Ronald Steer was born and raised in Saskatchewan, attended the University of Saskatchewan as a student (BA, PhD), and has spent his entire academic career at his alma mater where he is now professor of chemistry, DSc, and Distinguished Chair. His research interests span the related fields of spectroscopy, photophysics, and photochemistry with a focus on the relaxation dynamics of the more highly excited, bound electronic states of polyatomic molecules. He is a dedicated consumer of laser technology and has led the development of an advanced laser spectroscopy laboratory for characterizing the ultrafast intramolecular relaxation and intermolecular energy and electron transfer dynamics of these excited states in a variety of media. His fundamental research on elucidating excited state structure-property relationships has led recently to applications in solar photovoltaic science and technology.
He has served as president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry, as a member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, as Chair of NSERC’s Chemistry Grants Selection Committee, as North American Editor of the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, and as Chair of the conference organizing committees for the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition and the International Conference on Photochemistry.