University of Rochester

Chemistry Department Celebrates Professor Richard Eisenberg

May 19, 2011

Symposium and dinner being held May 21

Richard Eisenberg, the Tracy H. Harris Professor of Chemistry who is highly regarded for making significant advances in organometallic and catalytic chemistry, will be honored by the chemistry department with a symposium and dinner May 21.

The symposium, being held in Robert B. Goergen Hall, will feature talks by Eisenberg's mentor, Harry Gray, professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, and more than a dozen peers and former students from around the country.

Eisenberg earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Columbia University in 1963 and 1967. He taught at Brown University for the next six years, before joining the Rochester faculty, where he was promoted to full professor in 1976. He was chair of the Chemistry Department from 1991 to 1994.

Eisenberg's research has focused on inorganic and organometallic chemistry, photochemistry, and catalysis. He is a specialist in the chemistry of converting light into chemical energy. These interests have paved the way for his current work developing a system that could lead to more efficient and environmentally friendly production of hydrogen fuel from water.

Eisenberg is the Editor-in-Chief of Inorganic Chemistry, the leading journal in its field. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Eisenberg has earned numerous awards throughout his career, including; the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry by the American Chemical Society (2011), with former student Pingwu Du; the University of Rochester's Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education (2010); the Morley Medal from the Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society (2007); and the American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2003).

One of his priorities has been the training of future chemists. Eisenberg mentored more than eighty Ph.D. and postdoctoral research students, as well as numerous undergraduates.

Eisenberg has been married to the former Marcia Landau for 45 years. Together they have two sons, Alan and Rob.

A gala dinner honoring Eisenberg will take place Saturday night in the Flaum Atrium at the University of Rochester Medical Center.