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Professor Emeritus in Chemistry
186th Encaenia Ceremony A: May 28, 2015
Dr. Ajit Thakkar began his career at UNB in 1984. During his illustrious 30-year career, he led an internationally recognized research program in the theoretical and computational prediction of molecular properties and interactions.
He is considered one of the top researchers in his field with 250 publications in high profile international journals that collectively have been sited more than 6,000 times.
As a professor, Dr. Thakkar taught a range of undergraduate courses, including some large first year general chemistry classes and several physical and quantum chemistry courses. He developed his own specialized textbook for his quantum chemistry course, which he provided to his students at cost for the last 20 years. He recently authorized its commercial production as part of the Institute of Physics collection of concise physics books.
Twenty-four of his former research students and post-doctoral fellows now hold academic positions at universities around the world. Even in his retirement, Dr. Thakkar continues to be very active in research, with 40 publications appearing in the last eight years, six of them in 2013 alone.
In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Thakkar served as chair of the chemistry department and helped modernize the department’s structure. He also took on the role of director of Graduate Studies and served on multiple committees at the departmental and university levels.
He is the editor of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering. He is past editor and associate editor of the Journal of Molecular Structure and has served on editorial boards of the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, Canadian Journal of Chemistry and the Journal of Molecular Structure.
He held his National Science and Engineering Research Council discovery grant continuously from 1980 until his retirement. His research was recognized with a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research fellowship, the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s Noranda Award for distinguished contributions to physical chemistry, and the European Society for Computational Methods in Science and Engineering ICCMSE prize for career achievement in theoretical and computational chemistry.
Dr. Thakkar has been active in service to the broader academic and scientific communities and has been a great ambassador for the university, raising its profile and that of the department of chemistry.
He is most deserving of the rank of professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick.