Centro de Química de Coimbra

External Advisors

Austin Barnes
Austin Barnes

Salford, U.K.

Austin James Barnes was born in 1945. He went up to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1963 and obtained his BA degree in 1966, He then moved to the University College of Swansea where he was awarded his PhD degree in 1969 for research on infrared spectra of matrix-isolated species under the supervision of Dr Harry Hallam, After a period of postdoctoral research in Swansea, he was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Salford in 1973, where he remained for the rest of his career. He was awarded the DSc degree by the University of Wales in 1986 and in 1991 was promoted to Reader. From 1996 to 1999 he served as Head of the Department of Chemistry and Applied Chemistry. He continued to teach on a part-time basis until 2005. He had a continued association with the University as an Honorary Visiting Professor until the end of 2015.

Following on from his PhD work, Austin's principal research interests focussed on infrared and Raman matrix isolation spectroscopy, particularly applied to the investigation of molecular interactions and conformational isomerism. Notable early work included the first reported use of a Fourier transform spectrometer to obtain far IR spectra of matrices, a critical review of the interpretation and prediction of matrix effects, and a study of experimental conditions for obtaining Raman spectra from matrices. Investigations of the conformational behaviour of molecules trapped in matrices led to a proposed empirical relationship referred to by some authors as 'the Barnes relation'. Extensive studies of base-hydrogen halide molecular complexes included the observation of two remarkable phenomena: in amine-hydrogen halide complexes the extent of proton transfer was found to be extremely sensitive to the environment and some base-hydrogen iodide complexes were found to photodissociate forming metastable 'reverse' complexes. Austin's interests in strongly hydrogen-bonded systems have also extended to structural studies of ferroelectric crystals and nonlinear optical materials. He was one of the authors of an early report of so-called 'blue-shifting' hydrogen bonds and has written a short review summarising our knowledge of this phenomenon.

Austin has published about 125 research and review papers, also 4 edited books and some 80 volumes of conference proceedings, etc., and has been an invited lecturer at more than 30 international conferences, He acted as supervisor for some 25 MSc and PhD students. The long-standing collaboration with Professor Henryk Ratajczak was recognised by the award of the Gold Medal of the University of Wroclaw, Poland, in 2008.

Austin served as President of the International Committee of the European Congress on Molecular Spectroscopy (EUCMOS) series since 1994 and a member of the organising committees of four NATO Advanced Study Institutes: Modern Methods in Vibrational Spectroscopy (1976), Matrix Isolation Spectroscopy (1980), Molecular Liquids (1983) and Low-temperature Chemistry of the Atmosphere (1993).

From 1979 to 1993 Austin served as Assistant Editor to Professor W.J. Orville-Thomas for both the Journal of Molecular Structure and the Journal of Molecular Structure (THEOCHEM). From January 1994 he was appointed to act as an Editor of the Journal of Molecular Structure and continued in this role until the end of 2009, during which period more than 300 volumes were published. A special issue of the Journal in his honour was published in 2010. He still has an involvement with the Journal as Consulting Editor.

Vincenzo Barone
Vincenzo Barone

Pisa, Italy

Vincenzo Barone was born in 1952. After graduating in 1976, he continued his education at the Universities of Marseille, Grenoble, Paris, Erlangen-Nurnberg, Montreal and Berkeley. He became Associate Professor in 1982 and Full Professor in Physical Chemistry in 1994 at the Federico II University of Naples. Since 2008 he serves as Full Professor in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa.

He is Dean of Classe di Scienze Matematiche e Naturali and Director of the DreamsLab at the Scuola Normale Superiore, fellow of the Accademia dei Lincei, Royal Society of Chemistry, International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences and European Academy of Sciences. He has been President of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) between 2011 and 2013, chair of CM1002- CODECS COST Action (2010-2014) and recipient of the Luigi Sacconi, Cesare Pisani and Gian Battista Bonino medals. In 2013 he has got an Ideas ERC Advanced Grant (DREAMS).

Barone has authored more than 700 papers in ISI journals and several book chapters with more than 43000 citations and an h-factor of 76; 8 papers were cited more than 1000 times. The most significant scientific contributions include fundamental developments in Density Functional Theory, solvation theory, and computational spectroscopy, together with state-of-the-art applications in materials chemistry, life sciences, nanosciences and cultural heritage.

