John C. Polanyi Award

Sponsored by the CIC Physical, Theoretical and Computation Chemistry Division and the University of Toronto, Department of Chemistry, the John C. Polanyi Award is presented for excellence by a scientist carrying out research in Canada in physical, theoretical or computational chemistry or chemical physics.

View the Terms of Reference and list of Past Winners

The 2017 winner of the John C. Polanyi Award is:


Josef W. Zwanziger
Dalhousie University

Josef W. Zwanziger grew up in Ellensburg, Washington, and studied at the University of Chicago (BA Chemistry ‘83), Cornell University (PhD Chemistry ‘88, with Ed Grant) and University of California at Berkeley (PDF with Alex Pines). He joined the faculty at Indiana University in 1990, rising to the rank of professor, before moving to Dalhousie University in 2003. At Dalhousie he holds the Canada Research Chair in NMR Studies of Materials. His interests have always included a strong mix of theory and experimentation in chemical physics. His graduate work focused on the dynamic Jahn-Teller effect and its relation to geometric phases in quantum mechanics. As a post-doctoral fellow Zwanziger developed solid-state NMR methods, and continued to study geometric descriptions of quantum evolution. At Indiana, his interests turned more strongly to materials, and his lab focused on glass structure, using a variety of spectroscopic and scattering methods. Since moving to Dalhousie Zwanziger has investigated also the optical performance of glass and its relation to structure and composition, while simultaneously developing a strong effort in first-principles studies of solids. He has been a senior editor at the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and is currently editor of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids. From 2011-2014 Zwanziger was chair of the Department of Chemistry at Dalhousie, and is currently the director of the Dalhousie Institute for Research in Materials.

Past Winners

2016
Federico Rosei
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Université du Québec

2015
Terrance McMahon, University of Waterloo
Presented by Hans-Peter Loock, Physical, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Division (right)

2014
Tucker Carrington, Queen's University
Presented by Hans-Peter Loock, Physical, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Division (right)

2013
Ronald P. Steer
University of Saskatchewan