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  • 04/23/20

    Professor Gagliardi elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair Laura Gagliardi has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). The Academy honors people making preeminent contributions to their fields and the world. Members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs. An induction ceremony is planned for October. 

Professor Gagliardi earned her doctorate from the University of Bologna, Italy, and was a post-doctorate at the University of Cambridge. After working in Palermo and Geneva, she joined the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry faculty in 2009.

Professor Laura Gagliardi in her lab

She is one of the most accomplished theoretical and computational chemists in the world. She is one of the few women currently represented at the very top of this area of science. Gagliardi is internationally known for her contributions to the development of electronic structure methods and their use for understanding complex chemical system. Her work involves the prediction and modeling of chemical phenomena by means of advanced chemical computation. 

Gagliardi's research has led to paradigm-shifting thinking about chemical systems, their properties, and new materials and chemical behavior. Her new electronic-structure methods are important for applications ranging from energy sustainability to nuclear waste management. 

Gagliardi leads the collaborative and multi-disciplinary Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center (ICDC), which is an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the Department of Energy and based at the University of Minnesota. The ICDC focuses on the computationally-guided discovery of a new class of energy-science-relevant catalytic materials and the underlying structure–function relationships that will guide further catalyst discovery. She also is a leader in the Department of Chemistry's Chemical Theory Center and has served as director of the Nanoporous Materials Genome Center.

Professor Gagliardi shares her research internationally. A mentor and guide to students, she also shares her knowledge about career opportunities and challenges for women in the sciences, including computational and theoretical chemistry, at workshops and lectures conducted worldwide.

Gagliardi's honors and awards include a Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, 2019 Award in Theoretical Chemistry from the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, Humboldt Foundation Research Award and Bourke Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry, member of Academia Europaea and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, elected board member of World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists, and Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. She is associate editor of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, which is the leading theoretical chemistry journal in the world and is on the advisory boards of five other leading journals.

"It is always wonderful when one of the international research leaders in our department, in this case McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair Laura Gagliardi, receives such well deserved recognition for their exceptional work and many scholarly contributions," said Department Head David Blank.

The Department of Chemistry now has six faculty members who have received this honor, including Regents Professors Timothy Lodge and Donald Truhlar, and the late Bryce Crawford Jr., Paul Gassman, and Izaak Kolthoff.

University published news announcement on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences:

CSE version featuring Professors Gagliardi and Hirschmann:

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded in 1780, cultivates every art and science that advances the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people. The AAAS carries on this tradition through studies, publications, and formal and informal meetings. Its studies help set the direction of research and analysis in science and technology policy, global security, social policy, and the humanities.