The scientific activity has been accompanied by an intense and incessant efforts in promoting the role of chemistry in Italy, both in relation to other disciplinary communities and with respect to the more generally public perception. As a more recent example of openness to other communities, just mention the realization, at the Scuola Normale Superiore, of the DreamsLab Centre, the virtual reality laboratory headed by Prof. Barone, which includes a virtual "microscope" and “telescope", based on 3D Cave Automatic Virtual Environment technology, capable of enabling interactive manipulation of virtual "objects" ranging from the cosmological to the molecular scales.

Barone has been the coordinator of the Chemistry Ph.D. program at the Scuola Normale Superiore since 2009 and has supervised more than 35 Ph.D. students and over 25 post-doc researchers; many of them, including -notably- several female scientists, have brilliantly proceeded in their scientific career.

Matthias Beller
Matthias Beller

Rostock, Germany

Matthias Beller, born 1962 in Gudensberg, studied chemistry at the University of Göttingen, Germany, where he completed his PhD thesis in 1989 in the group of L.-F. Tietze. As recipient of a Liebig scholarship, he then spent a one-year with K. B. Sharpless at MIT, USA. From 1991 to 1995, Beller worked in industry. Then, he moved to the Technical University of München as Professor for Inorganic Chemistry. In 1998, he relocated to Rostock to head the Institute for Organic Catalysis, which became in 2006 the Leibniz-Institute for Catalysis. The work of his group has been published in >760 original publications, reviews and >90 patent applications have been filed in the last decade. He has received several awards including the Otto-Roelen Medal and the Leibniz-Price of the DFG. In 2006, he was also awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” of Rostock and he received the German Federal Cross of Merit. Since then, he received the first “European price for Sustainable Chemistry”, the “Paul-Rylander Award” of the Organic Reaction Catalysis Society of the USA, the Gay-Lussac-Alexander-von-Humboldt-Prize of the French Academy of Sciences and the Emil Fischer Medal of the German Chemical Society. Most recently in 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium and received the Wöhler price for Sustainable Chemistry from the German Chemical Society as well as an ERC grant from the European Commission.

Matthias Beller is also Vice President of the Leibniz Society – one of the major science organizations in Germany and a member of the German National Academia of Science “Leopoldina” and three other Science Academies.

Grażyna Stochel
Grażyna Stochel

Krakow, Poland

Grażyna Stochel is Full Professor at the Inorganic Chemistry Department, Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Head of the Coordination and Bioinorganic Physicochemistry Group; Head of Laser Photolysis Laboratory, and Biomedical Chemistry Laboratory, Humboldt Foundation Fellow, Visiting Professor at the Orleans University; Member of the Jagiellonian University Senate, and Member of the Chemistry Committee of Polish Academy of Science.

She was Dean (2008-2016) and Deputy Dean (1998-2008) of the Faculty of Chemistry Jagiellonian University.

Her research field is Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry, Photochemistry and Photophysics, Medicinal Chemistry and Functional Materials.

Her research activity is focused on: mechanisms of inorganic and bioinorganic reactions; photochemistry and photophysics of coordination compounds; photocatalysis; metal compounds, small molecules and light in biology, environment and medicine; medicinal chemistry and functional materials. Author and co-author of more than 200 publications (ca. 3500 citations), 4 patents and 20 patent applications; co-editor of 4 scientific books. Supervisor of 23 PhDs and over 40 MSc and graduate students. Involved in more than 40 funded research projects (leading more of half of these) and organization of ca. 50 international and national conferences and scientific meetings. Member of Polish Chemical Society; European High Pressure Research Group, European Society for Photobiology, European Photochemistry Association. Scientific expertise and modern equipment available in the Coordination and Bioinorganic Physicochemistry Group include spectroscopic, kinetic, photochemical, photophysical, electrochemical, microscopic and some biochemical techniques. Interesting and actual subjects in Bio-Medical and Environmental areas , applications with theoretical background, interdisciplinarity and internationalisation are the most important determinants for the group research activity.

<Executive boardBoard of directors >