ACS festschrift honors EVCP Professor Emily Carter

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The American Chemical Society (ACS) paid tribute to the accomplishments of UCLA’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Professor Emily Carter in a special issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Carter is a Distinguished Professor in the UCLA Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry & Biochemistry.

The March 4, 2021 special issue, titled “Emily A. Carter Festschrift Virtual Special Issue”, was organized by Guest Editors Professor John Keith (University of Pittsburgh), Todd Martinez (Stanford University), and Houlong Zhuang (Arizona State University). The German term “festschrift” is commonly used to celebrate a respected scholar with a special edition of original papers on topics relevant to the honoree’s research.

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The cover of the Emily A. Carter Festschrift Virtual Special Issue representing the range of Carter’s research created by lab members Dr. Mark P. Martirez and Dr. Robert B. Wexler.

The issue features a special cover with a stained-glass window representing “a glimpse of the range of Emily A. Carter’s work employing atomic-scale and multi-scale quantum mechanical and classical methods to address chemistry and materials engineering challenges.” It was created by Carter group members Dr. Mark P. Martirez and Dr. Robert B. Wexler. The colors of the four corners of the window represent the institutions that housed her research: Caltech (orange), CU Boulder (gold), UCLA (blue), and Princeton University (orange).

Carter began her independent academic career at UCLA in 1988, rising through the chemistry and biochemistry faculty ranks before moving to Princeton University in 2004, where she spent the next 15 years jointly appointed in mechanical and aerospace engineering and in applied and computational mathematics. During her first stint at UCLA, she helped launch two institutes that still exist today: the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics and the California NanoSystems Institute. While at Princeton, she held the Arthur W. Marks ’19 and the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professorships. After an international search, she was selected to be the Founding Director of Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. From 2010-2016, she oversaw the construction of its award-winning building and state-of-the-art facilities, the development of novel educational and research programs, and the hiring of its faculty and staff. After a national search, she served from 2016-2019 as Princeton’s Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, where she spearheaded major research, education, outreach, and diversity initiatives, before returning to UCLA as EVCP in September 2019. 

Carter maintains a very active research presence, developing and applying quantum mechanical simulation techniques to enable discovery and design of molecules and materials for sustainable energy. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Inventors, and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Carter earned a B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1982 (graduating Phi Beta Kappa) and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech in 1987, followed by a brief postdoc at the University of Colorado, Boulder, before joining the UCLA faculty.

Read the entire appreciation here.

To learn more about Carter’s research, visit her group’s website.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,