2021 Coblentz Award Recipient – Prof. Dr. Sandra Luber
The Coblentz Society is pleased to announce that Prof. Dr. Sandra Luber of the University of Zurich has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Coblentz Award. The Coblentz Award is presented annually to an outstanding young molecular spectroscopist and is the Society’s original and most prestigious award. Due to complications arising from the COVID-19 situation, the date and place of the award presentation has not yet been determined.
Sandra Luber obtained her MSc in chemistry at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2007 and her PhD in theoretical chemistry under the supervision of Markus Reiher in 2009. After postdoctoral stays in the group of Mihaela Zavolan at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel (Switzerland) and the group of Victor S. Batista at Yale University (U.S.A.), she joined BASF SE in Germany. In 2012, she became project group leader at the University of Zurich where she completed the habilitation thesis in 2016 and became professor in 2017. In 2021, she was promoted to associate professor for Computational Chemistry.
Sandra Luber’s research deals with the development and application of novel computational methods, among others, with focus on absorption and vibrational spectroscopy. Aside from purpose-driven static methods for molecular vibrational spectra, she has put emphasis on dynamic first-principles methods (e.g., by means of ab initio molecular dynamics) in order to simulate gas and condensed phase systems in a sophisticated manner. Examples include novel approaches for the modelling of vibrational spectra for chiral systems or interfaces via efficient density functional perturbation theory as well as electron dynamics via real time propagation and its application to electronic and vibrational (resonance) spectroscopy. Moreover, methods for nonadiabatic dynamics in the condensed phase have been explored recently.
Sandra Luber’s contributions have been recognized by various grants and awards. Selected awards include the Clara Immerwahr Award (2017, first theoretician awarded), the Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award (2017, first woman awarded), the Hans G. A. Hellmann Award (2017, first woman awarded), the Werner Prize of the Swiss Chemical Society (2018), the Jochen Block Prize of the German Catalysis Society (2019), the OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in Computational Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (2019), and the Carl Duisberg Gedaechtnispreis of the German Chemical Society (2019).