Peter Rossky is the Dean of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences at Rice University. He is also the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Chemistry and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
Rossky is a theoretical chemist whose research focuses on the structure and dynamics of chemical transformations in condensed-phase materials, such as liquids, polymers and molecular clusters. He is particularly interested in the role of liquids as an environment for chemistry and also in understanding the quantum world, especially tracking the evolution of energy in molecular excited states. His research group has developed algorithms that underlie the ability to study the quantum statistical and dynamic behaviors of chemicals using computer simulation.
He has a B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University, where he graduated summa cum laude with distinction in all subjects, and a master's in chemistry and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard. He served as a National Science Foundation National Needs Postdoctoral Fellow at State University of New York at Stony Brook before joining the University of Texas (UT) at Austin faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1979. He was promoted to full professor in 1987. He was appointed the George W. Watt Centennial Professor of Chemistry in 1990 and retained that endowed professorship until 2002 when he was awarded the Marvin K. Collie Welch-Regents Chair in Chemistry. He served as director of the Department of Energy's Energy Frontier Research Center on Charge Separation and Transfer at Interfaces in Energy Materials at UT and the Center for Computational Molecular Sciences at UT's Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. He joined the Rice faculty and began his deanship in 2014.
Rossky is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A former Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, he has been the recipient of a National Institutes of Health Career Development Award and an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. The American Chemical Society honored his research achievements with the Hildebrand Award in the Experimental and Theoretical Chemistry of Liquids and the Physical Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry. He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society.
He has written more than 260 articles in peer-reviewed journals and currently serves on the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.