publications, 5000 citations, h-index of 33) attests the quality of his research and his international recognition.

In an interview for EuChemS magazine Dr Felix Plasser states "I was very happy to receive the award. There were many important people along the way that acted as mentors and collaborators, and I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me."

You can read the interview in full on the EuChemS website.