Axel D. Becke is the Killam Chair in computational science and Harry Shirreff Professor of chemical research at Dalhousie University. He has been a leader in the development of the density-functional theory (DFT) of electronic structure for over thirty years. Largely due to his efforts, DFT is the most popular tool in computational chemistry and physics today. Its popularity earned theoretical physicist Walter Kohn, who conceived the foundations of DFT in 1964–1965, a share (with John Pople) of the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Becke’s work has been cited 100,000 times so far. Two of his papers rank among the Top 100 most-cited papers of all time, one in the top 10 at #8, and another at #25 [Nature 514, 550 (2014)]
Becke is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2000) and the Royal Society of London (2006), a medalist of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science (1991) and the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (2000), recipient of a Canada Council Killam Research Fellowship (2005-2007), the CSC John Polanyi Award (2009), the Theoretical Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society (2014), and the 2015 NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.